Water is something we all take for granted. Being wasteful with water not only hurts your wallet, it also harms the environment. After all, water is one of our most precious resources and we can’t renew it – when the world’s water is gone, its gone!
Anyone can lower their water footprint with a few easy life hacks. Here are some of the best ways to save water at home.
Top 19 Ways To Save Water
1. Buy Energy Efficient Washers and Dishwashers
Make sure any appliances that use water are energy efficient. New dishwashers that are Energy Star certified will use only half the water – from 10 gallons per load to 5.5 gallons per load.
2. Think About How You Use Your Dishwasher
Do you always rinse your dishes in the sink, place them in the dishwasher and set it to normal setting to wash? Pre-rinsing and using a normal cycle is cleaning overkill, and it’s using unnecessary gallons.
If you rinse your dishes, use a lighter wash cycle. Or skip the rinse and use the normal cycle on your dishwasher.
3. Wait Until Your Sink Is Full To Wash Dishes
Don’t wash every single dish right after you use it. It makes more sense to wait and wash several at a time. That way, you aren’t running the water for every separate dish. Instead, opt to wash your dishes with a sink full of soapy water and a separate sink full of rinse water.
Remember not to let the water run continuously when doing dishes!
4. Don’t Overfill Those Pans
Read product instructions to find out how much water a certain food requires to cook. Most of the time, we fill up pans when all we need is enough to cover the food as it boils. Be conservative in your cooking water – and don’t forget to save it for the garden when you’re done!
5. Wash and Thaw Without Running Water
Washing fruits and veggies under a running kitchen faucet uses a lot of water, as does putting frozen items under running water to thaw. Both tasks can be accomplished more efficiently by using a pan of cold water to soak the items.
6. Only Wash Full Loads of Dishes or Clothes
Speaking of messes, you should only start your dishwasher or clothes washer when you have a full load. That means that you’ll do less loads overall and save a ton of water over the course of a year.
7. Think About Cooking Vegetarian
Do you know how much water a single cow drinks? Up to 30-gallons per day. Once you add in the water needed to grow the cow’s feed, slaughter the cow, process the meat, keep it cool and cook it, you’re looking at a whole lot of water.
Eating even one vegetarian meal per week can save over 170,000 gallons of water per year.
8. Invest in a Water Pitcher and a Reusable Water Bottle
When you’re filling a glass of water from the tap, you’ve probably often let the tap run for a short time before you’ve gotten a nice, cold glass. You have probably also cracked open a cold water bottle or two over the years.
Both of the above habits waste water – by letting it run down the drain and by adding to the demand for plastic, which requires a lot of water to produce.
Instead, put a pitcher of filtered water in your fridge for when you need a drink. Pour it into a reusable water bottle. You’ll save water and get the benefit of drinking filtered cold water.
9. Install Low Flow Faucets and Showerheads
You can halve your water usage if you ensure you are using a low-flow showerhead. The same goes for using a low-flow faucet with an aerator installed. It’s a simple way to save water without making any changes to your routine.
10. Check for Leaking Pipes
This is a silent money waster. If you if you live in an old home or a home with signs of water damage, it’s especially important that you do a once over of all your piping to make sure it’s sound. That includes under all sinks, too!
11. And While You’re At It, Insulate Those Pipes
Ever wait around for the shower or faucet to warm up? Think of all the cold water being wasted. Insulating pipes can reduce the amount of time it takes for the water to warm up.
12. Still Waiting For Warm Water? Save the Lukewarm Stuff
If you are running water and waiting for it to warm, save that water in a bucket. It can be used in the garden, to wash the car, or a variety of general household chores.
13. The Garden Also Loves Leftover Cooking Water
Another good idea for your garden is to use leftover cooking water. Not only will you be less wasteful, you’ll give your garden extra nutrients from the water you use to boil pasta, veggies, and other foods.
14. Water Your Garden and Grass Early in the Morning or Late in the Evening
If you are watering your garden or lawn, don’t do it during the heat of the day! The direct sun and higher temperatures will cause a lot of the water to evaporate before it can soak in and do any good. Try to water your garden before or after the sun is at its peak.
15. Consider Using A Hose Over Sprinklers
Many of us set our automatic sprinklers on a timer and forget about them. It’s convenient but very inefficient. Using a hose and a reminder on your phone can save a ton of water. You can water the lawn until it’s wet, not until the timer goes off. You can also adjust for rainy days and wet or dry patches.
16. Mulch Your Garden to Minimize Water Evaporation
It’s strange to think that water used on plants is wasted, but that can be the case if the water doesn’t actually go to the plants.
The sun can evaporate more water from surface soil than you think, so be sure to add mulch. This will allow water to seep into the soil and trap it out of the sun’s reach.
17. Don’t Use a Hose to Clean Outdoors
Nothing’s easier than giving your patio a nice hose down. But how many gallons of water does that take? Hundreds! Use a broom to clean outside, and only use a hose to quickly spray a mess when absolutely necessary. Better yet, use your collected shower water for the job.
18. Swap Your Bath for a Short Shower
You’ve heard how much water showers use (up to five-gallons per minute). But in comparison to a bath, a quick shower still uses less water than filling up the standard 70-gallon bathtub. A five-minute shower only uses around 25-gallons of water.
19. Don’t Let Water Run While You Do Your Routine
You’re probably aware that you should shut off the water while you brush your teeth, but let’s take it a step further- shut off the water while you lather your hands, wash your hair, and shave your face and body.
Saving Water FAQs
What Is The Most Important Use Of Water?
Without water to drink, all life would cease to exist, so clearly, drinking water is the most important use of water.
Aside from that, water is needed to grow the crops that we use for food and animal feed, so the agricultural use of water is also crucial to humans.
Having clean water also has other important domestic uses, including:
- Washing our bodies (this includes showers and hand washing)
- Cooking food
- Flushing toilets
- Cleaning our clothes
- Washing our dishes
- Keeping homes clean
- Watering ornamental gardens and landscaping
- Recreational uses, like swimming pools and hot tubs
An important and often unseen use for water, is the water needed to produce items. Millions of gallons of water are required to manufacture basic items made from plastic, paper, metal, glass, and other materials. Without water, a lot of these processes would not be able to occur.
What Are Some Ways We Waste Water?
There are two types of water waste: purposeful and inadvertent.
Purposeful water waste comes from things you control directly. This could include letting the water run while you brush your teeth or wash the dishes, and leaving your sprinklers on for longer than necessary.
Inadvertent water waste is the result of inefficient things around the house. For example, a newer, water-saving shower head can save up to 40-gallons per day. A new toilet can save up to 1.5-gallons of water per flush.
Make sure that all appliances and water consuming items in your home are water efficient.
How Much Water Does A 20-Minute Shower Use?
The amount of water used by a shower depends on the shower head you have installed in your home. If it’s an older model, it can use up to five gallons per minute. Newer, water-saving shower heads use closer to two gallons per minute.
This means that a 20-minute shower can use anywhere from 40 to 100 gallons!
What Is Save Water, Save Life?
This is an idea that was created by the Ken Foundation Society, a Humanism and Social Awareness group. They created a blog post that focused on the importance of water to human life.
When we save water, we are saving the lives of those with limited access to potable water sources.