Water is a precious resource and easily one of the most convenient to manage in terms of conservation. These 8 simple tips will help you conserve water, allowing you greener living and potentially vast savings on your water bill.
Clip the Run: Whether you're washing dishes, brushing your teeth or waiting for the shower to heat up, water left to run is wasted water. Often, the amount of water wasted is more than the water you use for dishes, brushing, etc. This tip out of the other 8 is by far the easiest and most cost effective: simply, shut off the faucet when not in use. If you need cold water, keep a pitcher in the fridge. If you need hot water for tea or coffee, fill up a pot and use that for heat. Hot showers are the exception, but increasing the temperature on your water heater will give you hot water faster and cut down on the gallons lost in wait.
Fix your Leaks: Though it may only appear insignificant, gallons upon gallons of water are lost every day from leaks. Check your plumbing and faucets for leaks and either tighten down the joints, replace cracked or busted valves, washers and nuts, or try covering the leak with plumber's tape. Toilets and the silent leak can be one of the biggest sources of lost water and should be investigated and fixed first and foremost.
Insulate the Pipes: In order to assure a faster supply of hot water, which will cut down on the run time of your faucet or showerhead, insulate your hot water pipes so that heat isn't lost along the way. Insulation is fairly inexpensive and easy to apply. This can be applied to any and all pipes and will cut down on temperature loss and condensation, which can lead to mold, rust and calcium deposits.
Low Flow: To cut down on the amount of water released through your faucets, shower-heads and toilets consider buying and installing low-flow versions. Low-flow restrictors use less than 2.5 gallons per flush or per minute and will significantly lower your water use. You can even find appliances out there that will pause the water flow once the water is warm, a necessity for those who absolutely need hot showers.
Aerators: Installing aerators in your sinks' faucets will tremendously cut down on the amount of water wasted. These aerators fit in any sink and, outside of Tip 1, are going to be easily your cheapest water-saving solution.
For the Yard: Water accordingly. Use sprinklers and hoses only when your yard needs it and only at the right times. For instance, do not water during a thunderstorm or after your yard has been properly soaked; nor should you water your yard at the hottest part of the day, most will evaporate and the water will have gone to waste.
Full Loads Only: When doing the laundry, try to avoid doing many small loads and instead do one or two big loads for the entire family. Even though many washers have settings for water amount, you will still be expending a lot of water per load, and the difference between four or five smaller loads, versus one or two bigger loads is quite a bit. Consolidate when you can.
Shorter showers: Showers by far use the most amount of water in our day to day activities. A five minute shower typically uses between 20 and 50 gallons of water. Make your showers as efficient as possible, don't linger.
With these tips, you'll easily find yourself saving water and saving money.
About the Author: Mike Zook has been writing about environmental issues for companies like MPC Containment for nearly 10 years. His passions include animal rights, organic gardening and wetland conservation. Visit MPC’s site to find more of Mike’s work.