Water conservation isn’t hard – there are loads of practical ways to save water at home. With just a few simple tricks, you can save a lot of water and energy – and that’s money in your pocket!
The average American family uses around 300 gallons of water per day with 70% of this usage occurring indoors. But the environmental problem isn’t just the amount of water we use in itself, but rather the energy needed to heat it. We shouldn’t waste water, but unless you live in a drought zone, saving water isn’t explicitly necessary, with one important exception: hot water.
Hot water is the second largest energy demand in modern households, making up nearly 18 percent of total energy usage or up to around $400-600 per year. Spending less time in the shower in the morning not only saves energy needed to heat the water, but also saves you money and protects the environment. There are endless ways to save water around the house – all we need to do is to consciously integrate these water conservation methods into our daily routine.
We’ll show you how to save hot water around the house and improve your household water conservation.
Household Water Conservation: Saving Water in the Bathroom
- #1 Take a Shower: Taking showers instead of baths is an easy way to save gallons of water. Modern low-flow showerheads reduce water usage to just 1-2 gallons per minute; to fill a tub, you’ll need 35 gallons!
- #2 Pimp Your Faucets: Low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, and single-handle faucets are all methods of reducing hot water usage. That said, you still need to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving!
How to Save Water in the Kitchen
- #3 Buy Energy-efficient Appliances. When buying washing machines and dishwashers, pay attention to their water and energy usage statistics. Modern machines use fewer than 15 gallons per load of laundry or 3 gallons per load of dishes; older machines guzzle triple to five times that amount.
- #4 Use Your Dishwasher Exclusively: If you have a dishwasher, don’t wash dishes by hand. A fully-loaded dishwasher uses less water and energy than handwashing. Remember that you don’t need to rinse your dishes first; a well-maintained dishwasher gets all dishes clean.
- #5 Wash Fruits and Vegetables Wisely: Household water conservation is easy: Don’t clean your greens under running water. Instead, use a pot or pail to wash all of your fruits and vegetables. At the end, use the graywater to water your house or garden plants.
Saving Water While Cleaning
- #6 Run Only Full Loads: Always make sure to run full washer and dishwasher loads, in order to avoid using too many resources when cleaning just a few dishes or items of clothing.
- #7 Use a Bucket and a Rag: Pressure washers use over 100 gallons of drinking water per hour. Using traditional methods like a bucket and a rag is not only a water conservation method, but may also be more efficient at cleaning than using an appliance.
- #8 Improve Your Dishwashing Technique: When washing dishes by hand, always start by washing the least dirty dishes first. You can then “recycle” the remaining water for washing dirtier dishes, or even to mop your floors, before sending it down the drain.
Outdoor Water Conservation: Save Water in the Garden
The need to save cold water isn’t exactly dire in most regions of the United States. At the same time, this also doesn’t make senseless water wastage at all acceptable. With a couple easy water conservation tricks, you can begin saving water by avoiding wasteful practices while gardening.
- #9 Mowing your Lawn: Outdoor water conservation involves staying true to the common sense fact that nobody needs to mow their lawn on a daily basis. Save this chore to every two and a half weeks or longer. This keeps your lawn from drying out quicker than it should and thus saves you the time and hassle of watering it with the garden hose. Before you even think about dragging the hose out to water your patch of green, it’s best to test the grass to see if it needs watering in the first place. You can do this with the step-test: step on a patch of grass, and, if it springs back into place, it usually doesn’t need any water.
- #10 Watering: Of Americans’ 300 gallons in total daily water usage, 30% of this is used outdoors. This number can be as high as 60% in warmer, dry climates such as the Southwest. In addition to this, half of the water we use outdoors goes to waste due to inefficient and wasteful watering methods and practices. Whatever you do, don’t use sprinklers. Much more accurate and water-efficient solutions are normal low-flow garden hoses or watering cans. This way you’re making your own effort towards outdoor water conversation by watering exactly the plants that need it the most and preventing runoff.
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This article was translated from German into English. You can view the original here: Wasser sparen im Haushalt: 10 Tipps** Links to retailers marked with ** or underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.
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