Even though 71 percent of the earth is covered in water, 99 percent of water on earth is either salt water or locked in ice caps and glacier. Only one percent of that water is suitable for drinking, making the need for conservation clear.
Changing bad habits can conserve hundreds of gallons of water every year, and it doesn’t hurt to recognize that saving water will also lower your monthly bill.
Here are 10 ways we waste water every day.
1. Flushing instead of trashing
Did you know that five to seven gallons of water are wasted each time a tissue or feminine product is flushed? Toilets are responsible for nearly one third of a home’s indoor water consumption. Flushing anything other than human waste and toilet paper is not only a waste of water but can also clog your pipes and drains.
2. Extended showers
The average shower lasts about eight minutes and uses more than 17 gallons of water. Shortening your showers by one or to two minutes each day can save a bundle over the space of a month or year.
3. Old showerhead
Conventional showerheads can cost you more money than you think. Upgrade to a low-flow showerhead that only uses about two gallons of water a minute.
4. Slow leaks
Which faucet in your home leaks? A slow leak—one drop per second—can waste about 3,000 gallons of water each year. Take stock of your faucets and pipes and make repairs where needed.
5. Every day is laundry day
Only run the washing machine for a full load of clothes, and make sure it’s on the proper setting to save water.
6. One dish at a time
Like the washing machine, make sure the dishwasher is completely loaded before running the cycle. If there’s a “light wash” option, go for that if running a normal cycle isn’t needed.
7. Running water while washing
If you hand wash dishes, run an entire sink of soapy water rather than letting the faucet run the entire time.
8. Old toilet
Your conventional toilet will use about two more gallons of water with each flush than a newer low-flush toilet.
9. Mis-timed sprinklers
If you have a sprinkler system, water your yard during the early morning hours before it gets too hot. High summer afternoon temperatures cause water to evaporate more quickly.
10. Running water while brushing
Turn off the water while you brush your teeth—there’s no reason to have the faucet on.