garden hose water

8 Easy Ways To Conserve Water (And Money)

Eight exciting and simple methods to save water!

by Anne Middleton, on January 22nd, 2016

During the winter months, when rain is pouring down all over the city and saturating the ground, it is puzzling as to why conserving water is so important. Unfortunately, no matter where you reside, the supply of water is not limitless.

Fresh, clean water is a limited resource. The truth is that less than 1% of all the water on Earth can be used by people. The rest is salt water or is permanently frozen and we can't drink it, wash with it or use it to water plants.

It is a simple (perhaps morbid) fact that water equals life. Conserving water now assures future generations will have enough clean water to live a healthy existence. It is essential that every single one of us find efficient and effective ways to conserve water.

Here are eight exciting and simple methods to conserve water, especially at home:

1. Leaks:  When was the last time you checked your home’s faucets, toilets, garden hoses and pipes for leaks? A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste up to 20 gallons of water per day. Dripping hoses or plumbing outside the house may not be as visible, but they can be just as wasteful as water leaks indoors. Make a conscious effort to examine these areas on a regular basis and keep your home “drip-free.”

2. Respect the toilet: Don't use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. Every time you flush a cigarette butt or other small bit of trash, five to seven gallons of water is wasted. This adds up to almost 200 gallons a month.

3. Shower time: The old joke on the best way to save water is to “shower with a friend.” But an even more efficient and resourceful method is to install water-saving shower heads.  This is no longer a complicated or expensive process.  And although that warm, pulsating stream of water creates a wonderful way to start or end your day, the fact is that these long, hot showers can use five to ten gallons every unneeded minute. Experts state that even a four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.

4. Turn off the water: After you wet your toothbrush, there is no reason to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing. Turn the water off while you brush your teeth and save over two gallons a minute.   And be aware not to let the water run continuously from the kitchen faucet while you clean vegetables. Just rinse them in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water.

5. Rinse your razor in the sink: This tip is especially important since most men shave daily.  Simply fill the sink with a few inches of warm water. This will rinse your razor just as well as running water, with far less wasted water.

6. Full loads only please

• Automatic dishwashers and clothes washers should be fully loaded for optimum water conservation. This single action could save 300 to 800 gallons a month.  Luckily, these days, most makers of dishwashing soap recommend not pre-rinsing dishes which is a big water savings.

• Did you know the permanent press cycle usually requires an extra 5 gallons for the extra rinse? And it makes sense to replace old clothes washers since New Energy Star rated washers use 35 - 50% less water and 50% less energy per load.

7. Take it outside: Drought-resistant plants, lawns and shrubs can effortlessly conserve water at your home. Many beautiful bushes thrive with far less watering than some other species. If you group plants according to their watering needs, your ability to conserve water will increase exponentially.

But even if your home includes a grassy area, the Los Angeles DWP believes that the average homeowner uses more than four times the actual amount of water needed to keep a lawn healthy and green.  

8. Magic mulch: By placing a solid layer of mulch around trees and all your greenery, you will have a simple technique of keeping moisture from leaving the soil and minimize the need to water plants frequently.

Conserving water at home comes naturally when everyone in the family is aware of its importance, and parents take the time to teach children some of these simple water-saving methods.  Take time to help save this precious resource and maintain the health of the earth and all its inhabitants. Our survival may depend on it.