7 Simple Ways You Can Stop Water Waste This Summer
Water is our most precious resource, and becoming increasingly so every day. In much of the developed world the availability of water is taken for granted, while many countries struggle to meet even the most basic demand. Our body and every ecosystem it depends on needs water, and as climate change intensifies, water scarcity and increasing droughts are having catastrophic impacts.
Reducing your water waste is not only lighter on your budget, and makes sure there is more water to go around, but it is doing a precious environmental service. Here are 7 simple ways you can contribute to this. Share them with your family and friends!
1- Turn the Tap Off
This is one of the best known conservation methods but also often forgotten. Turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, washing your hands or hair, and soaping your dishes can save between 100-200 gallons of water a month alone. We found out that approximately 2 gallons comes out of most faucets every minute!
2- Be Sparse with the Bubble Baths
Speaking of GALLONS of water, while an average shower uses anywhere from 10-40 gallons of water, a standard bathtub uses around 70 gallons. So while a bubble bath is relaxing and fun for all ages, we suggest keeping them for the occasional luxury, especially during the summer months.
3- Smart Use of Heavy Appliances
Dishwashers and washing machines are serious water-suckers, so make sure to use them wisely. Always fill both to their maximum capacity to reduce number of loads, or adjust the setting to the appropriate load size if it is an available feature. And always avoid the permanent press option on your washing machine–it uses anywhere from 5-18 gallons more water per load!
4- Watch Electricity Consumption
Aside from the other environmental impacts of various forms of electricity production, even the most efficient and low-impact production methods (aside from solar panels) use a serious amount of water and are at least partially reliant on it as a resource for either generation or cooling.
So lower your electricity bills and save some water! Open your windows on the days that you don’t really need the AC. Turn lights off during the day and when exiting rooms. Keep unused appliances unplugged to prevent unnecessary drainage of power. And try to get energy-saving appliances whenever possible.
5- Sweep Don’t Spray
Avoid hosing down your driveways, sidewalks and gutters. It is a tremendous waste, when a broom will usually do the job just fine. If you simply can’t bear your dusty outdoor stairs or entrance way and a sweep isn’t getting it sparkly enough for you, then use a mop and bucket afterward. As an added bonus, skip the soap and chemicals, and you can use the dirty water to give your plants a nice soak at the end of the day.
6- Let the Car Wash Do It
Unless it is an expense that isn’t feasible, avoid washing your car at home. It is estimated that most people who wash their cars at home use 100 gallons of water each time, which is about double the average usage of a professional car wash. You can save time and water both!
7- Have a Water-Efficient Yard
Okay, this is a big one. First, we have news for you. If you still have a lawn, scrap it or drastically reduce its size. Please. You don’t need a lawn. You don’t even really want a lawn. Maintaining a nice grass lawn is not only a waste of gas from the constant mowing (which is unnecessary sound pollution too), but it’s an incredibly unproductive use of potentially productive growing space. And the water required to maintain it is a waste too.
If you really can’t live without your lawn, then find efficient watering methods. Don’t leave sprinklers on unnecessary, and only water in the early morning or late afternoon/evening to prevent water waste through evaporation.
Instead of lawns, we suggest growing seasonal gardens with flowers and vegetables that are appropriate for your locations climate. Surround plants with mulch to prevent evaporation, and use the watering schedule suggested above. We also highly recommend harvesting rain water in barrels, and using that as the source for watering your yard whenever possible.