Water is a vital resource for all living organisms; it is a source of health and nutrition that makes cleaning our home and our food possible, as well as being vital for plants, your own daily consumption and for the operation of most of your appliances and equipment at home. Seeing how much we need it, it is only logical that we should do whatever is in our power to reduce its consumption and waste since it is still a scarce resource that we need to take care of to reduce our impact in the environment and be able to continue living comfortably.
Not only is saving water important for the environment, but it is also essential to reducing your bills. There are many smaller and bigger changes you can apply at home that will greatly cut down on your water usage and will quickly be reflected in your bills. You don’t have to give up your comfort or invest big amounts of money, simply follow these tips and find potential sources of waste in your home:
Install low-flow toilet and showerhead
Knowing that a regular toilet uses between 5 to 7 gallons of water with every single flush makes you really consider that a low-flow toilet should be installed in every house. It can reduce its water consumption by 30%, which will significantly lower your bills. When it comes to showerheads, one of the greatest misconceptions about the low-flow kind is that they won’t provide enough water pressure and you won’t be able to rinse properly. There are many very efficient options out in the market today that will provide a more than satisfactory shower and could reduce water usage up to 50%. Also, remember to shut the water off while you shampoo for increased savings.
Consider changing your washing machine
Washing machines use up many liters of water, especially older models. Consider changing your old top loader for a four-star rating front loader that could reduce water usage to up to 50%. When you do your laundry, it is best to wait until you can fill up the washing machine instead of doing several small loads, and to regularly check the hoses and piping for leaks or cracks that could be wasting water.
Partially fill bath instead of taking a quick shower
Showers and baths are two of the activities that use up most of your water, and many gallons of water are wasted due to long showers and big bathtubs. If you prefer baths, you will have to get used to a nice one-quarter filled bathtub to save many liters of water, or if you prefer showers, try to keep them under 10 minutes.
Repair leaky faucets and pipes
Another very important reason why your bills might be higher, even if you haven’t changed your habits, could be due to leaks in your pipes or dripping faucets. It has been said that a slow dripping pipe or faucet could waste up to 20,000 liters of water a year. Look for signs of water damage around your walls or ceiling to find hidden plumbing leaks, and inspect visible pipes, and outdoor and indoor faucets for cracks or corrosion. Fix any damage as soon as possible to reduce the chance of further problems in your home.
Fix running toilets
Just like with leaky faucets and pipes, running toilets waste thousands of liters of water, up to 800 liters a day! Toilets wear down as time goes by, so it might be time to replace certain components, like the flapper, which tend to be the ones to blame for running toilets. Purchase these inexpensive replacements and fix your toilet as soon as possible to reduce water waste.
Avoid unnecessary flushing
When it comes to toilets, the less you can flush them, the better. A lot of people have the bad habit of throwing cigarette butts, dental floss, hair, cotton and other garbage down the toilet, and therefore flush it down time and time again, wasting 5 to 7 gallons of water per flush. Instead, have a bathroom trashcan available to throw away toilet paper and any other object.
Add a plastic bottle in your toilet tank
A cheap and simple trick that you can apply at home to reduce the amount of water your toilet uses is to put water bottles or bricks inside the toilet tank. Simply fill one or two plastic bottles with sand or pebbles and water, and close them tightly. Then, place them inside the toilet tank, and you could be saving up to 10 gallons of water per day. Make sure there is enough water left to properly flush the toilet or you might have to flush twice and not really end up saving much.
Insulate your water pipes
One important factor to consider is to purchase inexpensive insulation sleeves for your hot water pipes, which are very easy to install and will not only protect them from freezing over during the winter, but will also ensure the heat stays inside the pipes and you have to wait less for warm water to reach your shower or sink, and therefore, reduce the amount of wasted water.
Practice conscious bathroom and kitchen water-usage habits
When we say bathroom and kitchen habits, we refer to all those activities you do every day that, with some small changes, will later reflect on your reduced bills. The key to proper bathroom and kitchen water-usage habits will always be to use water only when it is absolutely necessary. We mentioned adequate flushing and showering habits before, but it is also important to remember not to leave the water running when we are brushing our teeth, and also to fill up the sink with warm water instead of leaving the tap running when shaving. The same goes for our activities in the kitchen – don’t leave the water running while washing the dishes or cleaning fruit and vegetables. Opt for filling up your sink with soapy water and a bucket with clear water to wash your dishes more efficiently, and also filling up pan of clear water to rinse fruit and vegetables in.
We are all responsible for our water-usage patterns at home, and we should always strive to teach our children to adopt good habits to save water from an early age. It is essential to instruct and share good water practices with your entire family to get them on board of your water-reduction plan. If you want to make significant changes in your bills and your impact to the environment, follow these tips and we can assure you will notice a huge difference and will have extra money to destine to better use.