Water is integral to our everyday lives. Not only do our bodies need water to function properly, we also use it for many daily tasks like personal hygiene, cooking and cleaning. But the Earth's water supply is finite, and it continues to shrink every year. California has been experiencing the worst drought in history, and many other communities are also suffering from harsh dry spells. Even if the area you live in isn't under strict water usage rules, it's still good practice to save water. Not only is this good for the environment, but it's also good for your wallet. Here are 10 ways that you can cut down on water consumption in your home.
1. Check for Leaks
A silent water waster is leaky pipes. This also goes for dripping faucets. If your faucet is dripping at the rate of one drop per second, you're going to waste about 2,700 gallons per year. Check every pipe on your property every so often to make sure they're air tight. One easy way to see if you're losing water is to read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter doesn't read the same, you've got a leak.
2. Turn the Faucet Off
If you're not turning the faucet off while you brush your teeth, washing your face or shaving, you're wasting a ton of water. Fill up the basin a bit if you need some hot water during your shave.
3. Get a New Toilet
You can replace parts of your toilet that are corroded or worn out (and thus leaking), but that doesn't stop the machine from using gallons of water in the tank every time you flush. Check out what Jenni Pulos, from Bravo's Flipping Out, has to say about the #WhatTheFlush campaign she's a part of:
4. Reuse to Reduce
This one's a pretty simple idea: Don't put water down the drain if there's another use for it, like watering plants or cleaning.
5. Insulate Your Water Pipes
Just like insulating your house keeps it warmer (which in turn means you don't need to turn the thermostat up as much), insulating your water pipes will help you get hot water faster, which means you're wasting less while waiting for your water to warm up in the shower or faucet.
6. Be Strategic When It Comes to Lawn Care
Having a beautiful lawn is something that homeowners take pride in. But it's very easy to waste water in the maintenance of your piece of land. As a general rule, lawns only need watering every five to seven days in the summer, but if it rains you might not need to water for up to two weeks. Planting native shrubs, ground covers, trees and grasses can also help. If you have sprinklers, regularly check that they are operating properly and aren't leaking or going off when not needed (like when it rains).
7. Collect Rain Water
It doesn't take much to install a rain barrel in your backyard, and that water can then be used for watering plants, washing your car or outdoor cleaning. It's all about reduce, reuse, recycle!