Since 2001, water consumption for an average family of four in Mecklenburg County has gone down from 11 Ccfs (8,228 gallons) per 30-day billing cycle to 7 Ccfs (5,236 gallons) per 30-day billing cycle. We attribute this to increased water conservation measures as well as the installation of more efficient appliances and irrigation systems.
So problem solved right? Well, not exactly. We can always do more and who doesn’t like a challenge? So besides the usual stuff like not running the tap while brushing your teeth or taking shorter showers, what other ways can we conserve water? If you can’t think of any, not to worry! We’ve got you covered with ideas for your bathroom and your kitchen.
Bathroom Conservation Ideas:
- Update your showerheads and faucets. Water-efficient showerheads and aerators for faucets can significantly reduce the amount of water you use. In fact, installing a water-efficient showerhead is one of the most effective water-saving steps you can take inside your house. Go to the EPA’s WaterSense website for more information.
- Take shorter showers. If everyone in the United States shortened their shower by one minute every day, we could save 85 billion gallons per year.
- Place a bucket in the shower to collect the water while it is heating up. Use the water on plants or to refill a flushing toilet.
- Toilets are not trash cans, only flush the toilet when necessary. This helps conserve water and helps reduce sewer overflows.
- Don’t leave the water running when brushing your teeth or shaving.
- Fix that leak! A faucet drip of two tablespoons a minute adds up to 105 gallons a week of water wasted. Question on fixing or checking for a leak? Check out our tips on fixing at-home leaks.
Kitchen Water Conservation Ideas
- Cook food in as little water as possible, this also helps retain foods nutrients.
- Run the dishwasher only when it is full and during off-peak hours for maximum savings.
- Dry scrape your dishes, the dishwasher will take care of the rest
- Use your disposal sparingly, it wastes water and puts stress on our sewer system
- Don’t forget an aerator for the kitchen faucet!
Laundry Water Conservation Ideas:
- Use the lowest water level setting on the washing machine for light or partial loads whenever possible.
- Use cold water as often as possible to save energy (which uses water) and conserve hot water for uses that cold water cannot serve.
General Home Ideas:
- Chuck the melted ice from your lunch to-go cup in a desk plant or house plant. [Not the soda, the melted ice. A little bit of sweet tea will be okay]
- Temporarily move houseplants outside in the rain. Water from the sky is free!
- Insulate hot water pipes to save energy and water. Remember water is an integral part of creating energy, and energy is necessary to treat drinking water. Conserving water conserves energy and vice versa. Check out our Energy and Water Nexus article for more information.
Have any other creative ways you conserve water? Let us know in the comments section and we will share them on Twitter.
Thanks to the Water Use It Wisely website for the tips.