Conserving water can save you money on your home’s water and energy bills. It’s also good for the environment and your local municipality when water is used responsibly. Hey, I get it. It’s not like we’re trying to be water vampires, sucking every last drop of water we can get our hands on. It’s just so easy to waste water—and lots of it—even when we don’t mean to do so. Consider this: if you leave the tap running while brushing your teeth, you’re allowing 8 gallons a DAY to go to waste down the drain! (Tweet This)
Simple Tips to Save Water at Home
So what else can we do to conserve water? In addition to turning off the sink faucet while brushing your teeth, there may be new tips you haven’t heard before. Each tip you try will yield more and more savings. Challenge yourself this month to try at least half of these and work your way up each week after.
Another “cheap trick” to save water is to collect water from one source and use it for another. For example, do you wait for your shower to heat up? While the water temperature rises, gallons of water are spiraling down the drain. Have a bucket handy to collect this water. You’ll be able to use it to water your plants, wash your car, and countless other activities. Tip: you can use this same trick to catch water from your kitchen sink, perhaps with a pitcher.
Fix Leaks to Save Water. Did you know that a leaking toilet could be wasting 200 gallons of water a day? You’re literally flushing the dollars away. Tip: to check for a leak, drop food coloring into the toilet tank and see if it appears in the bowl without any flushing.
Check for a “sink” hole. Leaky sink faucets might looks like a drop in the bucket, but you’re actually paying for more than 20 gallons of water a day from just one leaky sink. (Tweet This Tip)
Smart Showering. In general, taking a shower (if you keep it short!) will use much less water than filling up a bathtub, which can use as much as 70 gallons! A shower will usually require 10-25 gallons. Tip: if you do decide to take a bath, plug the drain right away; you can adjust the temperature while you’re filling up the tub.
Time Your Sprinklers. Florida is the Sunshine State, but let’s face it: it rains here A LOT. You hopefully do not need to water your lawn too much if you’re a Florida homeowner and you have the right types of grass. When watering your lawn, the best time to water is when the sun is not out—think early morning or late evening. This allows the grass to soak in the water before the sun evaporates it. Tip: Don’t over-water your plants. A little bit can go a long way.
Wishy Washy. When washing your car or bike, a hose can waste six gallons every minute. A savvy washer uses a sponge and bucket to get the job done. And chances are you’ll clean the tricky spots more effectively, too.
Did you know? Less than 1% of the all water on Earth is usable by people!
Low-Flow Appliances and Fixtures
Save Water in the Bathroom
While a traditional shower head might shoot out 5 gallons per minute (or more!), low-flow shower heads have a gpm (gallons per minute) of 2 – 2.5; some shower heads are even less. I use a low-flow shower head and don’t notice any of the “missing” water. In fact, its unique settings are really great. Find a low-flow shower head that feels powerful and look for one with a “pause” trickle setting, too.
You’ve probably heard about low-flow showers, but did you know you can buy low-flow faucet aerators, too? Installing a low-flow aerator on your faucet is a DIY solution that reduces the water usage on your faucets.
A flushing toilets generally uses the most water in the house. Older toilets use 5-7 gallons each flush whereas newer low-flow toilets may only need 1.6 gallons. Look for ways to reduce flushes (did that tissue really need to go down the throne?) and you’re sure to reduce your water bill over time. Tip: if you aren’t able to replace your toilet for a low-flow model, a filled plastic water bottle in your toilet tank can reduce the amount of water that’s used per flush.
Save Water Doing Laundry
Purchase Energy Star appliances for water & energy efficient machines and use them only when you need to do so, such as when you have a full load. Think twice about wearing out your jeans with extra washes, too. Instead, allow your jeans to air out and freshen up. As for the dryer, it actually uses water, too. Conventional electricity is produced by using up water. Using a drying rack or a clothes line will give your clothes a fresh air drying experience.
Challenge yourself to try these tips, enjoy the lower water bill, and feel good about all the positive things you're doing to help the environment, too.
If you have any water-saving tips of your own, be sure to share them in the comments below.