Water & How Not to Waste It
- Raise your hand if you are guilty of the following:
- Running the tap at your sink while you are brushing your teeth?
- Brushing your teeth or putting your contacts in while your shower is running?
- Leaving your kitchen sink faucet running over meat to thaw?
I could go on. Trust me, I’m guilty as charged of all of the above. Did you know that running your sink while brushing your teeth can waste up to 4 gallons or water? Did you know that one flush of the toilet can use up to 3 gallons of water? Today, we are using approximately 127% more water than Americans did in 1950. 127% more, let that sink in for a second. Last week, we discussed some ways that you can conserve water outdoors, but how can you conserve water indoors?
Replace Old, Non-Energy Efficient Appliances & Fixtures
Last summer, we replaced both toilets in our home due to age as well as necessity. Prior to replacement, we saw our water bill running about $60-$70 each month, but once we replaced them we starting seeing some savings. It’s a great feeling to know that not only are we saving money, but we’re conserving water as well. Older model toilets can use 3-4 gallons of water per flush which adds up both money wise and waster water wise. If it’s time, you may also want to consider upgrading to a more water efficient washing machine. If you upgrade to an Energy Star approved machine, you can save up to 15-20 gallons of water per load which will also save you money! While you’re upgrading, you may want to also consider upgrading your dishwasher to an Energy Star approved model which can save up to 8 gallons of water per cycle.
If you’re not able to replace your appliances, you can save water in other ways. For example, when doing laundry, wash full loads instead of half loads or cut back to doing laundry only once per week instead of three times per week. Also, let your dishwasher do the work for you. On average, a dishwasher will use about 10 gallons of water per load which is the same amount of water that is used if you let your faucet run for five minutes.
Be Water Aware
Raise your hand if you like to take a nice 10-15 minute shower in the morning. Yeah, me too. I’ve been known to pull off a shower in less than 5 minutes if I absolutely have to, but who likes to – especially at 5am! However, if I’m going to be water smart this summer, I need to lay off of the 10 minute showers because I could conserve up to 2.5 gallons of water per minute. I could also save an additional gallon or two of water by changing out my showerheads for more water efficient models. Another way to save water is by turning your sink faucet on only when absolutely necessary. If you run the faucet only when you’re ready to rinse your hands or mouth, you can save 2.5 gallons of water per minute. If you’re looking to save water in your kitchen or at your bathroom sink faucets, you can install an aerator which will reduce the flow of water and save up to a gallon of water per minute. Don’t worry about the water pressure as aerators utilize air to maintain a good water pressure.
Check for Leaks
We’ve stressed leaks in past blog posts because of the damage they can do to your home, but what about the damage that they can do to your water bill? A customer contacted us earlier this week to schedule for toilet repairs as she can hear them running every now and then. What she didn’t know was that the running noises she was hearing was actually a leak that has now cost her $500 on her water bill. Think about the water that was being wasted as well. We recommend to regularly check for leaks at your toilets and around your home as leaks can waste hundreds to thousands of gallons of water per month as well as cost you money that you would likely want to use for other things. In addition to checking for leaks, we also recommend knowing where your water shut off valve is located just in case you ever need it in an emergency or if you want to shut the water off to your home while you’re on vacation.
We hope these simple tips can help you and your family not only conserve water, but also save money. Next week, we’re going to look at creating a rain barrel and discuss how this simple creation can help you conserve water and save money. If you have some tips on conserving water or saving money that haven’t been mentioned, we’d love to hear them! You can reach out to us any time via our Facebook or Twitter pages, or you can contact us direct via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you