Save Hundreds of Gallons a Year!
Although many of us have constant access to clean, safe water, it’s something we often take for granted. With an increase in severe droughts in the U.S., as well as Europe, Asia and other locations around the world, practicing water conservation is becoming a necessity.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the average American family of four uses roughly 400 gallons of water a day, while according to Water.org, 750 million people (approximately 1 in 9 people) around the world do not have access to safe water.
Fresh water resources may seem inexhaustible to many of us, but only about 1% of the world’s water is actually fresh water. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why water conservation is so important.
Here are a few tips for reducing water consumption at home:
1. Turn your faucets off
Whether you’re rinsing dishes, brushing your teeth or washing your face, it’s important to break the habit of leaving your faucet running during these activities.
According to the EPA, bathroom faucets use about two gallons of water every minute that they’re left running. So remember to turn your faucets off while you go about your daily water-related routines, and you can help save hundreds of gallons of water per month.
Helpful tip: Make sure to fix your leaky faucets. Just one continuously dripping faucet can waste up to 20 gallons of water per day—or 7,300 gallons of wasted water a year!
2. Take shorter showers
Taking a shower in the morning can be the perfect way to wake up, and in the evening, it’s an amazing way to relax after a long day. Unfortunately, showering accounts for almost 17 percent of household indoor water use—roughly 40 gallons of water per day for the average family of four, not to mention the amount of energy required to heat and transport the water to your shower.
Helpful tip: Every minute that you spend in the shower uses approximately 2.5 gallons of water (for a standard showerhead). The average shower is a little over eight minutes long (according to the EPA), which averages to be about 20 gallons of water per family member. Try timing yourself in the shower with a kitchen or mobile phone timer set for 5 minutes (or less). By getting used to shorter showers, you can help conserve a great deal of water and energy.
3. Wash your clothes more efficiently
According to Energystar.gov, the average American family washes about 300 loads of laundry each year, which accounts for more than 20 percent of residential indoor water use.
If you’re using a front-loading washing machine, you’re using roughly 20 gallons of water per load, and if you’re using a top-loading washing machine, that amount could be doubled.
To save on water and energy, wash your clothes in full loads only and use cold water whenever possible. If you’re in the market for a new washer, look for an Energy Star–certified washer, as they can use up to 40 percent less water than standard washing machines.
By making these simple eco-friendly adjustments in your household, you can save an enormous amount of water and energy every year, all while helping the environment!
Can you think of any other tips for conserving water around your home? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Do you make efforts to conserve water in your home?
Forbes: 11 Ways To Save Water At Home
DrinkTap: Questions about tap water answered
Washington Post: Shower Waste Solutions
EPA: Shower Better
Global Drought Information System