We have discussed the drought in the last three articles. The fact that droughts occur on this planet—and sometimes hit close to home—means we should be very appreciative of water.
Although it seems as though most of the world is covered by water, there’s actually not much, and even less that is fresh water. That’s why we should already be conserving water, but if we’re not, the time to start is right now.
Whether you live in a city, town or country, you have the power to help the planet. Two approaches should be taken to conserve water at home. One is to make your use of water more efficient. The other is to check for and make sure all your water-related equipment is working properly.
Please think twice before pouring perfectly good water down the drain. It can be used to water your plants or garden. If it’s leftover water from cooking, especially potatoes, you can use it to make soup or gravy with extra flavor and nutrients.
AN EFFICIENT HOME
Check all faucets and fix all leaks. A mere drop per second wastes an astonishing amount of water/year: 2,700 gallons in fact! Simple tools from your local hardware store can have you doing this yourself without too much effort or expense. Plus you’ll save money on your water bill while conserving water for the greater good.
Install water-saver appliances
- When it comes time to replace water-related appliances, choose models that save energy and water. A WaterSense label guarantees products are endorsed by the EPA.
- Consider an air-to-air model heater or air-conditioner which will save water over a water-to-air type.
It may come as no surprise to hear that half of all indoor water use happens in this room. Much pure water simply runs helplessly down the drain.
- After being maligned in a Seinfeld episode, it may not sound too appealing, but think again about a low-flow shower head.
- Although showers can be therapeutic, reducing your shower time can save loads of water. Limiting your shower time to five minutes could save 20 to 40 gallons of water daily.
- Another way to save water while showering is to turn off the water while lathering up and shampooing, then turn it back on to rinse.
- Use this same technique while brushing teeth, washing your face or shaving. No reason to have the water gushing out during the whole process, but only when necessary for wetting and rinsing.
- Place a bucket in the shower for catching excess water which you can use, possibly to clean the bathroom.
- Filling your bathtub only half-way is another way to conserve water at bath time.
- Does your toilet leak? A quick trick to find out: put food coloring in the tank. If the color shows up in the toilet bowl in 30 minutes, you have a leak. This can be easily fixed with a new flapper.
- Clean fruits and vegetables in a bowl of water instead of running water.
- Operate the dishwasher only when full, and try the “light wash” feature. The average dishwasher should function just fine on this setting.
- Don’t let the water run continuously while hand-washing dishes. Fill two sinks, one with soapy water to wash, the other with clean water to rinse.
- Resist the temptation to use running water for thawing. The safest way to thaw frozen foods is overnight in the fridge. Microwaving is also a good method of thawing. By the way, thawing foods, especially meat, by leaving it sit out at room temperature for hours is not a safe practice.
- Either load your washing machine to its full capacity, or set it for a smaller load which uses less water.
If you take away only one thing from this article, I hope it is this: Every day, do at least one thing to help conserve water.