By Kelsey Allen
Water conservation is an important part of responsible living. Water is a precious resource which is not to be squandered. Fortunately, there are a number of really easy ways to save water without a whole lot of hassle, and we’ve compiled some of the best here.
In the Kitchen
Cut down on water usage in your kitchen using these methods.
- Wash only on a full load: This is true for both washers and dishwashers. By washing in bulk, you’ll cut down on the number of cycles you need to run. Also important to keep in mind is the fact that most dishwashers on a full load can clean dishes more efficiently than a hand wash.
- Cut down on your disposal: Instead of using your disposal, start a compost pile for food waste.
- Buy foods close to their natural form: Water is needed to produce just about everything from Coke to boxed mashed potatoes. You can cut down on your water consumption by avoiding processed foods that require lots of water to make.
- For large washing jobs, fill your sink: Instead of running water to wash dishes or produce, fill your sink to wash them all at the same time.
- Cut back on rinsing: If you’ve got a fairly new dishwasher, it should be powerful enough to clean your dishes thoroughly without pre-rinsing.
In the Bathroom
Save water while still enjoying good hygiene using these tips.
- Check for toilet leaks: Drop some food coloring into your toilet tank and let it sit about half an hour without flushing. If you see color in the bowl, you have a leak that needs to be repaired. This is generally easy to take care of, as replacement parts are cheap and install easily.
- Avoid using your toilet as a trash can: Throw tissues, insects, and cigarette butts in the trash instead of the toilet. You’ll save about 6 gallons with each flush you avoid.
- Turn the faucet off when brushing your teeth: Certainly you’ve heard this one before, but it’s simple and important enough to be repeated. Turning off your faucet while brushing can save up to 10 gallons a day.
- Make your toilet low-flow: Place weighted plastic bottles in your toilet tank to save water in your tank. You’ll need to make sure that there are at least 3 gallons remaining in the tank so that your toilet will flush properly.
- Replace your flush handle: If your flush handle sticks and lets water run, it needs repair or replacing. These can usually be found in the hardware store for a few dollars, and are incredibly easy to install.
- Take showers instead of baths: Showers generally require less water than baths, coming in at 20 gallons versus a bath’s 50 gallons.
Water conservation doesn’t have to mean a dried out lawn. Follow these strategies for a lush outdoors without a huge water toll.
- Insulate water pipes: Pre-slit foam pipe insulation is cheap and easy to install, so it’s a convenient way to get hotter water, faster. By getting faster hot water, you’ll cut down on the time you have to run your faucet while waiting for water to heat up.
- Bathe your pets outdoors: By washing your pets on the grass, you’ll water your lawn while getting Fido clean.
- Give your lawn a deep soak: Although it may seem counter-intuitive, water your lawn for a long time so that the moisure will go town to the roots and encourage a deep root system. When you’ve achieved a deep root system, grass can get more natural moisture from below.
- Water strategically: Pay attention to the time of day you water. Water early in the morning and late in the evening so that you’ll lose less water to evaporation. Watering early is also great because it defends against garden pests and fungus.
- Collect rainwater: Put a water-catching barrel outside to collect rainwater that you can use for your garden, lawn, or cleaning.
- Lay down mulch: Put down bark, peat moss, or gravel to slow down evaporation. This is an easy way to save literally hundreds of gallons a month.
- Be a lazy waterer: Water only when you absolutely need to. A good rule of thumb is to check it by stepping on your grass-if it springs back when you lift your foot, you can put off watering for a bit more.
- Never use a hose when you can use a broom: Don’t clean sidewalks and driveways with water-use a broom instead.
These tips will help you just about everywhere around the house and in daily life.
- Install an aerator: Easy to install, and often quite cheap, aerators are about the easiest way you can save water at home. Water aerators in your showers and faucets will help you use less water while still enjoying high pressure, achieved by putting extra air bubbles in the water flow.
- Reuse excess water whenever possible: Instead of pouring old water glasses and boiling pots down the drain, reuse the water for pet dishes or plants. You can also use fish tank water on household plants.
- Dispose of hazardous materials properly: Keep oil, prescriptions, and other contaminants out of the water, as these items can effectively eliminate water from our supply. Do some quick research to find out how you can properly dispose of them.
- Use a commercial car wash: Often, car washes can wash your car more efficiently than you can in your own driveway. To save even more, find one that recycles their water.
- Fix leaky faucets: If you’ve got even a slow drip, you’re letting money go down the drain. Even more importantly, you’re wasting hundreds of gallons over time. Pick up a wrench and fix your leaky faucets for a quick and easy way to curtail water usage.
- Locate your master water shut-off valve: In case of a pipe burst, you’ll need to know how to shut off water in your home. This will not only save gallons of water, but potentially your property as well.
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