For those who live in the southwestern United States, water consumption is probably already top of mind. But just because we cringe each month when we receive our water bill, doesn’t necessarily mean we’re doing all we can to conserve that precious resource. Here are ten easy, painless ways to conserve water that won’t interfere with our personal hygiene.
1) Use foam soap. This type of soap has enough liquid in it that you can actually scrub your hands before adding water. Once you are finished, simply turn on the water to rinse.
2) Shave at the sink instead of in the shower. Rather than shaving while in the shower, take care of this necessary grooming task at the sink. Fill the sink about 1/3 full with water. Use that water to rinse your razor. As you can imagine, this save gallons of water.
3) Turn off the water in the shower while you are shampooing and conditioning your hair. Running the water while performing these tasks is totally unnecessary and wasteful.
4) Don’t run your dishwasher until you have a full load. Waiting until your dishwasher is totally full can reduce your dishwashing water consumption by 100 – 300 percent.
5) Adjust the water level on your washing machine with every load, and if you don’t need the “extra rinse” feature, don’t use it. Many people simply leave their water level setting on high, and forget about it. The same holds true for those machines with an “extra rinse” option. Be conscious of each load size and adjust accordingly.
6) Use the “rain” feature on your sprinkler system. Have you ever driven through an office park in the rain and seen the sprinklers going full blast? How wasteful is that? Be a good water samaritan and be mindful of this at home as well. If the forecast says rain, temporarily turn your sprinklers off or to the “rain” position.
7) If you don’t drink water in a restaurant, don’t order it. You’ll not only be saving the water in the glass, but also the water it takes to wash and sterilize that glass as well.
8) Reuse your towels. Let’s be honest – if you shower regularly, there’s no need to use a clean towel each day. Simply hang them up to dry, and reuse it for a week. Most hotel chains also have adopted a “reuse it” policy, and the details can normally be found posted in the hotel bathroom. Over a year’s time, this saves the water necessary for several loads of laundry.
9) Reduce the frequency you wash your car. Unless you’re in a cold weather climate in the winter where you are getting salt and sand all up under your car repeatedly, there’s no real reason (other than aesthetics) that you need to wash your car frequently. If you’re accustomed to doing this once a week, this may be a difficult habit to break, but it truly is a wasteful habit.
10) Put a brick (or other object that won’t degrade) in your toilet tank. I’m sure you’ve heard this one a number of times, but flushing the toilet is one of our biggest personal water uses. Reducing this water useage by just the amount that a brick or similar object displaces can make a huge difference. And when it’s time to remodel, be sure to replace your old water-hogging toilets with low volume units, maybe even those with a dual flush mechanism.