Conserving water throughout your home and yard can end up saving you a significant amount on your monthly water bill. Although many people don’t realize it, potable water (water considered safe for consumption) is an incredibly important resource that is being overdrawn across our nation. Below are 10 tips to help you cut back on your usage and contribute to water conservation efforts:
1) Taking shorter showers and install water-conserving shower-heads can save up to 15 gallons per shower.
2) Fix any dripping faucets and leaking water closets. Unattended leaks in water fixtures can waste between 15 and 20 gallons a day.
3) Install a low-flow faucet aerator. Aerators mix air into the water stream of the faucet. This maintains the water pressure that you are accustomed to while reducing the amount of water being used.
4) When cooking, wash vegetables in a tub of water with a brush rather than running the water in the faucet. Also, thinking ahead and defrosting food in the refrigerator rather than using running water in the sink can significantly reduce water waste.
5) Fill up a bottle 2/3 the way with gravel or sand, screw the top on, and place it in your toilet’s tank (out of the way of the flushing mechanism). The bottle will displace water volume so that your tank won’t fill up as high, leading to decreased water closet consumption. Or, if installing a new water closet, find a low-flow model (under 1.6 gallons per flush).
6) When shaving, fill your sink with warm water and rinse your razor periodically to prevent over-reliance on the faucet. The same principle applies to brushing teeth: consider turning off the faucet when not in use.
7) Install rain barrels under your gutters to catch and conserve water that you can use to water plants in your yard.
8) Try to ensure that you have full loads before you do the laundry or dishes. Laundry machines can use up to 30 gallons per load while dishwashers use around 15 gallons. Limiting the use of these appliances to once a week can save up to 45 gallons, significantly reducing water consumption rates.
9) Water your lawn in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler, so there will be less evaporation.
10) Use a broom or air blower to clean off your deck or patio off rather than using hose or power washer. By not using a hose you can save up to 150 gallons of water.
The most important suggestion not included on this list is to share these tips with friends, family, and coworkers. Engaging others in sustainable practices will help the transition to a more environmentally conscious mindset, which will help reduce overconsumption of potable water supplies. You and your friends should check out our course catalog to participate in such courses as LEED Green Associate, where we talk about water conservation in greater detail.
With the summer heat and limited water availability occurring in various parts of the United States, water conservation efforts such as those listed above are an important component of sustainable living.