With long, hot summer days approaching, and depending upon where you live, you might be interested to find creative ways to conserve water. Some cities and counties initiate water bans or don’t allow the use of garden hoses when experiencing droughts. It’s good environmental practice to think about your personal water usage, and there are some simple ways we can all minimize our water consumption around the home as well as outdoors. You'll find some ways to conserve water below.
1. Watering Can
One of the best ways to conserve water is by placing a bucket or watering can underneath the taps/faucets when you’re waiting for hot or cold water to come down the pipes. Later you can re-use that water for activities such as boiling water, running your garbage disposal, watering plants or pouring it into the toilet to flush with. This method can literally save you up to 50 gallons of water each week per person.
2. Turn off Water
We all know about turning off the taps/faucets when we’re brushing our teeth. Well, it's the same principle when lathering up in the shower or shaving your legs; try turning off the water and just use the shower water to rinse yourself off with. It’s a simple, yet effective way to conserve water in just a few minutes. It’s amazing as it can save you 35 gallons of water a week per person.
3. Rinse Fruit and Vegetables in a Sink
Make sure to rinse your fruit and veggies in a sink or pan filled with water, instead of running water from the kitchen taps/faucets. Try not to use running hot water when defrosting your frozen foods as well; instead, plan ahead and defrost them regularly by keeping your items in the fridge overnight, or you can use the microwave method to defrost goods! By doing these steps, you can save between 30 and 50 gallons of water a week per person.
4. Check Your Toilets for Leaks
Drop a dye tablet or food coloring into your toilet’s upper tank. If any color appears in the actual toilet bowl water fifteen minutes later, you know that your toilet is leaking and you should plan on getting it repaired. Maybe the flapper valve needs replacing in the tank, or it could be something else. By repairing toilet leaks, you can save yourself 100 gallons of water for each toilet repaired.
5. Limit Use of Garden Hose
Try not to use the garden hose to water down the driveway, patio or other areas, and never let your garden hose run continuously. Instead use a broom or leaf blower. If you need to water your garden, try watering at night when there is less evaporation occurring, or set your sprinklers to a timed system; that way you can save between 100 and 150 gallons of water each week.
6. Wash Dishes Once a Day
When you’re washing dishes by hand, try washing them once a day and lather up the plates using a small amount of detergent, to limit the amount of rinsing. If you find that you're rinsing a lot, use short, hot water blasts or a sprayer. Also, if you have a dishwasher, ensure that you run it with a full load, and if you have a garbage disposal, use it on alternate days. These simple acts will save you between 25 and 100 gallons of water each week!
7. Low-Flow Devices
There are numerous eco-friendly attachments available for your showerheads, taps/faucets, and even toilets are available in ultra-low-flow flush models. Try setting your tap/faucet aerators to very low-flow (as low as 1 gallon per minute); it doesn’t mean that you won’t get a power shower or that the water pressure will be impacted, it just reduces the amount of water you’re using. Low-flow devices are inexpensive compared with other energy reducing items for your home and you’ll be able to save between 230 and 350 gallons of water a week.
You can save yourself quite a lot of water when you consciously think about it. If you do all of these steps, you can save yourself approximately 600 gallons of water a week (plus or minus). Not only is it great from an environmental standpoint, but you will notice a difference in your utility bills too. What are some steps you’ll be taking to conserve water this year?