In recent years, more and more importance is rightfully placed in leading environmentally-conscious and sustainable lifestyles. Growing industry and population rates strain the limited supply of potable water worldwide, emphasizing the need to conserve more water. In fact, a 2014 government accountability report predicted that over the coming decade, 40 out of all 50 states in the US will experience intense water shortages. It’s important to remember that the amount of available water supply in the world is finite. It is not an endless stream that goes on forever.
Fortunately, there are ways to enact simple lifestyle changes in your home to help save water. You’d be surprised to find that just a few adjustments here and there can go a long way in saving not just your wallet, but the environment as well.
Using Water in the Kitchen
- The Dishes
- Try to wash dishes by hand. Without a doubt, employing the aid of the trusty dishwasher is a lot more convenient (will also teach children responsibility and diligence)
- Run the dishwasher sparingly. If you truly must use the dishwasher, always run it on full load.
- Almost goes without being said but don’t keep tap running when washing hands, utensils, etc. always turn it off when not in actual use
- Drinking Water
- When drinking water, consider installing a drinking fountain. Drinking fountains save a lot of water from going to waste. It prevents you from pouring too much into your glass and then just throwing it out afterwards.
- If drinking fountains aren’t your thing, you can keep a reusable container of water in the fridge, such as pitchers and the like.
- Faucets and Sinks
- Get a water-saving aerator for the faucet.
- Get an automatic shut-off faucet . automatic shut-off fixtures have been a staple in public restrooms because they’re efficient, hygienic and can save more water from 32% to 54%, compared to traditional faucets.
- Opt for a compost bin instead of built in sink garbage disposal. While convenient, garbage disposals actually use up a whole lot of water. If you do, however, prefer built-in sink garbage disposals, you must use it sparingly.
In the Bathroom
- Pass on the bathtubs and go for showers instead. If you must use a tub, only fill it up halfway, so you don’t spill any water once you get in the tub.
- Use water-saving shower heads. Using low-flow showerheads can save you up to 750 gallons of water a month!
- Take shorter showers if you can. Sure, I get it; spending three long hours in the shower can do just the trick after a hard day. But on most days of the week, try to make your showers short and sweet.
- As you’re showering, try good old soap bars instead of the fancy bath gels. Bath gels are usually slimier and take much more water to rinse off compared to the trusty bar.
- Same with the kitchen sink, don’t keep water running when soaping yourself, brushing teeth etc. Taking the effort to shut off your tap as you do other tasks can save you almost 5,700 gallons of water a year!
- Consider having a dual-flush toilet installed instead of a traditional one. Dual flush toilets have the option of having a weaker flush button when you’re not doing a number 2 and don’t really need all that water.
- You’ve probably also heard that flushing tissues down the toilet is bad. Tissues can not only build up and cause blockages in your pipes, but also waste a whole lot of flush water. Get a trash bin for your bathroom and dispose of all your tissues that way.
More Water-saving Indoors
- Schedule your laundry days whenever your pile of dirty clothes are enough to fill up the washing machine. Only run your machine at full loads to maximize cost-effectiveness.
- Insulate pipes. Having insulated pipes, especially those in the basement or attic, make it quicker for water to heat up, resulting in a shorter time you have to keep water running.
- Perform indoor equipment checks regularly. Failing to check your water fixtures every once in a while can end up biting you in the behind once an abnormally high water bill arrives. In fact, most families in the US end up wasting up to 9,400 gallons of water yearly only from unchecked leaks.
- If you find unnatural spikes in your water bill, leaks, and other issues during your checks, immediately call a professional/plumber.
- Invest in energy-efficient and water-saving fixtures such as WaterSense equipment. This can impact your water consumption by up to 20 percent less.
In the Great Outdoors
- If you garden, opt for a watering can filled with previously used water rather than a waterhose. The water you use can be collected from the rain or water used to wash dishes previously.
- Go for more drought-resistant plants and shrubbery that don’t need much watering and can survive year-round.
- If you can, plant during the spring and fall seasons. Watering requirements are less at these times than in other times of the year.
- If you’ve only got your lawn to worry about, installing sprinklers and running them in the morning might be the best way to save up on some water. Morning watering prevents excess evaporation that occurs during midday. Get sprinklers that are efficiently positioned towards your grass instead of rogue sprinklers that splash around everywhere.
- Wash your car using the two-bucket method instead of using a watering hose as well. For this water-saving hack, you only need two buckets, car shampoo, a mitt, and your not-so-toned muscles.
More tips and tricks
- Avoid choosing water games like water balloons or guns when doing outdoor activities.
- Apart from performing regular leak checks all over the house, learn to read your water meter and calculate your water usage.
- If you suspect a fairly common toilet leak, you can put a bit of food coloring in your toilet tank. If water drips down to the bowl without you doing anything, there’s a definite leak.
- If you have a dog or cat that needs bathing, conduct your rowdy washing outside where you can give some water to your lawn as well. This is like hitting two birds with one stone.
- If you have children at home, remind them to always turn the faucets securely to avoid wasting water.