According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the average American uses approximately 88 gallons of water a day (1). Not only is this excessive usage of water detrimental to the environment, but it is also a costly issue. Keep reading to find out how you can reduce daily water usage and save roughly $380 or more a year on water costs.
Use the dishwasher instead of hand-washing dishes
When hand-washing dishes, we tend to leave the faucet running. This practice uses a lot of water, approximately 27 gallons each hand-washing session. Dishwashing, especially with an energy-efficient dishwasher, would decrease the water used to clean dishes by up to 88%. That means, as small a number as 3 gallons may be used in dishwashing versus the 27 gallons used during hand washing.
Take shorter showers
One of the most water-wasting habits that we practice daily is showering. The average shower lasts for about 8 minutes and uses about 17 gallons of water. Of course, showering is necessary for cleanliness but we can be more conscious of the time we spend taking a shower to conserve water. Water conservationists recommend taking showers less than 10 minutes and using a shower timer can help to cut down on long showers.
Turn off the water while brushing/shaving
This is an easy way to be more sustainable and environmentally conscious. Many times while we’re performing these mundane tasks, we don’t realize that we’re using more water than we need to.
Check all faucets for leakage
Faucet leakage is something that can go unnoticed but have major water-wasting potential. According to the United States EPA, a faucet leaking at a rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons a year, which is enough for 180 showers. Regularly checking faucets and water lines can save you water and money (11).
Plant drought-resistant trees and plants
Drought resistant plants don’t require as much water as most other plants. So, they’re great if you’re looking for ways to become more eco-friendly while still being a plant parent! Some examples of drought-resistant plants are agave, adenium, succulents, different species of cacti, and plants native to your local environment. Even a lawn can be transformed into a xeriscaping paradise (12)!
Install water-conserving shower heads that save water
Low flow showerheads can waste less water than regular showerheads. The experience can be the same as your current faucet but with technology to use less water over time. Follow this link to a list of the 8 best low flow showerheads.
Replace your toilet with one that has dual flush modes
With dual flush modes, you can control the amount of water that is used to flush the toilet. Most of the time, more water is used to flush toilets than necessary. Approximately, 3,000 gallons could be saved each year by switching to a dual flush toilet. That’s a lot you could be saving on the water bill a month. Overall, installing this kind of toilet would reduce the amount of water and money you waste.
Recycle your water
A great way to conserve water would be to recycle the water you don’t initially use. For example, you can collect the cold water you don’t use while you’re warming up the shower to flush the toilet, rinse food, and water plants. Old bath water can be used in the same fashion.
Decrease the number of goods you buy
Many times, we feel tempted to buy more goods, such as food, than we need. A great deal of water is used to manufacture the goods that we buy. When implementing more sustainable methods into our everyday lives, we should consider how many goods we need versus the amount we buy. This is similar to clothing as well. Shopping from thrift stores can reduce the water needed in the textile production industry (13).
Cover swimming pools to avoid further evaporation
Do you ever realize that the amount of water in your swimming pool is decreasing? That is because of evaporation. By using a pool cover, you can minimize the water needed to make up for the evaporated water by 30-50%. Also, you can save on pool heating costs with a cover. Here is a link to a list of the best swimming pool covers.
Share this list with your family and friends to challenge your community to conserve water daily. Every sustainable choice we make directly helps to heal the planet. Let’s work together to take action and empower our communities to implement positive environmental changes.