by Sally Phillips, Freelance Writer
Water is a necessity for life. Our survival depends on the availability of water and our consideration of its usage - a factor that often slip our minds. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the average American family of four uses roughly 300 gallons of water a day, 70 percent of which is used indoors. Many of our daily tasks involve water; showering, cooking, gardening even ironing (steam irons). Growing concern over water usage has spurred interest in ways we can be more efficient with our usage. Businesses and industries including agriculture and aquaculture are seeking ways to conserve water. But how can we save water at home? Check out these simple ways you can implement at home to get behind the conserve water movement.
Practice Efficiency With Your Faucets
One of the simplest things we often do that leads to water wastage: leave our taps running. Leaving the water on while brushing our teeth or washing our dishes, or even just neglecting to fully turn off the tap can waste liters of water each year. When using your taps, get into the habit of just switching them on when needed. For example, keep the tap switched off while you brush your teeth and only turn it on to rinse. Switching the water off can save valuable water and dramatically decrease your water bills. Don’t hesitate to fix leaks and faulty fixtures, such as toilets. Leaky toilets can waste up to 20 liters of water each year.
Get Behind Re-purposing
There are some great innovative, yet simple, ways you can reuse water in your home. Simple tricks around the house such as installing a shower bucket and capturing and reusing your pasta water and water used to rinse fruits and vegetables can help reduce your water use and ensures maximum efficiency of the water you do end up using. A great idea for re-purposing and reusing water is to install a grey water recycling system which is typically connected to your home’s plumbing system and can save as much as 35 percent of the water that would otherwise be returned to the sewers.
Time Your Showers
A 10 minute shower uses an average of 25 liters of water while a bath can use between 35-50 liters each time. Turning off the shower while you lather up can save you hundreds each year in water costs. If you tend to lose track while showering, try setting a timer to keep you from losing track of time. The installation of a low-flow showerhead in your shower costs just a few dollars but can turn out to be one of the most effective tips for going green in your residence.
Upgrade Your Appliances
Regular daily-use appliances such as your washing machines and dishwashers are often major determinants of your household water usage. However, with the progression of technology and support of sustainability, there are now a magnitude of more efficient appliances available. When using, only run full loads of laundry or dishes or if you generally have smaller loads, consider installing a smaller model, certified by Energy Star. Opting for an Energy Star washer and dryer can save a household up to $370 over its lifetime. Energy efficient washers can use up to 33 percent less water than standard models.
When you are conserving water, you are not only conserving the Earth’s resources but also reducing your energy usage and in turn, your household bills. By using these simple water saving techniques around your home, you can see the result from the very first month. The future of the planet and your pockets will thank you.
Sally Phillips is a freelance writer with many years experience writing across many different areas. She enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family, and traveling as much as possible.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the view of The Groundwater Foundation, its board of directors, or individual members.