California is currently in the midst of one of the worst droughts in recorded history. Everyone’s working to conserve. But water conservation is important no matter where you are. How can you do your part to save water? Here are 10 tips you can follow.
Take Shorter Showers. This is the first step everyone lists, and with good reason. Your bathroom in general accounts for around 75% of your home’s water usage. And a typical shower uses 2.1 gallons of water per minute. So showering for 10 minutes can waste over 20 gallons. Keep showers to around 5 minutes or so, and you’ll cut your water usage considerably.
Check for Leaks. Have a plumber check your toilets, faucets, hoses, and any other water sources in your home for leaks, and repair them. Depending on the severity of the leaks, this can save you up to 200 gallons of water per day.
Wait Till It’s Full. Whether you’re doing laundry or dishes, don’t run the machine if you don’t have a full load. They use the same amount of water no matter how much or little is in them, so make sure you get the most out of each cycle.
Use Low Flow Faucets. A faucet aerator can cut the amount of water coming out of your faucet by half. They also make low flow showerheads.
Put a Brick in Your Toilet. A brick, stone, or some other heavy object in the bottom of your toilet tank allows the tank to be filled using less water. This will cut the amount of water you use with every flush. Be sure the tank has at least three gallons in it, though, to flush properly. Otherwise, you may have to flush multiple times, which will waste more water, rather than less.
Get an On Demand Water Heater. You waste a lot of water waiting for the hot water to make its way from the water heater to your faucet. An on demand water heater delivers the hot water immediately to your faucet, and heats only as much as needed at one time. Be careful, though. Having hot water on demand can inadvertently lead to longer showers. It may be tempting, but make sure you don’t over-indulge.
Insulate Water Pipes. Insulating your pipes keeps the heat in, so you don’t have to wait as long for hot water to reach you. Foam insulation tubes for pipes are inexpensive and easy to install.
Compost. Running the garbage disposal requires a lot of water. Minimize your disposal use, and instead, put food scraps in a compost pile, which can then be used to fertilize plants.
Curb Your Sprinklers. Do you have your sprinkler system set to go off every day? Cut it back to a couple of times a week. If you have plants that require watering more frequently than that to survive, consider replacing them with something lower-maintenance.
Invest in More Efficient Appliances. If your washing machine, dishwasher, or even your toilet, is more than a few years old, chances are it’s not as water-efficient as it could be. Shop around for newer models that do just as good a job, using less water. Buying all new appliances may seem expensive, but it will save you a lot more in the long run, in reduced water bills.
There are plenty of other ways to conserve water as well. Use common sense. If a faucet is running when it’s not needed, shut it off. If you seem to be using more water than necessary, find a way to use less. If we all work together, we can save water, save money, and make a better, more efficient world for everyone.