Facing the worst drought in recent memory, many Californians are looking for cost-effective ways to conserve water without making dramatic lifestyle changes or huge financial investments. When it comes to conserving water, even a little effort can go a long way! Did you know that by making a change as simple as running a dishwasher or laundry machine only when it’s completely full, the average American family can save over 1000 gallons of water per year? Here are some other easy and fast ways that you can reduce your water consumption today!
1. Turn that tap off! Avoid leaving any stream of water running for longer than absolutely necessary. The average American uses over 100 gallons of water per month while brushing their teeth and shaving. By turning the tap off while you brush and using a small cup of water instead, you can reduce your consumption by up to 90%!
2. Inspect your home for leaks – both indoors and out. A faucet or garden hose that drips occasionally may not seem like a big deal, but it can waste over 300 gallons of water per month! By keeping up on regular maintenance in your home, you can avoid surprises in your utility bill and conserve water at the same time.
3. Try composting. Instead of washing food scraps down the garbage disposal, try collecting them in a compost bucket and using it to nourish your garden. It will help your plants retain moisture and keep water from running down the drain unused – it’s win-win!
4. Keep your showers short. Try using the “soap and save” method. This method requires you to turn the water off while you lather up. It will speed up your time in the shower dramatically and lower your consumption by almost two thirds!
5. Reuse boiling water. Water that has been used to cook pasta, potatoes, or vegetables can be reused in other dishes! Leftover water from boiled vegetables can be used to make delicious soups and starchy water left after cooking potatoes or pasta is great for making sauces.
6. Keep an eye on your laundry. Try to reuse towels and sheets for a longer time between washing them to cut back on large loads of laundry. Check your machine’s settings to ensure that you’re always using an appropriate amount of water for the size of your load.
7. Be mindful while washing your car. Rather than heading to the car wash to use a pressure washer or automatic system, try washing your car in the driveway with a bucket of soapy water and a sponge. A spray-type attachment for your garden hose is ideal, so you can control your water consumption more easily.
8. Wash produce in a bowl instead of the sink. This way, you can save leftover water and use it to water your plants.
9. Collect unused water and recycle it. Try watering your plants, filling your pet’s water dish, or even filling ice cube trays with cool water collected while your shower or dishwater is warming up. Collect unused water in a pitcher and keep in your fridge for use whenever you need!
10. Get Creative! Pay attention to how often you notice unused water being wasted in your home. You’ll be surprised at how much water you save just by actively searching for creative ways to recycle the water you’re already using!