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Use Water More Wisely

The average American household uses 400 gallons of water per day. About 70 percent of that water is used indoors, with the bathroom being the largest consumer. Here are 20 ways you can help reduce water usage in your home.

1.Stop the drip. A leaky faucet that drips once per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers!

2.Upgrade your faucet. Choose a Water Sense faucet or aerator to reduce a sink’s water flow by 30 percent or more from the standard flow.

3.Wash wisely. Don’t run the water continuously when hand-washing dishes. Filling the sink with water and washing that way reduces water usage by 50 percent.

4.Skip the rinse. Don’t rinse dishes before loading them into the dishwasher and you can save about 10 gallons per load.

5.Run full. Wait until the dishwasher is full to run it and use the shortest cycle possible. The same goes for your washing machine.

6.Go high efficiency. Where traditional washing machines use up to 54 gallons of water per load, new water conserving models (front–loading or top–loading, non-agitator ones) use less than 27 gallons per load.

7.Turn off the tap. When brushing your teeth, or shaving, turn the water off when not actively rinsing. This can save as much as 200 gallons of water per month.

8.Go low-flow. Low-flow toilets use less than 1.5 gallons of water per flush, down from the 7 gallons of standard toilets.  

9.Shower better. Shorter showers use less water and less energy to heat that water. A  four-minute shower uses 20 to 40 gallons of water.

10.Drink up. Keeping a pitcher of water in the refrigerator saves time and water, instead of running the tap until it gets cold.

11.Slow thaw. Thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator overnight, rather than under running water. Even better, buy fresh, locally-sourced meat instead.

12.Don’t grind. Garbage disposals use gallons of water to grind up and flush away food waste. Start a compost pile and throw those veggie peels there. Bonus: Compost makes great fertilizer.

13.Create a drought-tolerant landscape. Xeriscape your yard, rather than planting a lawn.

14.Water sparingly. Lawns and gardens require only about 1 inch of water per week. Water in the morning to minimize evaporation.

15.Harvest the rain.  Add a rainbarrel to collect water and use that to keep your plants hydrated, instead of turning on the hose.

16.Time it. Add a timer to your sprinkler or irrigation system. Don’t run the sprinklers all day.

17.Drop the hose. Sweep driveways, sidewalks, gutters, and steps rather than hosing them clean.

18.Cover up. Put a cover on your pool to reduce evaporation. The average pool can lose a staggering 20,000 gallons a year to evaporation.

19.Embrace the bucket. Wash your car with water from a bucket rather than using a running hose. Even better, take the care to a commercial car wash that recycles water.

20.Use less electricity. It takes about 60 liters of water to produce enough energy to keep a single 60-watt lightbulb lit for 12 hours.  So, hit that switch!

It’s time to stop taking water for granted and instead conserve it as the precious commodity it is.

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