Two years ago we launched ValleyCresttakeson.com and it has been amazing how many people helped make a difference in water conservation. Thank you to all of you who have shared your expertise, contributed ideas, and helped raise awareness about water. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Most of the work on the blog is done after hours, and most of our subscribers read the blog after hours. This is not just our work; it is our passion and a cause we truly believe in, and so do you, our readers. We keep moving this forward because we think it’s helping. We share the message of sustainability with unique voices and interesting content, with people who may not usually listen. We have fun and invite others to join us, to build the community of passionate water geeks who are working for a more sustainable future.
In celebration of this big day I had a conversation with fellow bloggers Martha Golea and Alan Harris. Below are a few of what they felt were highlights from the past two years:
Question – Did you have a moment when you realized this blog might be bigger than we anticipated?
AH: When people come up to me at lunch and association meetings and start talking about what I write; sometimes I have not seen the person in years or may not even know them.
MG: I realized the blog was bigger than I expected when, very early on, the EPA shared one of my blog posts and through that I was invited to speak about the blog at a local conference. Since then I was invited to speak on an EPA panel at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference last year and have done several interviews with them. If the EPA is paying attention to what I write, it must matter. Also, when people started quoting “Are You Obsessed” back to me, I realized this blog was going somewhere!
RR: We get comments about our Celebrity Sightings at Starbucks post everywhere we go, too. So many people fell for our April Fools joke! Alan’s LA River post hit home for a lot of people. I had several people call me and tell me the post was a trip down memory lane for them . Martha’s water softener post got so much attention. It’s been shared on over 638 times on various channels and we had two people start an intense battle on one LinkedIn group but later admitted they were trying to be instigators to get more of a discussion going. It sure worked. LinkedIn has been a great place to share content and get comments in groups. The large majority of comments are valuable and important, but we have received some oddly interesting comments. Next time you see us in person, ask us about some of the crazy comments.
The biggest moment for me was when I met with the EPA in DC last year. I was part of a group of 5 people meeting with them. I was the only one from ValleyCrest. When I introduced myself I said I’m Richard Restuccia with ValleyCrest and they said “Oh yeah, the blog!”; that’s when I realized we were making a difference. I really don’t go anywhere in the irrigation world where someone doesn’t want to discuss one of the post they saw.
Question – How has the blog changed the way you think about water?
MG: My brother and my grandma in Erie both told me recently they live on the lake so they never thought about water scarcity before they started reading the blog. Now they think of it every time they turn on the tap.
AH: In the last 2 years I began composting, started a rain garden, and am now recycling my koi pond water. Probably to make up for the fact that my daughter wrote a guest blog post about how much water it takes to fill my giant bathtub!
RR: I think 99% of people turn on their faucets and have no idea where the water comes from or how it got there. If they knew the background behind it, the infrastructure, the waste, they would be more careful with it. I think our blog explores all those areas and as a result readers end up using less water. I know I think about it every time I turn on the faucet and it causes me to be more careful with water.
Top 10 most popular posts for the past 2 years according to Google:
With almost 85,000 page views over the past two years it’s tough to make this list.
- 10 Reasons I Hate Irrigation Systems…and What You Can Do To Make Me Love Them
- 5 Drought Tolerant Plant Resources
- The Hidden Risks of Softened Water
- LEED Points for Water Efficiency
- 10 Easy Ways to Make Your Landscape More Efficient Today
- Are You Obsessed
- Celebrity Sightings at Starbucks
- 10 Low Water-Use Landscape Design Ideas
- 10 Reasons to Love Trees
- 5 Excellent Perspectives: How To Irrigate a Slope
We have viewers from all over the world.
The top 10 countries viewing the blog are:
United States, Canada, United Kingdom, India, Australia, Spain, Netherlands, South Korea, Mexico and South Africa.
The top 10 states in the U.S.
California, Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Colorado, New York, Virginia, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.
Water management, conservation, and sustainability are all topics gaining momentum. When we first started, we weren’t sure how well the blog would be received, but we’ve experienced tremendous interest, so we’ve added a Twitter account (@h2oBloggers) and Facebook (WaterBloggers) to engage more with our friends and followers. We learn from you and rely on you for blog inspiration, so thank you for your input.
We have been invited to speak at numerous events and conferences about using social media to tell the story of water, and have become contributing writers to Lawn & Landscape magazine . This year we won a TOCA (Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association) award of merit for our series in Lawn and Landscape.
Our popular Water Trivia Tuesday posts on Facebook receive around 1,000 views each week.
The third Wednesday of each month is #waterwednesday on #landscapechat. Our guests have ranged from a wastewater treatment artist to the EPA.
Our challenge for readers:
Thank you again for your interest, contributions and efforts to save water. The past two years have been a good start, but we have much more work to do. We are still facing the potential of serious water shortages in the United States and many other parts of the world are already facing shortages. Diseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. The water challenge is enormous, but so is the opportunity. Let’s continue to move this message forward by contributing more and sharing more on the blog and in person. We can’t do it without your help. Please help us by continuing to share this message.