Water conservation will not only help you to save money, it can help reduce dependence on natural resources. In recent years many towns have had to force water conversation programs on its residents to ensure lake and reservoir levels don’t dip too low. A recent study showed that the average adult consumes as much as 100 gallons of water per day. There are plenty of small things you can do to help decrease your water usage and decrease your bills.
1. In the Kitchen
If you have a dishwasher, only use it when you have a full load to run. You can save water by washing dishes by hand. Fill one sink with wash water and one with rinse water to avoid running the water while you rinse your dishes. Leave the pots and pans that have stuck on food for last. This way you can use the wash water to allow these to soak instead of needing to run the water again. You can also install a heater in your kitchen sink. These heaters will give you instant hot water as soon as the tap is turned on, eliminating the need to allow water to run while it heats up.
2. Laundry Room and Bathrooms
In the laundry room you can save water by only washing a load of clothes when you have a full load. Consider upgrading your washer to a model that is backed by the Energy Star program. These newer models can save as much as 20 gallons per load and use less electricity to function.
Shave and wash your hair while taking a bath. Just turning the water off while doing this can save as much as 300 gallons of water a month. You can also wash your face and brush your teeth while in the shower.
Turn off the water while you lather up your hands when washing, only turning it back on long enough to rinse.
If you have enough room, consider using a bucket in the shower. This will catch water and prevent it from draining, allowing you to use that same water to water plants or shrubs, or even flush toilets.
You can maintain a beautiful yard without wasting water. Start by making sure your sprinkler system isn’t watering your sidewalk or driveway. Minor adjustments can prevent this waste. Watering your lawn early in the morning or evening is a good way to minimize evaporation. Consider adding mulch around your trees and shrubs. The mulch will retain more moisture and reduce the amount of water needed to keep them healthy. Set up a few rain buckets in your yard. You can use the collected water for any plants or flowers. You can reduce water run off when you water your lawn by decreasing the amount of time the sprinkler system runs.
If you raise the setting on your lawnmower you can save water as well. Taller grass will shield the root and help the soil hold more moisture.
There are plenty of ways we waste water without even thinking about it. Next time you get a drink to go, toss the left over ice in to a potted plant.
Reuse the water in your aquarium or fish tank to water plants and shrubs when you clean the tank. This water is rich in nutrients and won’t harm the plants at all. Plan your meals ahead of time and defrost your meat in the fridge instead of using running water.
You can find more information on how water is supplied, average usage, and why conservation is important by visiting USGS.