If you live in your own home or rent a home, chances are you have to pay a water bill. Those of you who live in an apartment but don’t pay a water bill need to know that part of your rent is to pay the complex where you live for your share of the water. The higher the water bills, the more likely a rent increase will happen for your complex. So no matter where you live, it is a good idea for your pocketbook to conserve water. It’s not just a good idea for your pocketbook either; it’s also a good idea for the environment.
Let’s start with inside the house
$$$ Fix leaky faucets and pipes. Just a small drip can use up to 20 gallons per day, and a larger drip can use even more. A few cents to buy the items necessary to repair the pipe or faucet or the few dollars to replace a pipe or faucet will save more money in the long run.
$$$ When washing clothes, it is always best to use a full load. If you must wash a smaller load, be sure to use your washer’s setting to reduce the amount of water used. Even with the water settings, it’s still best to wash a full load whenever possible, because this will ultimately save water and electricity.
$$$ Take showers, not baths, and shorten the shower by just a few minutes every day and you can save close to 1000 gallons of water per month. Shorter showers use less water than baths do as a general rule, and if you install low flow or flow restrictor showerheads, you can save even more.
$$$ When filling a sink to wash dishes, place the drain stopper in the sink before turning the water faucet on. Letting the water run prior to putting the stopper in place wastes water. Many people let the faucet run until the water becomes warm, but you can simply use a bit hotter water if you need to in order to get the temperature right for your needs. Also, always fill the sink with water to wash dishes, instead of washing them under running water.
$$$ If you must use an automatic dishwasher, never run a load of dishes unless the dishwasher is full. It is best to hand wash dishes for water conservation.
$$$ Turn off the water in the sink when brushing your teeth and turn it back on again to rinse and clean your brush. The same for shaving. You can fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of water and shake your blade in the water to rinse it between shaves instead of placing it under running water.
$$$ When cleaning the kitchen or bathroom, fill up a bucket or bowl with water to rinse your sponge for scrubbing instead of leaving the water running or rinsing under a running faucet between uses.
$$$ If you drink tap water, fill a bottle and keep it cool in the refrigerator. This will keep you from running the cold water first before filling a glass and will keep your water colder and make it taste better.
Some tips for conserving water outside of the house:
$$$ You usually don’t need to water your yard every day. A properly watered yard can be watered only ever other day in most climates. When the weather is cooler or overcast, wait a day or two before watering your yard, and only water about once per week or every other week during the very cold winter months.
$$$ Don’t water when it rains or when rain is forecast. A good rain is usually good for about three days of watering.
$$$ Be sure your sprinklers are set to only water the lawn. The sidewalk, driveway and street don’t need water to grow, and that is just wasted money.
$$$ Hand wash your vehicle instead of using an automated car wash. When hand washing, use a bucket to wash the vehicle and only use the hose to rinse it.
$$$ Sweep your sidewalks and driveways to clean them instead of washing them down with a hose. If you must use a hose to get at dirt or other things sweeping doesn’t take care of completely, sweep first, then use the hose only on the areas requiring extra care.
$$$ Kids love to play in the water, especially during the summer. Try to coincide your children’s water play in the sprinklers with the normal time to water your lawn. Teach your children not to play with the hose or sprinklers when the lawn does not need watered.
$$$ Water earlier in the day, when it is cooler and there is less chance of evaporation. Also, don’t water on very windy days, because much of the water will never reach your lawn. Set sprinklers to release water as close to the grass as possible, and if possible, water directly with a hose instead of a sprinkler.
$$$ Line your yard with water catchers to keep run off at a minimum. This can also enhance the appearance of your yard.
$$$ When watering your yard, set a timer or an alarm to remind you to turn the hose off. I have many nights forgotten to turn off the hose only to find a small lake in my front yard the next morning.
These are just a few ways to conserve water. Use your mind and creativity and you can probably come up with a lot more of your own. Remember, saving water saves you money, and also helps save our environment.
Lastly, I’ll leave you with one more fun way to conserve water. Take your spouse or significant other and shower together. Not only will it save you water and money, but it’s fun too!