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10 Ways to Conserve Water at Home

Posted on April 1, 2017 by Greenhome.com There have been 0 comments

The U.S. has one of the largest water footprints in the word: the average person in the U.S. uses 80-100 gallons of water a day. But all that comes at a price. The water you use in your home has to be taken from natural habitats and requires energy to treat and transport, which is why it’s important for each of us to find ways to reduce the amount of water we use in our daily lives.

Make Sure Your Appliances and Faucets Are Efficient!

1. Toilets use more water than any other appliance in the home – the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 26.7% of all water used in a typical home is used in toilets. If the toilet in your home was installed before 1994, when regulations changed, it will probably use around 3.4 gallons per flush. To reduce the amount of water used per flush, you can use a toilet dam to lower tank volume or purchase a kit that will help you both reduce tank volume and fix leaks and inefficiencies. If you’re installing new toilets, look for ultra-low flow or high efficiency toilets, which will operate at just 1.3 gallons per flush.

2. Typical shower heads flow at a rate of around 2.5 gallons a minute. You can reduce water usage in your home by installing a low flow shower head, which uses aeration or oscillating pressure to maintain the feel of a strong shower while using as little as 1.5 gallons a minute. You can also install low flow sink faucets or aerators, which will reduce sink faucet flow to as little as .5 gallons per minute.

3. Leaks account for 13.7% of water used in homes, so be sure to check plumbing and hoses for leaks and to make sure faucets don’t drip. Even a small leak can add up to large amount of wasted water: if your faucet leaks just one gallon a day, that adds up to over 350 gallons a year. Leaks from toilets and hoses can be more substantial and will add up to thousands of gallons of wasted water.

4. Both washing machines and dishwashers use large amounts of water. To reduce waste, only run washers when you have a full load of clothes or dishes to clean and only use extra rinse and heavy wash cycles when necessary. When buying new appliances, check for the EPA WaterSense label. These appliances are certified to be at least 20% more efficient with no drop in performance level.

Don’t Leave The Water Running!

5.  Leaving the water running while you brush your teeth can result in over 200 gallons of water a month going straight down the drain. So turn off the faucet while you brush; you can even install infrared faucet adapters that will cut off the water flow when it’s not being used. These types of faucets are also great for the kitchen sink, where they can reduce the amount of water that runs while you do the dishes, rinse vegetables, or wash your hands.

6. If you need to leave the water on, use a bucket to collect the water so it can be used for watering plants or doing dishes.

Reduce Water Usage in The Yard!

7. When watering the yard, be smart with your sprinklers: measure the moisture in the yard so you know how much water it needs, make sure sprinklers are positioned to minimize the amount of water landing on non-absorbent sidewalks or driveways, and water between 6pm and 10am to avoid evaporative loss (Garden Water Conservation Kit). If your sprinklers are on a timer, install a rain sensor to avoid watering your yard while it’s raining.

8. Use a rain barrel to collect rain water that can then be used for outdoor activities such as watering the lawn or washing the car.

9. Raise mower blades to 3 inches: longer grass will help the soil retain moisture.

10. If you live in a drought-prone area, be sure to use plants that require very little water. Ask at a local nursery for native, drought-resistant shrubs, grasses, and cactus. You can also convert grassy areas to gravel or rock gardens that do not require irrigation.

Rachel Tardif is a freelance writer and editor specializing in environmental issues and sustainability. 

This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Eco Home Improvement, Green Top 10s, The Water We Drink and was tagged with CONSERVES WATER, Eco Home Improvement, green living, water conservation


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