Excessive water use is expensive and detrimental to the environment. We are blessed to live in a country with a steady supply of clean water but we shouldn’t abuse that privilege. According to The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the average family uses around 400 gallons of water each day!
With a few simple changes and a little care we can cut down on water wastage, save money, and the environment. Here are 13 top tips to get you started:
1. Fill the Dishwasher
Running a dishwasher uses about 25 gallons of water! To save water, make sure to fill it up as much as possible and try to run it just once a day. There are also smaller appliances, which use less water -- something to keep in mind when you are kitting out your kitchen.
2. Shower Efficiently
Spend your time efficiently in the shower, and turn off the water while shampooing/soaping. Set a goal of five minutes in the shower and set an alarm to let you know when those five minutes are up! It will make you much more aware of the time you spend in the shower and how much unnecessary water is used.
3. Turn off the Tap
When washing your hands or brushing your teeth, turn off the tap while lathering with soap or brushing. Being mindful of only running water while you’re actually using it can save gallons of water.
4. Fix Leaky Pipes
Making sure your kitchen appliances are in good working order will help conserve water. Leaky pipes and faucets can waste more than you think-- a drop a minute can accumulate to around 5 gallons a day!
5. Double-Dip Dishes
If you have dual sinks, make good use of them! Instead of letting the water run continuously while you wash dishes, fill one with hot soapy water, and the other with cool, clear water. If you have a single sink, you can use a large bowl for rinsing off the suds. This double-dip method will save more than half the water you’d normally use to wash your dishes by hand.
6. Let the Grass Grow!
Refrain from cutting your grass too short. Taller grass can hold moisture better and won’t need to be watered as much as it protects the soil from direct sunlight and reduces evaporation.
7. Choose Indoor Plants Carefully
Keep houseplants that don’t need frequent watering, such as cacti, succulents or even air plants. They’re just as pretty in the home and also much harder to kill! It’s also a good idea to avoid Cyperus or fern plants as they need constant watering.
8. Make Use of Compost
If you have a garden with lots of flower beds, layer mulch around the topsoil. The mulch keeps the soil moist and prevents evaporation so your plants won’t need to be watered as frequently. Find out here how to create your own DIY compost heap.
9. Limit the Sprinklers
Gardens don’t need watering every day, try to minimise the time you spend running your sprinklers. Grass does not need to be watered every night, especially not in overcast or rainy weather.
10. Collect Rainwater
Installing a rainwater harvester or collecting rainwater in a large container can reduce your water consumption by up to 50%. You can then use this collected water for flushing the toilet, washing machines and watering the garden.
11. Fill the Washing Machine
For the same reason as you should fill the dishwasher, only run your washing machine when you can entirely fill it. Running a washing machine uses 30–35 gallons of water per cycle, so make it count.
12. Use Eco Settings
Modern washing machines are now more ‘green’ friendly than they used to be and most have an eco-setting which uses less water. Unless your clothes are super dirty, you can put them on a cool water, quick cycle which not only saves water but energy too.
13. Cook Smart
There are plenty of ways to cook your food that don’t require using large amounts of water. Choose to roast your vegetables or steam them instead of boiling. Not only do you save water, but they will be better for you.
Conserving water doesn’t need to be hard, it just takes a few adjustments to your daily routine and an awareness of ways to be more water sustainable in the home.