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Living Green: Easy Ways to Conserve Water

Updated on September 16, 2013

Lower Water Bill, Cleaner Earth

Conserving water around your home may be easier than you think. Just a few small things can make a rather large difference in your water bill and reduce harmful effects on our planet. By implementing just a few tips that are mentioned on this page, we can lower our water use by as much as 35 percent and help to prevent pollution in nearby lakes, rivers, and creeks. Conserving water also can extend the life of a septic systems as well by reducing soil saturation. Still more good news is that the tips we will discuss are affordable and simple to implement. Read on to learn about these simple, everyday steps that we all can do and should be doing to lower our bills and protect the Earth. You may wish to check out Living Green: Easy Ways to Conserve Energy as well to learn about easy ways to conserve energy.

Photo Credit: José Manuel Suárez via Creative Commons

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Image Credit: networx via Creative Commons
Image Credit: networx via Creative Commons

Faucets and Pipes

No Leaks Allowed!

Just a tiny drip from a leaky faucet or pipe can actually add up to 20 gallons of wasted water per day! Be sure to eliminate this unnecessary waste by fixing any leaks you may have.

Another great idea that will help you save water in your home is to install low-flow faucets or aerators. These can be found at any home improvement store and make a marked difference on your water bill each month. When looking for a low-flow faucet or aerator, check for the gallons per minute (gpm) rating. You will want to aim for a rating of 1.5gpm as this will save you roughly 4,500 gallons of water per year.

The pipes in your home should be insulated with foam pipe insulation readily available at home improvement stores. The reason for this is that the insulation allows for the water to get hot faster, cutting down on the water that is wasted while you wait for it to heat up. Using a bucket to capture any potential waste water is recommended as well. Use that water that you capture to water plants. Again, a small step that can really add up, savings-wise.

The Good News Is... - ...faucet aerators are affordable!

Excellent Video that Goes Over Many Tips for Conserving Water

Save Water in the Bathroom - Small Efforts, Big Savings

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wikimedia commons

75 percent of home water consumption comes from the bathrooms, with 25 percent of this figure coming from the toilet. There are many tips that we can implement to lessen the amount of water we use while in the bathroom.

A four-minute shower uses about 20-40 gallons of water! Everyone in the household should take short showers so as not to waste too much water. Timers are a great help in teaching everyone how long a shower should be. Aim for four or five minutes, when possible. This can be challenging, but when you get accustomed to it, it isn't so bad.

Use a bucket in the shower for capturing water that would otherwise go down the drain when you are waiting for it to heat up and use the collected water to water plants and even add to the toilet tank after you flush, cutting down further on wasted water.

Check to make sure there are no leaks in the toilets of your home, which could be wasting a lot of water. If you can, purchase and install low-flow or low-flush toilets, which means they only use about two gallons to flush. If you can't just drop everything and purchase new toilets today, think about adding a brick to the tank to lessen the water in the tank. Another option is to put some stones into a 2-liter bottle, fill it up with water, and place it into the tank. You can also purchase and install adjustable toilet flappers. Refrain from using the toilet as a trash can and only flush it when necessary.

Turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth, which will save up to four gallons of water each time! If we learn to leave the water off, we would each be saving almost 3,000 gallons of water per year.

Take showers instead of baths whenever possible as this cuts down on water usage as well. It is also recommended that we turn the water off when we shower as well, which, I think, would be very difficult and COLD, but I suppose if you're dedicated enough it would be do-able.

Washing Dishes and Doing Laundry

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

There are likely just a few things you need to switch up when you are washing dishes and doing the laundry, and they are minor changes that really add up big time.

Opt to use the dishwasher instead of hand washing as this can save up to 40 percent of water over washing by hand. Only run the dishwasher when it is full and try to get out of the habit of rinsing off dishes before placing them into the dishwasher, unless they are super dirty, as this wastes a lot of water. Also, scrape off dishes into the trash in order to use the garbage disposal less often. The garbage disposal is a handy item, but it also happens to be a huge water guzzler.

When doing laundry, run the washer only when it is full and adjust the water setting to the least amount of water needed for that load. Ideally you should own a washer with an Energy Star rating of 4 because these washers automatically adjust the water level for each load and use 30 percent to 50 percent less water than a regular washer.

**It is also important to note that you should always opt to purchase recycled products for your home. Recycling an item requires way less water and energy to make than fabricating one from raw materials.**

10 Tips for Conserving Water

Conserving Water Outside Your Home

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Creative Commons - Click for website

In addition to saving water within your home, you can also put a huge dent in your water usage by changing some things you do outside.

- Instead of washing your car at home, which can waste large amounts of water and add harmful chemicals into the environment, consider having your car washed at a local car wash or washing your car with waterless car wash products.

- Refrain from using a hose to wash off your driveway and walkways. Instead, use a broom to sweep up debris.

-Mulch landscaping to keep the moisture locked in so that you don't have to water as often. Two to four inches of mulch is appropriate for trapping in the moisture.

-Remember that water you've collected in the shower, bath, and sinks while you were waiting for the water to heat up? Use that water that otherwise would have gone down the drain to water your plants, trees, flowers, and other landscaping.

-Consider using drip hoses that water very slowly instead of using too much water with a regular hose. Water with the drip hose in the evening or nighttime to cut down on the amount of water that is evaporated by the sun.

-Add organic material to your soil as this helps to improve the health of plants and also helps the soil absorb and retain moisture, cutting down on the frequency at which you have to water.

-Install a rain barrel to collect rain and use that water to water your lawn and landscaping. It is important to note, however, that mosquitoes LOVE water, so make sure you treat the water for mosquitoes.

Photo:, via Creative Commons
Photo:, via Creative Commons

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    • merfzel profile image

      merfzel 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      @aesta1: It is hard at times, just because of just plain forgetfulness :)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I wish I can be consistent.