Can you believe that the average American household uses around 400 gallons of water a day? And nearly 50% of that water usage takes place in the bathroom alone. Imagine, 200 gallons of clean drinking water flowing right down the sink, shower and toilet — every single day!
It’s time for families to start taking a more proactive approach to water conservation.
If you’re ready to get involved in combatting water waste, take a look at these ten very basic strategies for saving water in the kitchen and bath.
1. Double-check those taps
Before you leave the house in the morning or head to bed at night, take a quick whip around and make sure all the taps are turned off properly. This is especially important if you have small kids who often forget to do this.
If you notice a dripping tap in your home, fix it straight away. It can often be as simple as changing a washer.
2. Make simple shifts in your routines
Don’t leave the water running while brushing your teeth or shaving. Wet your toothbrush, brush your teeth and then rinse with water after you’re finished.
When you’re shaving, put a small amount of water in the sink, then use that to shave with and wash off afterwards.
3. Grab a watering can
Try to catch as much shower, sink or bath water in containers when waiting for the water temperature to heat up. Instead of turning on the taps and letting this water wash away you could be using it to water your houseplants.
4. Reuse and recycle
If you live in an area where a gray water system is permitted, consider getting one installed to repurpose sink water into your garden. You’ll have a lush yard year round and cut a chore off the to-do list.
5. Watch your washing machine
Always run your washing machine at the correct setting. If the water level is too high, you’re wasting water. Similarly, if the water level is too low, your items won’t wash properly and you’ll be forced to run the machine again, wasting more water.
If you can’t control the water level on your machine, don’t run it till you have a full load ready to wash.
6. Ditch those Brillo pads
Dishwashers are a water conservation wild card. Many modern machines run at levels that are designed specifically to conserve water and energy. Water is forced up and around inside of the machine and reused until new water is introduced for the final rinse.
Unless you’re mega efficient with a sponge and suds, washing by hand actually uses more water that the modern dishwasher.
7. Fill’er up!
Make sure to fill the machine and run a full load. Running a dishwasher with only a few plates and glasses is a waste of water.
8. Replace older toilets
Almost 30% of household water is being flushed down the toilet, and older toilets can have flush rates as high as 3.5-7 gallons per flush! Modern, post-1992 toilets are required by law to expel no more than 1.6 GPF. If you have a very old toilet in your home, this could be just the excuse you’ve been looking for to update.
9. Upgrade to Dual-Flush Technology
If you’re thinking of replacing your toilet, consider one with an economy setting that allows you to flush using less water for liquid waste and more water for solid waste.
10. Find a wastepaper basket
Don’t use your toilet to flush away tissues or other non-waste products that you could easily put in the trash. This will save you a number of flushes every day.