February 9, 2017

The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average American family of four uses about 400 gallons of water per day, and 70 percent of that is used indoors. The fact is that a lot of this water is wasted through overuse or leaks. This can lead to a lot of money thrown “down the drain.” Here are a few ways to save water and subsequently; money.

Check all pipes and faucets for leaks

Leaky pipes and faucets are one of the biggest contributors to water waste every year. Make sure to check all around your house for wet spots and puddles to avoid paying more for your water bill each month.

FACT: According to National Geographic, leaks contribute to about 14% of your average water use each day.

Take shorter showers

Showers can be a very comforting oasis, especially in the early morning. But, several gallons of water are used each moment you spend in there.

TIP: Use a kitchen timer to make sure you are only taking 3-5 minute showers. Your wallet will thank you.

Install a low-flow shower head

Switching to a more modern and efficient shower head can save you water and money. Look into investing in a water-wasting solution and start saving today.

FACT: Energy.gov reports that installing low-flow showerheads can save you up to 60% each year.

Don’t leave water running while brushing teeth, washing hands etc.

Several gallons of water go down the drain each time you brush your teeth and/or wash your hands. Instead of letting it run, turn off the water while you are brushing and washing.

TIP: Use a cup to moderate the amount of water you use while you brush your teeth. Instead of letting it run, dab you toothbrush out and use a small cup to rinse your mouth.

Wash full loads of clothes and dishes

Your dishwasher and washing machine are two of the biggest users of water in the house. To avoid having to use them too often, make sure to do full loads to not waste water. Good news is there are many washers that have a light wash option. Also, most modern washing machines (clothes and dishes) have an eco option when it comes to cycles. Another option is to clean food and dishes in sitting water instead of running it. Before you put dishes into the dishwasher, do not pre-rinse dishes. This uses more water than needed, and most dishwashers don’t require pre-rinsing.

TIP: Stay away from the permanent press cycle. This cycle uses more water than any other option.

Store cold water in the refrigerator

Keeping cool drinking water in the refrigerator instead of waiting for tap water to get cold can save lots of time, money and water.

TIP: You can also use this water for watering plants so your hose is not constantly running while in use.

Minimize garbage disposal use

The garbage disposal uses a large amount of water to be able to run. It can be easy to just put waste down the drain, but it requires more water to break down.

TIP: Go with throwing things away in the garbage can or compost heap instead of relying too heavily on the garbage disposal.

Check toilet for malfunctions.

Make sure to check your toilets all over the house to avoid costly water bills. If there is any liquid on the floor or running alongside the outer rim of the toilet, you may have a leak. Also check and see if your toilet handle is sticking. This can be another warning sign of a leak.

TIP: To check your toilet for leaks, drop about 10 drops of food coloring in the tank. Come back later to check up on the toilet. What you find may tell you something. If when you come back the water in the bowl is tinted with color, then you have a leak.

Don’t throw things away in the toilet

Each time you flush the toilet, it uses water. Some toilets are not modern, so they are using a lot more than others. While flushing in itself uses a lot of water, flushing non-compatible things can result in damaged pipes and plumbing.

TIP: Invest in a low-flush toilet and pair with this practice to achieve maximum water conservation.

Thaw in the microwave

Thawing food with warm/hot water can use a large amount of water, especially if it is running continuously. Go with the microwave for a much more eco-friendly option.

TIP: Another great water saving tip is to pour some vinegar on whatever you need to thaw. This lowers the freezing temperature and aids in breaking down the food.

Install aerators on faucets

Using a faucet aerator can help you save water and money without having to do anything. An aerator puts tiny air bubbles into the flow, resulting in less water use overall.

TIP: Faucet aerators come in different types. For rooms that need more water output, such as the kitchen, installing higher GPM (gallons per minute) aerators would be best.

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