By 2025, nearly 2 billion people will be living in areas under water stress conditions. It’s safe to say that water is steadily becoming a more precious resource than most assume.
It can be easy to forget about the importance of water conservation if clean water is always accessible. This is particularly the case for individuals who live in developed countries.
Nonetheless, being mindful of our water habits is essential to making fresh water available to everyone. Water conservation can also save money and positively impact the environment.
In this post, we’ll discuss the ways to save water for everyday use. Build these habits into your daily routine today!
1. Fix Leaking Faucets
A leaky faucet may seem perfectly minor when it comes to water conservation methods. However, a single faucet that drips once per second can waste up to five gallons of water a day–that equates to 2,082 gallons of water a year!
In some homes, it’s very common to experience multiple leaking faucets. This can double and even triple your annual water waste.
Some homeowners may not even be aware that their faucets are leaking. We recommend hiring a plumber to inspect all of your faucets and water pipes regularly to prevent and fix leaking faucets.
The same goes for outdoor faucets designed for lawn and garden use. It’s easy to overlook these pipes. Be sure to inspect them for drips, too!
2. Use a Dishwasher
Washing dishes by hand uses up to 3.5 times as much water as a dishwasher requires to effectively clean your kitchenware.
Many homeowners assume that appliances naturally use more energy and resources than “doing things by hand.” Yet dishwashers, particularly highly water-efficient models, can mean the difference between a massive water footprint and a lighter one.
If your kitchen does not already have a dishwasher, consider investing in a compact model designed to lower your water dependency. To truly reduce your water and energy footprint, prioritize models with an Energy Star.
Energy Star is an official designation for appliances that efficiently use energy and resources.
If you simply do not have room for a dishwasher, try to wash dishes by filling up a basin (or two) with soapy and clean water. Avoid turning on the faucet for rinsing washed dishes.
3. Be Mindful With Laundry Use
It’s easy to just toss a soiled garment into a washer and press “go,” especially if you need that single shirt for a party tonight. However, frequent washing can spike your water consumption, especially if you aren’t running full loads.
Practice mindful laundry habits. These include running your washer only when the load is full. This may be tricky for people who live alone or have smaller laundry needs, but the difference can be astounding.
Standard washing machines require approximately 27 gallons of water to run a single cycle. More efficient models can use as little as 14 gallons.
Using a standard washer three times a week would equate to nearly 4,000 gallons of water per year!
If you have an older washing machine, you may be using even more than this. Older models can require up to 40 gallons of water per cycle. Replacing dated washing machines with newer, efficient models may be the best solution in this regard.
Many efficient laundry machines also have an energy-saving or “eco” setting. Always opt for a setting like this to further diminish your water footprint.
4. Speed Up Your Showering Routine
Shortening your shower routine may just be the ticket to dramatically reducing water footprint in the home. While many of us love the luxury of a long, hot shower, particularly in colder months, frequent extended shower times can spike water usage.
Given the fact that most shower heads produce 2.5 gallons of water every minute, a 15-minute shower can use nearly 40 gallons of water. This is the same amount as required to run an older model washing machine!
Try shaving just a few minutes off of your showering routine or showering less frequently. Sometimes multitasking with hygiene tasks can help here, such as bathing your body while waiting for the conditioner to soak in.
If you shave, consider shaving with the water off. Only turn on the faucet when you require a rinse. Better yet, fill a small basin with water for shaving purposes.
It’s also possible to install a low-flow showerhead, which uses less than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Some converters can also pause shower streams once heated. Many homeowners rely on a shower timer, a waterproof device that tracks how long individual showers take.
5. Be Cautious of Waste
A lot of people toss excess waste into toilets, such as tissues, cigarette butts, or other detritus. The only thing that should be going down your toilet is toilet paper and human waste.
Additional waste can require multiple flushes, which can increase your water dependency. Given the fact that a single flush requires at least 2 gallons of water, this can be significant.
Be mindful of bathroom waste, reserving additional waste for trash cans, composting systems, or recycling.
Some people may be interested in installing a dual-flush toilet, which enables users to flush depending on the type of waste (solid or liquid). Because it takes less water to flush liquid waste, this can be an asset to homeowners seeking to conserve more water on a daily basis.
Lastly, it’s possible to install a composting toilet, which can require absolutely no water to operate. These also enable you to compost human waste rather than filling up a septic tank. Learn more about composting toilets here.
6. Turn off Water During Hygiene Rituals
It’s easy to get in the habit of letting the faucet run while brushing our teeth, washing our face, or shaving. This can waste at least 3 gallons of water a minute, which can add up if you like to brush your teeth for at least three minutes at a time.
Turn off the faucet during hygiene rituals, using running water only as necessary. We’ve already mentioned using a basin of water for shaving purposes. The same can go for face-washing.
You may wish to install aerators on all of your faucets, which function much like low-flow showerheads. These restrict faucet flow and can help conserve valuable gallons of water per minute.
Composting is one of the best water conservation methods available to every homeowner. Not only does it reduce overall home waste, but composting returns food scraps to the earth, where they can naturally biodegrade and replenish soil nutrients.
Composting is a more water-conscious alternative to using garbage disposals, too. While a garbage disposal may seem convenient, it can actually require a significant amount of water to operate. If you regularly flip that disposal switch, you could be wasting multiple gallons of water a day.
To start a compost system, simply reserve all food scraps and other compostable materials in a bucket by your kitchen sink. You can purchase a special composting container designed to keep fumes at bay if you wish.
Dispose of compost in your backyard or garden, in an aerated composting device, or at a local composting service. Composting in this regard requires absolutely zero water.
Plus, you can compost more than you realize. Paper, tissues, matches, dryer lint, fish, eggshells, and even hair can all end up in your compost pile.
8. Use Grey Water
Grey water refers to used water in the home, such as water used for a shower or in a laundry machine cycle. This water is frequently wasted in most homes, but it’s possible to use this grey water for other purposes.
Install a grey water system to reroute otherwise wasted water to your lawn, garden, or flowers. Some homeowners find value in a rain catchment system, which collects rainwater for recycling purposes.
It’s not always legal to use grey water for recycling, so check with your county or city’s building and conservation regulations before you do so.
Also, if you are rerouting greywater to your plants, be sure that you are using only biodegradable, plant-friendly soaps and detergents. Anything otherwise could send toxic chemicals and synthetic materials back into the earth.
9. Be Efficient with Lawn Watering
Your lawn does not require watering on a daily basis. Water your lawn and outdoor plants sparingly, and be cautious when installing sprinkler systems.
Many sprinklers end up showering patios and pavement with half of their water, wasting their output by at least a quarter. Others may be left on for hours at a time, soaking lawns past their needs and increasing your water footprint.
Use sprinklers only as needed. Some homeowners may wish to invest in an efficient lawn irrigation system to cut down on water dependency.
Final Thoughts: Ways to Save Water
Water is a valuable resource and a building block for every lifestyle. It’s essential to be mindful of water use in the home in order to keep this resource as accessible as possible.
Some of the best ways to save water involve being more mindful of water use itself. Turn off faucets during hygiene rituals, take shorter showers, and choose a dishwasher rather than handwashing.
Start an in-home composting system or install an efficient irrigation system in your lawn. Be conscious of waste habits and consider a dual-flush or composting toilet system.
At Discount Filters, we care about your ability to experience clean water. If you want to improve your home’s water quality, check out our different water filters by type.