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Conserve Water and Save Money With Water Conservation Tips for your Home
Water is a precious commodity for all wildlife. Humans divert water from rivers and lakes, reducing flow rates, creating impacts on fish, herons, otters, mussels, and hundreds of other kinds of wildlife. We also extract water from the ground, and as a result, the water table may drop, damaging habitats miles away.
How can you help conserve water in your everyday life? This water conservation guide provides great tips on how to save water in your bathroom, conserve water in your kitchen and laundry, and gives general water conservation tips for your home. These tips will not only save precious water, they will also save you money on your water bill, and in some cases on your energy bill as well.
If your faucet drips one drop per second, you’ll waste 2,700 gallons of water per year.
For more information about how to save water in your backyard as well as inside your home, please visit our article on Backyard Water Conservation.
Save Water in the Bathroom
40 percent of all water used indoors is used in the bathroom. Here are some great tips for how to conserve water in your bathroom.
- Toilets use more water than any other bathroom fixture. Replace any older toilets in your home with low-flow models that use 1.6 gallons per flush. Toilets ten years old or older may be using three-and-a-half to seven gallons per flush.
- Don’t use the toilet as a trash can. Dispose of tissues, insects and other waste in the garbage rather than the toilet.
- Check your toilet for leaks. An easy way to check if your toilet has a slow leak is to add a few drops of food coloring to your toilet cistern. Don’t flush the toilet for at least one hour. If the food coloring shows up in the toilet bowl after an hour, then you’ve got a leak.
- If the toilet flush handle frequently sticks in the flush position, water is running constantly. Replace or adjust it.
Front loading washing machines use 40% less water than top loading washing machines.
- Rinsing your razor under a running tap wastes lots of water. To rinse your razor, run a little water into a plugged sink.
- Don’t leave the tap running while you brush your teeth. Wet your toothbrush before you start and use a glass of water to rinse your mouth.
- Cut your shower time by one minute, and install a low-flow AAA-rated showerhead. These provide a great shower and save you around 10 litres of water per minute. They also save you on energy costs because you’ll use less hot water.
- Take showers instead of baths. A bathtub holds up to 50 gallons of water- much more than a normal shower uses. A typical shower uses less than 20 gallons of water.
- If you do take a bath, use the minimum amount of water needed for a bath by closing the drain first and filling the tub only 1/3 full. Stopper the tub before turning on the water. The initial burst of cold water can be warmed by adding hot water later.
- Replace older bathroom faucet nozzles or aerators with new ones that are rated at 1.5 gallons per minute or less.
Conserve Water in the Kitchen
- Reuse water that is used to boil eggs or steam vegetables. Use this to water your houseplants or outdoor planters.
- Wash only full loads of dishes in your dishwasher. This saves water and energy, and reduces the amount of detergent that enters the sewer system.
- Don’t pre-rinse your dishes. Check to see if your dishwasher can clean dishes without pre-rinsing them. Most newer dishwashers don’t require pre-rinsing.
- Don’t thaw frozen foods by placing them under running water. Thaw them before you need them, or use the microwave instead.
- Keep a container of water in the fridge so that you won’t need to run the water down the sink until it’s cool enough to drink.
- Wash any fruits and vegetables in a half-filled sink rather than under running water.
- Use a sink strainer.
- Cook vegetables by microwaving, steaming or using a pressure cooker. Cut down on water loss by using tight lids on pots and simmering rather than rapidly boiling.
- Kitchen sink disposals require a lot of water to operate properly. Limit your disposal use by peeling vegetables, eggs and other food, then add them to your compost pile.
- Rinse your dishes in a plugged sink instead of under a running tap.
- Install an instant water heater on your kitchen sink so you don’t have to let the water run while it heats up. This will also reduce heating costs for your household.
Water Conservation in the Laundry
- Wash only full loads of laundry in your washing machine. You’ll save water, and save energy at the same time.
- Set the load adjustment dial on your washing machine to match the amount of washing you’re doing. If your machine doesn’t have a load adjustment, wait until you have enough to wash a full load.
- Use phosphate-free, eco-friendly detergents and cleaning products. There’s a great range to choose from, and they’re much better for our environment.
- Purchase a front loading, water-efficient and energy-efficient clothes washer. Front loading washing machines use 40% less water than top loading washing machines.
More Water Conservation Tips for Your Home
- Never put water down the drain when it could be reused for something else, such as watering a plant or garden, or cleaning. Collect all the water that is wasted while waiting for the hot water to reach your faucet or showerhead.
- Install water efficient taps or tap aerators. They are a great, inexpensive way to cut your water usage without you even noticing.
- Check for leaks in taps, pipes and dishwasher hoses. One leaking tap can waste more than 2,000 litres of water a month.
- Many homes have hidden water leaks. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.
- Check your pump. If you have a well at your home, listen to hear if the pump kicks on and off while the water is not in use. If it does, you have a leak.
- Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. If your faucet drips one drop per second, you’ll waste 2,700 gallons of water per year, which will add to the cost of water and sewer utilities, or strain your septic system.
- Insulate your water pipes. You’ll get hot water quicker, and avoid wasting water while it heats up.
- Do not install a water-to-air heat pump or air-conditioning system. Air-to-air models are just as efficient and do not waste water.
- Only install water softening systems if absolutely necessary. Save water and salt by running the minimum amount of regenerations necessary to maintain the water softness. Remember to turn the softeners off while you are on vacation.
- Make your children aware of the need to conserve water. Don’t purchase recreational water toys that need a constant stream of water.
- Be sure to follow all water conservation and water shortage rules that may be in effect in your neighborhood.
- Patronize businesses that practice and promote water conservation.