Water used to be in ready supply, but as time goes on, it becomes an ever more precious commodity. Droughts are becoming more common, many states are in dire need of water, and as the global population continues to grow, water conservation is increasingly important. During the summer, water evaporates more quickly than at any other time of year, yet summer is also the time of year when most of us use the most water. How can we slow down our water consumption and conserve this scarce natural resource, even during the hot summer months? Fortunately, there are some easy ways to limit your water usage without much hardship.
- Be smart about your gardening. Leaving your grass long creates a deeper root, which protects against evaporation and weeds while making your lawn more drought-resistant. Before you water your grass, step on the lawn and observe the way It responds. Did the grass spring back after you stepped on it? That means the lawn does not need to be watered. If you do need to water your lawn or garden, do it in the early morning or after the sun goes down, to get the most out of the water you use. Water the ground instead of leaves, and if you must use sprinklers, limit that usage to just 15 minutes per day. Consider mulching around your landscaping. Mulching looks attractive and prevents moisture from evaporating. When you’re finished gardening and want to clean off your walk or driveway, use a broom instead of the hose to avoid wasting water.
- Buy water-saving High-efficiency washing machines, especially front loaders, can save water and money. Energy Star rated dishwashers use about fifteen percent less water than standard models. Switch out your showerheads for low flow versions, and switch out all of your toilets for WaterSense certified models, which use 20 percent less water. Not ready to replace the toilets just yet? Fill a half gallon plastic jug with water and set it in the tank, to save up to ten gallons of water each day.
- Don’t hand wash. Did you know that hand washing your car can use up to 100 gallons of water, while an automated car wash uses only 40? Similarly, hand washing dishes can use up to 27 gallons, whereas running the dishwasher only takes 3. The good news? Going to a car wash and loading the dishwasher are much less labor-intensive activities than hand washing your car or your dishes!
- Shorten your showers. Here’s a fun fact you may not know: every two minutes you shave off of your daily shower reduces your water consumption by 150 gallons each month? That’s about 1800 gallons each year! You can also save water by turning off the shower when you’re lathering your hair. Use your bath towels more than once, and you’ll save even more water because you won’t run the washing machine as often. Bonus tip: you can also turn off the water while you’re washing your hands, in between getting them wet and rinsing them.
- Reuse water whenever you can. Invest in a rain barrel, and use that water for things like watering your garden or washing your pets. Rinse produce in a bowl of water instead of holding it under the tap, and then use that water for your indoor plants. Drain your pasta into a pot or bowl instead of letting the water run down the drain, and when it cools, that water can also be used on plants. Want to really grab a large amount of previously wasted water for reuse? Stick a bucket under your shower while you’re waiting for the water to warm up, and you’ll be surprised at how much water you’ve been letting go to waste.
- Take only what you need. When you’re cooking, measure water before you boil it, so that you use only as much water as you actually In a restaurant, don’t accept a glass of water or a refill of your water glass if you don’t intend to drink the water. There’s no sense in letting the wait staff top off your water if it will just be poured down the sink later.
- Save your laundry and dishes. It may be inconvenient to wait for clean clothing or dishes, but running your dishwasher and washing machine with only full loads saves water. The bonus to waiting for a full load? You’ll save money as well as water.
- Skip the bottled water. Invest in a filtration system if you don’t want to drink straight tap water, and fill reusable bottles at home, rather than buying bottled water at the store. Not only will you save money, but you’ll save water because producing one of those disposable plastic bottles uses two to three times the amount of water the bottle holds. Assign a water bottle to each family member, and those bottles can be used all day, which cuts down on washing. Fill a pitcher with drinking water and keep it in the refrigerator, and you’ll save even more money because you won’t be running water and waiting for it to get cool.
- Help your kids to be water smart. Children love water play in the summer, but that doesn’t have to involve wasting water. Use water from your rain barrel to fill water balloons and squirt guns, or let kids play in the sprinkler while you’re watering the yard. Teach them good habits, like turning off the water while they brush their teeth, or showering quickly to save water. Every little bit helps, and learning good practices when they’re young can help your kids remain conscious of their water usage for life.
- Reward water conservation. Here’s a fun game: water conservation bingo. Make bingo cards with good water-saving practices on them, and give them to your family members. You can include things like turning off the water when you brush your teeth, taking five-minute showers, or hanging up your towel so that you can reuse it. Whenever someone in the family fills a card, reward that person with a special treat or a day off from chores.
- Keep your plumbing in good repair. Check your toilet for leaks by putting a few drops of dye into the toilet tank. Wait a few minutes, and if the dye has made its way into the bowl, you have a leak. Routinely check your sinks and dishwasher hose for small leaks, because even a slow leak can end up wasting water and money. If you do find anything in disrepair, call a plumber immediately, to prevent the problem from getting worse, and to keep from wasting any more water.
Saving water is a big deal, but none of these water-saving steps are especially difficult to follow. Each small step we take toward conserving water adds up to big savings when we all work together. Find a good plumber to help you maintain your plumbing and save water, and you’ll be ahead of the game.
If you need a reliable plumber in Salt Lake County, trust All Star Service & Repair to provide unmatched customer service and quality expertise at affordable rates. For more than 60 years we’ve proven our professionalism and dedication to our community, providing quality clog and pipe repairs, water heater maintenance, and sewer line servicing repairs. Give us a call at (801) 792-2428, and we’ll come to your location, diagnose your plumbing issues, and resolve them quickly and effectively.