Around the Home
- Check for drippy faucets: Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. Drips add up. Just one drop per second adds up to 2,700 gallons a year wasted!
- Washing dishes: Only use the dishwasher when fully loaded.
- Water temperature: When adjusting water temperature, keep the flow of water as low as possible to balance the temperature.
- Making use of extra water: Never put water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering a plant or garden, or for cleaning.
- Washing: Consider reuse towels or other items prior to washing.
- Laundry: Wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine.
- Save water and energy: Set your washing machine to use cold water rather than hot or warm water.
- Look for the Label: The average family spends $1,100 per year in water costs. The WaterSense label will help you identify high-efficiency products, homes, and programs.
In the Kitchen
- Steaming vegetables: Use water left-over from steaming vegetables as a soup base, or let it cool and pour on plants in your garden as they can use the nutrients, too!
- Thawing frozen foods: Defrost overnight in the refrigerator or if needed the same day, in a microwave or in a bowl of water, not under running water.
- Cooking: Never use any pan than is larger than necessary for the meal you are cooking.
- Ice cubes: If you accidentally drop an ice cube, don’t throw it in the sink, put it in a houseplant.
- Hand washing dishes: Fill one sink with soapy water and quickly rinse under a slow-moving steam of water from the faucet.
- Washing produce: Wash produce in a bowl of water rather than under running water.
- Garbage disposal: Make minimum use of a garbage disposal, and put non-meat food scraps into a composter. Your city may have a program in place to provide you with a low cost composting system.
In the Bathroom
- Showering: Take shorter showers and install low-flow shower heads. Look for the models that allow you to cut-off the flow without adjusting the temperature knobs. A lot of water is wasted when you are trying to get just the right temperature.
- Taking a bath: Close the drain prior to turning on and adjusting the temperature. Only fill tub 1/3 full.
- Using the bathroom sink: Brush teeth while water heats up for shaving or washing face.
- Greywater: Have a plumber re-route your “greywater” (leftover water from washing machines, shower and baths) into the garden where plants will appreciate it. Check city and county codes first in case they have specific rules to follow
- Toilets: replace handles if they tend stick in the running position. Install a low-flow or dual-flush toilet. Check for toilet tank leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear within 30 minutes. Check the toilet for worn out, corroded or bent parts. Most replacement parts are inexpensive, readily available and easily installed. (Flush as soon as test is done, since food coloring may stain tank.)
Big Indoor Water Saving Fixes
- Look for hidden water leaks: Read your water meter before and after a two hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.
- Hot water: Consider installing an instant water heater for your kitchen sink so you don’t have to let water run while it heats up.
- Pipes: Insulate your water pipes. You’ll get hot water faster and avoid wasting water while it heats up.
- Water softening systems: Install water softening systems only when necessary. Save water and salt by running the minimum amount of regenerations necessary to maintain water softness. Turn softeners off while on vacation.
- Certified Professionals: Consult with a plumbing professional, and look for the WaterSense label when considering a new toilet, faucet, or showerhead, you could increase your home’s water efficiency.
- Understand your Water Bill: First Step to practice water conservation is to understand how much water you use. Review your next water bill and use the WaterSense steps to understand your water usage.