- Shave down your shower; shaving 2-4 minutes off of your shower time saves about 4,000 gallons and $100/year, promoting water conservation.
- Treat yourself to washing less. Wash bathroom towels just once or twice a week; you’re clean when you dry off, so your towel just needs to be properly hung up to dry. Wait to wash your clothes until their dirty; the pants you wore to church on Sunday can go another round. Washing less conserves water and energy, reduces your use of detergent, and saves you money and time.
- Fill it up! Only run the dishwasher and washing machines on full loads on cold. In addition to running about half as many loads, you’ll save about $150/year in energy and water costs. Your clothes will thank you, too; the color and fabric hold up better in a cold wash than in hot water.
- Avoid using water to defrost items. Instead, refrigerate overnight. This saves water and energy; having frozen items in your refrigerator keeps its temperature colder, which means it has to run a little less to maintain its temperature.
- Act quickly to address water leaks. A sink that drips one drop a second wastes 3,000 gallons a year – or the equivalent of 800 showers. Learn more, including how to make basic repairs here.
- Want more tips on saving water? Check out the Water Footprint Calculator and a guide to Water Conservation at Home.
- Replace cases of bottled water with a reusable water bottle; this keeps hundreds of bottles out of the landfill and results in savings of about $500/year if you spend $10/week on bottled water.
- Worried about the quality of your water? Use a filter. Contrary to popular belief, bottled water is not necessarily cleaner or of higher quality than tap water; often bottled water is from a tap! See EPA’s brochure comparing bottled and tap water for more information.
- EPA recommends upgrading old sink faucets, shower heads, and toilets with WaterSense labeled models, which save water, and in some cases energy too.
- WaterSense sink faucets can reduce flow by 30% or more, without sacrificing performance, says the EPA.
- EPA explains that “The average family could save 2,900 gallons per year by installing WaterSense labeled showerheads. Since these water savings will reduce demands on water heaters, they will also save energy. In fact, the average family could save more than 370 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power a house for 13 days.” Learn more here.
- Replacing older toilets with WaterSense models reduces water flushed by 20-60%, saving the average family “nearly 13,000 gallons of water savings for your home every year! They could also save more than $110 per year in water costs, and $2,200 over the lifetime of the toilets.” Learn more from EPA here.
- Invest in rain barrels to capture water from your gutters and use that to water outdoor plants and gardens. This saves potable water and reduces your usage of treated water.
- Utilize drip lines for your garden, plants, and trees instead of a hose or water sprinkler. Drip lines are much more efficient at delivering water at a rate plants can utilize effectively.
Set a Goal: decide what makes sense for you – look at financial, environmental, and quality of life benefits:
- Financial savings: How much could you save if you used water thoughtfully and strategically?
- Environmental benefits: How much water could you conserve by changing your behavior and using low-flow faucets? By planting native plants and using rain barrels? Conserving water reduces demand on your local water supply, which helps to make your community more resilient in the face of drought and booming populations.
- Quality of life: How much time would you save if you only washed clothes and towels when dirty or didn’t have to water the yard every other day during the summer? What would you do instead?