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Shh! Hubby's water saving tips are useful
Keep Liberty County Beautiful
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I do love to cook— and, unfortunately, to eat, too — but one of my least favorite chores is cleaning up the kitchen after cooking.
It has taken me close to 20 years, but I have finally convinced my husband cleaning up after a meal is a joint responsibility.
Husband-training is a never-ending responsibility. It is always funny how two people can approach the same task in different ways. We certainly did with kitchen cleanup. I have to say that I have actually learned some good tips from him that help protect our own water system as well as our water quality in general.  
Being the dutiful wife that I am, I did not just take his word for it. I have verified his ideas through several water information sources on the Internet, so the following ideas are not just the “gospel of Lindsay” but recommended ideas for protecting water quality from the Environmental Protection Agency and other water advocacy sources. These are ideas we can all incorporate in our homes to make a difference.
These do’s and don’ts  may also help minimize home-plumbing repairs as well as reduce the need for community sewer maintenance repairs in our towns — if we all incorporated them on a regular basis, that is.
• Do recycle or dispose of used cooking oil properly. Used oil can be placed in a sealable container and disposed of in regular garbage.  If you have a fairly large amount, you might need to borrow some cat litter from your favorite feline friend and mix it slowly in the oil in the sealable container. Once the oil has been absorbed, seal the container and toss it in your regular garbage. Interestingly, some people are finding innovative uses for cooking oil as a fuel source. Just think, you could cook and eat your fries and then use the oil to drive around one day!
• Do empty food scraps into the garbage — not the sink.  The sink is not a trash can.
• Do wipe left over food from soiled pots, pans and dishes with dry paper towels before rinsing or putting them in the dishwasher. I know many dishwashers now promote the idea of no rinse needed before putting dishes in, but where do you think all that food and grime is going once it washes down the drain? Dispose of the paper towels in the garbage can.
• Do place a strainer or a catch basket in the sink when peeling or trimming foods. The strainer will catch the food remnants that can then be put in the garbage or, if they are appropriate food items, can be used in composting.
• Do use disposable paper towels when removing food waste and not cloth towels.  The grease, etc., on cloth towels would once again end up in the water supply when they are laundered. So use disposable for these types of chores.
• Don’t use a garbage disposal. For many years, my husband and I “discussed” (aka argued) about getting a garbage disposal. I now understand why he was reluctant to do so. Grinding up foods does not remove the oils and grease. It just makes the food pieces smaller. All of it, including the grease, ends up going through the sewer system.
• Don’t pour old cooking oil, pan drippings, salad dressings and bacon grease down the sink drain!
• Don’t pour used cooking oil or motor oil, for that matter, down a storm drain either. Yes, believe it or not, some people do this. Anything going down a storm drain ends up unfiltered in our local waterways — creeks, streams, rivers and ocean. Now I love bacon grease as much as any true Southern girl does. Nothing can beat it, honestly. But as much as I love it, I have never had the desire to swim in it, so let’s keep it out of our local waters.
I hope you will consider using some of these tips in your home. By the way, if you run into my husband, please don’t mention I said he was right about something. It might go to his head.
For more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, contact me at 368-4888 or
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