To most people, water seems like an unlimited resource. How often do you consider the amount of water you use and consume? Many people simply don’t realize just how much water waste takes place on a daily basis. Did you know that there are many simple ways to conserve water and cut down on the amount of water wasted inside and outside your home? Read more to learn some of the ways you can easily save this precious and valuable commodity.
In the house
The bathroom is probably the room in the home where families waste the most water. But it doesn’t stop in the bathroom. By changing small habits in your home you may not only realize the water savings, but also the cost savings:
- Energy-efficient upgrades and appliances. If you’re thinking about making any or all of these energy-efficient appliance upgrades, or thinking about other eco-friendly home renovations, first consider the cost. Find the financing you want to fit your needs best. Use a home equity loan or home equity line of credit to pay for the work you want to do and get on your way to a more water-efficient lifestyle. Consider these water conservation options:
- Toilets. According to the site WaterUseItWisely.com, fixing a leaky toilet can save up to 1,000 gallons of water a month. Also replacing pre-1992 toilets with low-flow toilets will also drastically cut down on the amount of water being used per flush. According to HGTV, a low-flow toilet can save you as much as $90 on your annual water bill.
- Showers. By replacing old showerheads with new, water-efficient ones, you can conserve up to 750 gallons of water per month. This is a cheap and easy way to cut down on your bathroom water usage. Also try taking quicker showers. By shortening your daily shower by a couple minutes, you could save up to 150 gallons of water each month.
- Washing machines/dishwashers. Most people may already do this, but always run your clothes washing machine and dishwasher only when they are completely full. On a similar note, if you hand wash your dishes, don’t let the water run the entire time. Instead, fill up the sink with sudsy water and wash all the dishes at once, then let drain, and fill up again to rinse. Also, if you can, upgrade your washing machine and dishwasher to newer energy efficient models, which can save water and money over the lifetime of the appliance.
- Refrigerators. Not only should you get out of the habit of standing in front of your open fridge whenever possible, but also if you are able, upgrade to an energy-efficient model.
- Hot water heaters. Replacing your old hot water heater with a new energy-efficient one may not only conserve water, but also money on your energy bill.
- Sink time. Unlike upgrading your appliances or making other energy-efficient home renovations, time at the sink offers a great opportunity to save water without spending any money. Here are three ways to conserve water at the sink.
- Shaving your face. The water experts at WaterUseItWisely.com also suggest that you turn off the water while you shave. This small but important change can save up to 300 gallons of water per month.
- Brushing your teeth. Like your mom always reminded you as a kid, don’t run the water while you brush your teeth. This one small habit can save up to 25 gallons of water per month.
- Fixing small leaks. Whether it’s an appliance like your toilet or a faucet, fixing even the smallest leak can conserve up to 300 gallons of water a month.
In the yard
While you may think there are limited opportunities to conserve water inside your house, consider these ways you can save water in your yard and around your house. Think about the following:
- Cleaning pets. When the weather is warmer, instead of bathing the dog in the sink or the tub, consider washing your furry friend outside. Pick a spot on your lawn that needs watering, and soap up your pet in an area that can use the refreshment.
- Watering plants. There are many ways to water your lawn and your gardens besides running the hose or a sprinkler, which can use up to 10 gallons of water per minute. Why not collect water from your roof to water your garden? Simply place containers at the base of your gutter spouts and use that run-off water. Or, instead of dumping the extra ice from your glass into the sink, drop the cubes into potted plants for a little bit of cool refreshment. Keep in mind that more plants die from over-watering than under-watering, so make sure you are giving your vegetation the proper amount of water and no more.
- Washing your car. While it may be difficult to wash your car with collected rain water, it is possible to conserve water when you wash your car at home. Never let the hose run while you’re soaping up your car. Also, when you’re tempted to just dump the dirty bucket down your driveway, dump it on greenery that can use a drink instead. However, keep in mind the kind of soap you use as you dump, and consider using a non-toxic, organic cleaner that won’t harm your plants.
The fact of the matter is we all can play a part in water conservation.Whether it’s letting your small children share a bath instead of filling up the tub multiple times, upgrading appliances to be water-efficient, or making large changes to our home. There is always something small we can do to help the environment in some way. And, for the projects that cost a bit more, there’s sure to be a financing option to fit your individual needs best.