5 Ways to Use less Water
The water bill isn’t usually the steepest one that you have to pay, but it adds up. That is especially true during the summer, and for those who live in arid climates. However, when it comes to saving water, many of us instantly think that there are major sacrifices involved.
As in, lifestyle disrupting changes that most of us probably aren’t willing to make. However, you can change your habits without inconveniencing yourself. Try these fives strategies to cut back on your water use.
Low-flow devices, which, as the name connotes, slow the speed of water traveling from your faucet or showerhead. These gadgets have gotten a bad rap because no one enjoys their water trickling out; quite the opposite, most of us prefer good water pressure. While low-flow fixtures in the days of yore might have created an undesirable effect, technology has improved and now you won’t miss those wasteful water-gushing versions.
Install a faucet aerator on any of your sinks that lack them. Not only do these handy little devices save water, but they also cut down on splashing, which means less time spent wiping down the counter. Invest in a low-flow showerhead as well. Don’t worry about losing water pressure-many of the new low-flow options deliver plenty of pressure, and can even provide extra special settings like “rainforest” and “message,” if you are into that kind of thing.
Get Hot Water On-Demand
You know the drill: turn the shower on, and then spend a few minutes brushing your teeth while you wait for the water heater to kick in. In the meantime, you waste gallons and gallons of water. No, we’re not asking you to jump into a freezing cold shower for the sake of the environment, but there are a couple of ways to speed up the hot water delivery process.
Replace your old tank heater with a new on-demand or tankless water heater. You’ll enjoy the instant hot water at the faucet or shower, so there will be no excuse for dallying. What’s the difference? Tank heaters sit around all day inefficiently heating water just in case you decide you need it.
And it still takes them forever to deliver. Tankless heaters, on the other hand, only provide hot water when you need it. Almost magically, they heat the water instantly. You can also install a point-of-use heater in your kitchen or bathroom for even faster results.
Flush Your Toilet
Yeah, we’re a little grossed out by the whole “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” movement, too. Flushing your toilet does use a lot of water, but you can cut down on that amount by making sure that your toilet was manufactured after 1994. Just lift up the lid and look at the date imprinted beneath.
Toilets made before that date use vastly greater amounts of water per flush: think over three gallons. However, newer low flush toilets must use less than 1.6 gallons per flush. There are more eco-friendly options that use even less water per flush. And let’s face it; you aren’t going to cut back any of your toilet use, but you might as well make
Sure all your models are up to date.
Take Advantage of “Free” Water
What if I told you there a free source of water and that using it helps the environment? Have I got your attention?
Okay, but now you might feel a little silly: its rain. Normally, rain just falls onto your house and yard and drains away or is absorbed back into the earth, and the cycle begins again. However, you can capture this excess rainwater and use it for many purposes: flushing your toilets, doing laundry and even watering your yard.
Rainwater collection systems can be as simple as a barrel that collects water dripping from your roof gutters, or much more sophisticated and complex. Of course, rainwater is not fit for drinking, but some systems can clean it up quite a bit and make it suitable for many household uses.
Green Your Landscaping Strategy
Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to spend time standing in the yard with a water hose, moving those sprinklers around or, if you are lucky enough, programming your sprinkler system so it doesn’t click on when you’re out picking up the paper? Choose native plants with which to landscape your yard.
I know those palm trees are pretty, but unless you live in California or a few other climates, they probably will need a lot of extra care and maintenance to survive. Instead, do some research and find attractive plants that actually thrive in your climate, and you’ll find that you have to water them little to not at all.