Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 6:54am by admin
As drought has stretched across much of the nation, it’s a great time to find ways to conserve water. If everyone used less water on a regular basis, the amount of water conserved would add up quickly. If you would like to find simple ways to use less water and save money at the same time, then follow these tips to get you started. Before you know it, you’ll be a conservation professional.
In the Bathroom Waking up first thing in the morning, saving water might not be on your mind. Try to incorporate these tips in your daily routine, though, for some great ways to use less water.
- Brushing teeth. Turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth, then turn it back on when you are ready to rinse. This can save nine gallons of water.
- Bathe. Take a bath rather than a shower: it uses less water if you like to stand in your shower a while.
- Bathe less frequently. Unless you’ve really been working up a sweat, it’s likely you could go every other day with a bath rather than bathing every day. Not only will you save water, but your skin will appreciate the break too.
- Toilet. If your toilet needs replacing, be sure to install a low flow toilet. You can also choose one with duel flushing, so when you need to use less water, you can choose the lighter flush.
- Shower head. If you can’t break the shower habit, at least change your shower head to a one that is water-efficient.
- Shorter shower . Another tip for die-hard shower people is to keep your shower short. Set a timer for 5 minutes and get yourself out when your time is finished.
- Check for leaks. Make sure your toilet isn’t leaking. If it is, make the simple repairs to save over 600 gallons of water a month.
- Replace the flapper. For just a few dollars and about five minutes of your time, you can replace the flapper and save on water that would be unnecessarily running from the toilet.
- Bathe together. Two in a shower takes less water than two separate showers. Also, if you have young children, they can take a bath together rather than filling the tub two or three times.
- If it’s yellow…. Follow the adage, "If it’s yellow let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down." Flushing urine every second or third time saves water.
- Older toilets. If your toilet is from before 1980, add a bottle of water to the tank to use less water for refilling the tank each flush.
- Navy Shower. Take a navy shower, which requires that you only turn on the water when you are rinsing the soap or shampoo from your body.
- Reuse towels. Instead of washing your towel after every use, reuse those towels. Washing them once a week will save considerably on water.
In the Kitchen Another place where water usage is wasted easily, the kitchen offers a great opportunity to save water. From reusing water to not leaving the tap running, you will find plenty of ideas to use less water in this list.
- Hand washing. Don’t leave the water running while you rinse dishes. Fill up the sink with clear water and dunk your soapy dishes there for a rinse.
- Full load. Only run the dishwasher when it is full. It takes the same amount of water to wash four dishes as it does a full load. The same goes for the laundry room–don’t run the washing machine unless you’ve got a full load.
- Compost. Rather than using the garbage disposal, which requires water, compost that waste. Not only will you have saved water, but you’ll be making your own free compost for your landscaping.
- Produce. Wash your produce like you rinse your dishes. Fill up the sink and clean your produce in that water rather than running the water in the sink.
- Thawing. Don’t use running water to defrost your food. If it’s meat, let it thaw in the refrigerator over night. If you need a quick thaw, fill your sink with just enough hot water to cover your item, then let it soak.
- Soak. For those stuck-on food problems, let the pots and pans soak in standing water a while and the food will come right off. It saves water and elbow grease over scraping under running water.
- Don’t rinse. If your dishwasher is newer, pre-rinsing is not necessary. Just scrape the big particles of food into your compost pile and put the dishes straight into the dishwasher.
- Don’t soften. Only install water softening devices if absolutely necessary. The process of softening the water generates more water that is flushed out with other household wastewater.
- Add less water. Adding less water when cooking not only saves water, but it also maintains more of the nutrients in the food.
- Kettle. Only fill the tea kettle with as much water as you need. Overfilling and pouring the extra down the drain wastes water.
In the Laundry Room Washing clothes requires a lot of water. Use these tips to help reduce the amount of water used to do your laundry.
- Water level. Be sure to match the water level in the washer to the size of your load. Don’t wash just a few clothes in the large load.
- Hand wash. If you just have one or two items to wash, don’t throw them in the washer. It’s easy to hand wash those items in the sink and save a lot of water.
- Front load washer. When it’s time to replace your washing machine, choose a front load washer. They use less water and are also more gentle on your clothes.
- Lint filter. If your washing machine has a lint filter, keep it clean. A clean filter can prevent overflow problems.
- Detergent. Use a high-efficiency detergent. The lower amount of suds will rinse more quickly. Some washers detect the suds and keep rinsing until they are all gone.
- Recycle water. Attach a hose to your washing machine outlet pipe and redirect that wash water. Collect the water to use on the yard.
In the Yard Achieving a beautiful lawn is the goal for many homeowners. Be smart when you go for the "Yard of the Month" sign and take the advice below for ways to use less water in your yard.
- Xeriscape. When you purchase plants or grass for your yard, choose those that are indigenous to your region. They will require less water and less maintenance.
- Sprinkler system check. Make sure your sprinkler system is adjusted correctly so that the water is going on the yard and not the sidewalk or street. Also, make sure it’s not running so long that the yard gets saturated and extra water runs out into the street.
- Rain sensor. Check to see if your sprinkler system has a rain sensor, and if it does, use it. That way, your sprinkler system won’t go off unnecessarily if it’s just rained. If your system doesn’t have one, see about installing one.
- Time your planting. Plant during the spring or fall when you need to use less water. In addition to saving water, you are also giving your plants time to become established before summer rolls around.
- Time your watering. Water your yard in the early morning or late evening when the sun is less hot. Rather than evaporating, the water goes where you want it–to your yard.
- Adjust your mower. Mow your grass so that it is a little longer after mowing. The longer blades will shade the roots and keep moisture on the soil longer.
- Soaker hose. Using a soaker hose lets water trickle down slowly, ensuring that all the water goes in the ground and not on sidewalks. This is especially handy if your landscaping is on a hill where water would naturally run off while watering.
- Fertilize lightly. Fertilizing the yard requires more water. Use fertilizer sparingly, or better yet, find natural ways to feed your yard.
- Weed. Weeding your yard eliminates extra plant life that steals the water from your lawn. Additionally, your yard will look nicer.
- Rake and save. Save your leaves until the spring and use them as a natural mulch. Adding this mulch to your garden will retain moisture on the soil and require less watering.
- Chooser your sprinkler. When choosing a sprinkler, chose one that distributes large droplets of water. Small droplets evaporate quickly while the large droplets get more water in the ground.
- Hand water. For small sections of the yard, hand water them. You can direct the water to exactly the spot that needs it.
Around the house From retrieving dropped ice cubes to reusing water for house plants, you will find lots of helpful tips in the list below to use less water around the house.
- Driveway. Don’t clean your driveway with the water hose. Instead, use a push broom and sweep the drive or use a shovel for those tough jobs.
- Car washing. If you like to wash your car at home, turn off the water in between rinses. Don’t let the water run down the driveway while you scrub the car. Better yet, use a commercial car wash that recycles water.
- Plants. Collect rain water to water the plants, or reuse the water you used to rinse your produce if rain isn’t in your weather forecast. If you have an aquarium, when cleaning the tank, reuse that water for plants too.
- One glass. Keep one glass out all day for drinking water. Getting a new glass every time you get water unnecessarily dirties dishes and requires you to run the dishwasher more often.
- Toss the tissue. Throw your used tissues in the trash rather than flushing them down the toilet. Unnecessary flushing wastes water.
- Pets. Bathe your pets in a section of the yard that needs water. Be sure to turn off the water while you are lathering Spot.
- Washing hands. While soaping up your hands, turn off the water. Running water while you are soaping just wastes it. Also, use cold water rather than wasting water while waiting for the hot water to heat.
- Oops ice. Dropped ice cubes on the floor? Don’t throw them in the sink. Put them in your pet’s water bowl or stick them in a house plant.
- Main water valve. Know where your main water valve is located and how to turn it off. In case of a leak, getting it turned off quickly can save a huge amount of water.
- Covers. Use covers on your pool or spa. By covering them, you can greatly reduce evaporation, thereby requiring less water to maintain proper levels.
- Monitor your bill. Keep an eye on your water bills and be aware if there seems to be a jump in the amount of usage that you can’t explain. This is frequently the way most homeowners recognize when a leak has occurred. You will save both money and water by staying on top of leaks.
- Every day. Do at least one thing every day to save water. By making a conscious effort to conserve water every day, you will be making a huge difference.