Conserving water means conserving energy. To process, pump, and heat water imposes a heavy burden on our already-pressured energy system. The more water we use, the more energy we demand, and the less we have of both to go around.
Implementing just a few small changes to your home can dramatically influence water supply, and it may even save you a few bucks as a result. So why wait, let’s get started on ways you can save water indoors.
Install a water meter. This handy device indicates how much water your home is using, often a very surprising number. Water meters are also helpful in detecting leaks, which can cost you a sizeable amount over the course of a year.
Check for leaking toilets and faucets. Did you know a silent leak can waste anywhere from 30 to 500 gallons every day? Fix leaks without delay.
Take (shorter) showers rather than baths. Showering uses less than a third of the amount of water it takes to fill a bathtub. Turn off the shower while you shave, or install a valve that fits behind the showerhead. This preserves the temperature of the water while you soap up, so you can turn on again to rinse.
Catch the cold water while waiting for the hot. Whether from a faucet, tap or shower, use that cold water for plants or to pour into your toilet reservoir after flushing.
Install low-flow showerheads and faucets, or faucet aerators. At just $10-$20 for a showerhead and less than $5 for a faucet aerator, these low-flow devices are an inexpensive way to maintain the pressure and feel of the flow you’re used to while using less than half the water of conventional units.
Turn off the water while brushing teeth, shaving, washing hands, doing dishes, etc. This step costs no money, but saves a tremendous amount of water in just minutes.
Wash full loads. Whether using the dishwasher or the washing machine, wait until you have a full load. If you’re in the market for a new washing machine, choose a front loader instead of a top loader as it uses far less water.
Reuse water on the garden. Keep water after rinsing vegetables or boiling pasta to use on your garden. You can even repurpose bath water if you use garden-compatible soaps and cleaning products.
Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Save the solids for the trash can since they require more water and energy to dispose.
Be mindful of flushing. Every time you flush the toilet, you use up to 9 liters of clean water. Consider upgrading to a low-flush toilet, which uses 6 liters of water or less. Dual-flush toilets are equipped with a half-flush button, or you can make your current toilet perform similarly by installing a dual flush conversion kit.
Whether you take some or all of these measures, you can make a noticeable impact on the way water is used in your community and around the globe.
In part 2 of this series, we’ll discuss several ways in which you can conserve water outside your home, an even greater way to help preserve one of the most scarce and limited natural resources on the planet.