Little Actions that Can Help You Save on Water
It’s amazing how the little things can add up at home. Just turning those lights off a few minutes earlier can lower your energy bill significantly at the end of the month, and reducing your use of gas heaters will definitely scale back the gas bill. Finding small ways to cut your energy costs can lead to savings in the long term – not to mention a smaller carbon footprint.
Water is something that humans cannot live without, but it also makes life so much easier. Being able to shower, wash dishes, clean the cars, and scrub your house with running water is a luxury, and it’s one that you pay for each month. Why not pay a little bit less by taking a few simple steps to save water?
- Be wary of flushing — What are you throwing in the toilet? Many people use their toilet like an ashtray, or they throw toilet paper and other garbage down the toilet. If they flush next to nothing, they’re wasting up to 8 gallons of water – all to make sure a cigarette butt is disposed of. Many people adhere to the water-saving principle of “if it’s yellow, let it mellow – if it’s brown, flush it down”. It may sound disgusting, but it can save you a lot of water if you only flush when absolutely necessary.
- Check for leaks. Worried that your showers are leaking? Place a plate beneath the faucet, and come back an hour later to see how much water has accumulated. If you suspect that the toilet is leaking, drop some food coloring into the tank. Come back in a few minutes, and see if the water is colored. Make sure to change out any faucets, taps, or toilets that are leaking, as that can save you up to 20 gallons of water in a single day!
- Check the meter. Do you suspect a leak in your house? If so, turn off all of the taps and toilets in the house, and check the water meter. Two hours later, check it again – after making sure that no water is used in the house. If the meter has gone up, you have a leak. Take steps to stop the leak, as it will cost you a lot of water in the long run.
- Insulate the pipes. If your water tank is all the way on the other side of the house from your shower, the heat drains out of the water as it flows through the pipes. This gets even worse if the pipes run around the outside of your house, as the cold air around the pipes will pull the heat from the water. If you’ve got exposed hot water pipes, insulate them to reduce the amount of heat drained from the water as it circulates.
- Use less. It may sound easier said than done, but you really can use less water every day. Do you need to stand under that shower for 15 minutes, or can you get all of your personal care done with just 5 to 10 minutes per day – with one extra long shower a week? Do you really need a dishwasher to wash a few plates and cups, or could you wash it by hand using a basin in the sink? If you don’t want to wash dishes by hand, try and reduce the number of loads you wash in the dishwasher – and that goes for the number of loads that go into the washing machine as well!
- Don’t let water run. When washing dishes, don’t use running water to wash – instead use a basin. When shaving, fill the sink with a few inches of water, and plug the sink so that it won’t drain. Use that water to rinse your razor instead of running the water every time you need to rinse it out. Don’t leave the water running while you’re brushing your teeth, and certainly don’t leave the water running as you’re soaping up your hands. The less time the water runs, the less you’ll use.
These things are all pretty easy to do, but they’ll go a long way towards helping you to save water – ergo saving you a lot of money on your water bill each month!
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