The shower. Your home's shower(s) is a major water wasting culprit. The average shower lasts around five minutes. If your home has an older showerhead or high flow shower head, each five minute shower that you take uses up around 40 gallons of water. For a family of four, that's 58,400 gallons of water used per year just for a quick shower each day. Replacing your shower head with a newer model that is manufactured under new federal regulations that require less than 2.5 gallons of water to be used per minute can save a family of four over 40,000 gallons of water per year. And the shorter the shower, the more water you conserve. In fact, reducing your time in the shower each day by just one minute will save you an extra 1,000 gallons per year. There are also low flow showerheads on the market today that use as little as 1.5 gallons per minute (such as the Kohler Forte shower head series that afford up to 30% water savings). Now that's significant.
The toilet is another hot spot for wasted water, and millions of gallons of unnecessarily wasted water is flushed down America's toilets each year, thanks to old and ineffective toilets. Toilets that were installed prior to 1994 use almost four gallons of water per flush. Wow, that's a lot of water over the course of a year. Newer, green toilet models use as little as 1.3 gallons of water per flush. Look for a toilet that is considered high efficiency; many of these toilets will meet the Water Sense rating that is issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and use as little as 1.28 gallons of water per flush.
Ever wonder just how much water runs down the drain when you leave the faucet on while brushing your teeth or shaving? The average person wastes five gallons of water each time they brush and ten gallons each time they shave. If you are brushing three times daily, that's 15 gallons of water wasted each day, or nearly 6,000 gallons per year. While leaving the sink off while brushing is a good idea, so are the new greener faucets (like the Moen 8301 electronic faucet) that have electronic sensors to come on and off as needed. Installing one of these eco-friendly faucets in your family's bath can save tons of water.
Greener Water Heaters
Grandma always told us to turn the lights off when not in use, and the same basic concept can be applied to the way that we heat the water that we use in our homes. Although the technology didn't exist in Grandma's day, new greener water heaters are tankless - and water is heated only upon demand (like the Takagi TK-3N Flash tankless water heater). That means that you're not going to pay to keep (often) hundreds of gallons of water hot and ready, but you'll have hot water when you needed. In fact, tankless water heaters that heat water only as it is needed never run out of hot water. Tankless water heaters also take up less floor space and can cut your utility bills by up to 50%.
More Tips on Going Green in the Bath
Let's look at some general tips for conserving the earth's valuable water supply that can save you money, too.