|There has never been a better time than now to start conserving water. Estimates hold that in the next four years, more than half of all U.S. states will experience water shortages. With less than three percent of the global water supply consisting of fresh, potable water, it only makes sense to use the least amount of water possible as good stewards of our planet.
The daily use of showers, faucets, toilets, and dishwashers can really add up to a lot of water that is being used unnecessarily. Water conservation efforts around the home can really make a difference, and just a small amount of adjustment in water usage on every household's behalf really makes an impact! Let's look at ways that your family can conserve water, which, by the way, also reduces your monthly water and utility bills.
Saving Water in the Bathroom
- Reduce the time you spend in the shower to five minutes or less. Avoid tub baths that take tons more water than quick, purposeful showers. If you do use the tub, close the tub's drain before you turn on the water and only fill it halfway up.
- Replace old, inefficient toilets with high efficiency toilets to save up to 17,000 gallons of water each year.
- Don't run the faucet while brushing your teeth or shaving.
- Install a low flow shower head.
- Don't dispose of items like tissues in the toilet - use a wastebasket instead.
- Repair leaky faucets and leaky toilets promptly. Test for undetected toilet leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring to the back of the tank - wait for ten minutes or so - if the color has drained into the toilet you have a leak somewhere.
- Install an aerator on your faucet to reduce the flow of water in just minutes.
Save Water in the Kitchen
- Only run the dishwasher when it is completely full.
- Limit the number of times that you run the disposal. Most garbage disposals use from 2-7 gallons of water per minute.
- Instead of rinsing dishes under running water, rinse them in a sink full of water. The same is true for washing and rinsing fruit and vegetables.
Save Water in the Laundry Room
- Purchase a front load washing machine - traditional washing machines use up to 25 gallons for each load that you wash.
- Only run your washing machine when it is full. If you run less than a full load of laundry, be sure to adjust the water level by moving it to a medium or low setting.
Save Water outside the Home
- Use low water plants to reduce the amount of water used to water landscaping.
- Choose the coolest part of the day to water your garden or lawn (morning or late in the evening) and do not water on days that is windy (your efforts will fall short anyway).
- Clean the driveway, porch, steps, etc., with a broom rather than a water hose.