Did you know that only 3 percent of the earth’s water is fresh water? It’s a vital yet limited natural resource. Consider this: turning on the faucet isn’t just about water usage; it takes energy to collect, purify and pump the water that makes its way to our homes. In addition, any water that goes down the drain needs to be treated, which also requires energy. Add in the energy needed to heat water for household use, and we can quickly see the environmental implications every time we turn on the tap. Read on for tips on how to reduce household water use.
1. Stop leaks before they turn into gallons. A dripping faucet can use 20 gallons of water a day, and a leaking toilet can use 90,000 gallons of water in a month! Fixing simple leaks can save an average of 70 pounds of CO2 per year.
2. Use less. Try these tips for using less water during everyday activities: Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving; use a bucket of water for cleaning; wash vegetables and fruits in a bowl of water instead of letting water from the faucet run over them; scrape dishes instead of rinsing before putting them in the dishwasher; use a broom for outdoor patio and sidewalk cleaning instead of a hose; reuse rinse water for household tasks like watering plants.
3. Fill it up. By running your dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full, you can save an average of 200 pounds of CO2 per year.
4. Lather and go. To limit bathroom water usage, try taking a four-minute power shower, and install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators. You can save an average of 350 pounds of CO2 annually.
5. Keep it clean. We can all better protect water supplies by not pouring chemicals, cleaners or medications down drains or toilets.