Water is an essential resource and there is a finite amount of it on the planet. If we don’t help manage the planet’s water supply now, we could see problematic shortages sooner rather than later. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do at home to help conserve water. Let’s take a look at a few of the most helpful tips to save water while you’re home this summer.
Turn Off the Faucet When You’re Not Using It
You may not think that you’re using all that much water when you leave the faucet on while brushing your teeth or washing the dishes, but it adds up very quickly. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), bathroom faucets run at about two gallons of water a minute. Humans have been keeping track of time for 5,000 to 6,000 years, so use these ancient skills to deduce how much water you’re wasting when you leave the faucet running. If you brush your teeth for the recommended two minutes, that’s four gallons of water. If you leave the faucet on while washing dishes and it takes you ten minutes to wash a big load, that’s 20 gallons of water. Unless you’re actively using the water coming out of the faucet, start making it a habit to turn it off.
Use a Pool Cover
If you have a swimming pool and are interested in conserving water, there are ways you can do so without converting the pool into a large patio or vegetable garden. You can keep your pool as your summer oasis — and keep the 7% boost to your home’s value it provides — and help conserve water by using your pool cover. Over half of the water in your pool can evaporate in one year if you don’t use a swimming pool cover. For the average pool, this adds up to an annual water loss of about 7,000 gallons.
When you use a pool cover, however, you can regularly reduce evaporation by 90% to 95% and experience other benefits as well. For instance, a pool cover can help reduce algae growth and reduce the need to use more chemicals. This can help you save significantly on cleaning and maintenance costs. Pool covers also help conserve heat, allowing you to save some money on heating costs.
Switch to Water-Efficient Products
As environmental researchers and conservationists have discovered how much water the average family wastes, many companies have made water-efficient models of common appliances and devices to help cut down on water usage. The next time that you need to replace your shower head, sink faucet, or toilet, invest in a water-efficient model.
This small switch can make a major difference. Older toilets, for instance, use up to six gallons of water per flush. Newer, water-efficient models can use as little as 1.28 to 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Even replacing your water heater can help you conserve water, as a new model can heat your water more quickly. A tankless water heater system can last for as long as 20 years and is a great option for large families who require a lot of hot water in a short time. Each member of your family can get the hot water they need without wasting water as they run it and wait for it to heat up. You can also conserve water in your house by investing in efficient dishwashers and laundry machines.
Water Your Garden by Hand
Watering gardens and yards with a sprinkler is another major way families waste water in their homes. You can use 33% less water outdoors by manually watering with a hose rather than using an automatic irrigation system. You can save even more water by using a watering can to water your gardens. Try to water in the early morning and late afternoon to reduce evaporation and water less frequently. Mulching your plants can also help them retain water.
There are plenty of ways you can change your habits to conserve water in your home. By taking these steps to use less water, you’ll be helping conserve the planet’s overall water supply and doing your part to preserve the environment.