Water is an easy resource to take for granted. After all, every time we turn on our taps we have access to it. But just because the earth is covered in the stuff, doesn’t mean we have an endless supply. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that we are able to make use of just 1 percent of our planet’s water. Americans use a great deal of that supply, with the average one of us taking between 100 and 175 gallons each day. That’s in comparison to those in developing countries who use just 3 gallons on average. As our population continues to grow, we use even more of the earth’s limited supply.
But enough with these grim facts — let’s talk about cutting back and conserving one of the world’s greatest resources. We’ve compiled a list of 16 simple ways you can save water at home. Not only will you help the planet, you will also save money on your water bill each month!
- Keep this one for summer: Instead of running a bath for your furry friend, shampoo and hose down your dog on your lawn. That way, you’ll kill two birds with one stone — cleaning up your pup and nourishing your yard, getting extra bang for your buck where your water usage is concerned.
- Skip that extra rinse cycle on your dishwasher. Newer models are more efficient at cleaning and rinsing anyway. Struggling to get your dishes sparkling? Add a drop of lemon essential oil to your soap tray.
- We’ve covered this one before, but it bears reiterating: Turn off the water while you brush your teeth. By doing so, you can save up to 5 gallons of water.
- Does your hot water take some time to heat up? Instead of letting all of that water go straight down the drain, collect it and use it to water your plants.
- If possible, streamline routines and bathe your kids together instead of separately!
- Don’t keep the water running while washing and rinsing your dishes. Instead, fill one side of your sink with soapy water for washing – and the other with rinsing water.
- How can you save an upwards of 140 gallons of water each week? By dragging out the toolbox and fixing that leaky faucet once and for all.
- Just say no to your garbage disposal. It’s rough on your pipes, requires wasting running water and doesn’t make good use of your food scraps either. Instead, learn to compost your vegetable trimmings in your backyard and you’ll recycle and save on water too.
- Turn off the water in the shower while you lather. It might be a chilly move to make during the winter, but you’ll save up to 150 gallons over the course of a month.
- Use a wastebasket — not your toilet. When you flush tissues each time you blow your nose, for example, you’re spending 5-7 gallons of water to wash your waste away.
- This one’s easy: Insulate your water pipes with split foam pipe insulation you can buy ready made at the hardware store. Doing so will ensure your water heats up faster and you send less cold water right down the drain.
- Turn off the tap while shaving and when lathering your hands to wash them. Do this and you’ll save up to 4 liters of water.
- Always make sure you have a full load of dishes or laundry when running the dishwasher and washing machine. These items use the same amount of water no matter how high they’re filled.
- When the weather warms and spring finally arrives, think about setting out a bucket when it rains. You can use this saved water to help out thirsty plants the next day.
“Drag out the toolbox and fix that leaky faucet once and for all.”
- Think about the ways you can have your water do double duty by washing vegetables in a basin. Once they’re cleaned, send that leftover water out to the garden to nourish your plants.
- Jetting off on vacation? Don’t toss your bath towels on the floor for the cleaning staff. Do as you would at home, reusing the same towel for a few days in a row. You’ll save the hotel staff from another load of laundry.
What do you think of these water-conserving ideas? Are there any we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.