Most of us don’t think about the amount of water we use, but excessive water consumption is a global crisis. At any given time, the U.S. Drought Monitor will show up to a dozen states afflicted by moderate to severe levels of drought. Lack of water also harms the planet in other ways: it increases environmental pollutants and puts 2 billion people in developing nations at risk for disease.
Whether you’re trying to save a few bucks or you want to make a difference, rolling back your water usage is the way to go. But limiting water doesn’t have to be painful. (Yes, you can still enjoy a hot shower!) These stress-free conservation hacks keep it simple.
In the bathroom
Water is costly because you pay for it to come into and leave your home. The toilet tank is a water guzzler, but you don’t need a low-flush toilet. Instead, try the Toilet Tank Bank to save nearly a gallon of water per flush.
In the kitchen
Good news: you can stop washing your dishes by hand. Dishwashers are designed to hold only 3.5 gallons of water per cycle, which is more eco-friendly than running the faucet. (But only run the dishwasher when it’s full!)
If your water bill is increasing, look no further than leaky faucets. Even a small drip from a single faucet can add up to over one hundred gallons of water annually.
When cooking, how often do you let the tap run as you wait for the temperature to change? Use a water bottle or an extra pot to collect valuable water for water plants or mopping up spills.
In the laundry room
Washing too often may seem like a foreign concept, but most of us have room for improvement. Jeans can be washed only once per week, and Real Simple suggests washing skirts and slacks after five to seven wears.
Switching to a high-efficiency washing machine is a great eco-friendly investment. Look for Energy Star certified models, which use only 13 gallons of water per load compared to the standard washer’s 23 gallons.
Before you turn on your hose, consider using rainwater instead. It’s safe for plants and contains fewer chemicals than groundwater. Install a rain barrel in your garden with this easy how-to video.
An at-home car wash won’t save you money. In fact, garden hoses without an automatic shutoff nozzle emits water at a rate of 10 gallons per minute! Commercial conveyor car washes use half that amount.
For more green tips, head to starthealthy.com/life