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Everyone can contribute to conserving our water resources. Clean, safe water is a limited resource and with so many areas struggling with droughts, saving water is more important than ever. There are many big and small ways that you can contribute to conserving water. So here are the simplest and most effective ways how to conserve water at home. You might not be able to do everything on the list. But even you’ll start with just a few things, you’ll already be making a difference.
Table of Contents
10 Ways to Save Water
Taking a bath requires a lot more water than when showering. An average bath uses about 80 liters of water, while an average shower uses about 60 liters.
Install a low flow shower head, meaning it will use under 2.5 gallons per minute. You can also get a WaterSense certified shower head, which are efficient fixtures designed to use a maximum of 2 gallons per minute.
Try also taking shorter showers and instead of showering every day, try showering every other day. If you reduce a 10-minute shower to just 5 minutes, you’ll be able to save up to 12.5 gallons (if you have a 2.5 GPM or lower shower head). To cut back on the shower time, you can first run the water to get wet, then while it’s off soap yourself up and then you can turn it back on to rinse yourself off.
While you are showering, you can also collect the water in a bucket for other uses. Later you can reuse it for watering your garden, flushing down the toilet, or other uses.
When washing your dishes without a dishwashing machine, fill the sink or a bowl with water instead of the tap water just running continuously. If you have two basins, you can fill them up with soapy water and the other one with regular water for rinsing the dishes.
Also, consider installing a dishwasher. They use less water compared to handwashing. However, look for a water-conserving model, so it will be using less water per cycle. According to EPA estimates, an efficient dishwasher can help you save up to 5,000 gallons a year. To further reduce water waste, don’t start the dishwasher until the machine is fully loaded.
If you don’t already have one, consider investing in a highly efficient laundry machine. The most efficient ones will use only about 7 gallons per load. Traditional washers can use as much as 54 gallons per load. In addition to conserving water, you’ll also benefit from all the energy savings. Look for an Energy Star rating. These washers usually use about 35-55% less water.
When using your washer, also try to always have a full load. However, if you’ll be doing a partial load, choose the appropriate size of the water fill.
You can replace your old toilet (especially if it was installed before 1994) with a new one. According to new regulations, toilets must use under 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Older toilets use about 3.5 gallons per flush. Some of the very old toilets can even use as much as 7 gallons per flush. So as you can see, replacing your toilet can contribute to huge water savings. Also, if you want the most efficient toilet, opt for a WaterSense labeled unit. These toilets use a maximum of 1.28 gallons per flush.
It’s also important that the toilet is working properly. Make sure that the flapper is not leaking and that the valve is not damaged. A running toilet can waste a lot of water.
Don’t use your toilet as a wastebasket for tissues or cigarette buds. By using the toilet to flush them, you’re wasting gallons of water. Instead, put them in a garbage can or recycle them.
Faucets and Sinks
Make sure that your faucets don’t have any leaks. Even just a small leak from a worn faucet can result in wasting 20 gallons of water per day. While larger leaks are easy to find, the small ones require a bit more effort to locate. To find them, thoroughly dry your sinks and bathtub and after that leave them for an hour. Then inspect the fixtures for any wetness.
Install an efficient faucet that uses an aerator. Look for the WaterSense label to choose the most efficient faucet. These fixtures use a maximum of 1.5 gallons per minute.
Also, don’t keep the water running while you’re brushing your teeth. Just turn it on to wet your toothbrush and then you can turn it on again when you’ll need to rinse your mouth. Turn the faucet off also when lathering your hands or shaving.
Water and energy are linked. Power plants use water to produce electricity. It takes water to move, heat, and treat water. So by saving energy, you’ll also be saving water.