tapWhile ‘going green’ was once thought to be a passing trend, it has proven to be a necessary lifestyle change if we hope to preserve our natural resources and way of life. One of our most precious and necessary natural resources is, of course, water. We can all start by making small changes to our everyday habits that can save hundreds or thousands of gallons of water every year. When it comes down to it, saving water can be extremely easy, cost nothing, and save time and money.

Why Should We Care?
Regardless of who we are, where we come from, or the lifestyle we lead, one thing unites us: we all need and deserve access to clean water. Every year our rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans are negatively affected by water pollution and consumption. While this can be especially detrimental for those who make a living fishing or giving water tours, a lack of clean, fresh water would negatively impact each of our lives.

The first step to water conservation is to consciously track your water usage:

  • Pay attention to your water bill and how much you use.
  • Time your showers. Every minute you are in the shower you use an average of 7 gallons of water.
  • Keep a tally of how many times you flush the toilet in a day. Each flush uses an average of 6 gallons of water.
  • A running faucet will use an average of 3 gallons per minute and a running hose can use between 3 and 7 gallons per minute.

Beginner Tips:

  • Don’t let water run while brushing your teeth or washing dishes. Fill one side of the sink with water and only rinse once all dishes have been scrubbed.
  • Only run washing machines and dish washers when they are full.
  • Turn off water while you’re soaping up and shaving in the shower.
  • When watering gardens make sure you are not watering roads, sidewalks, or walls.
  • Don’t pour useful water down the drain. Use water from pets’ bowls and boiling pasta in your garden.

Intermediate Tips:

  • Make sure toilets and sinks aren’t running unnecessarily. Regularly check and fix leaks.
  • Add a brick inside the toilet tank to use less water.
  • Make sure water tanks are properly sealed and have working float valves.
  • Install covers on pools and make sure to check regularly for leaks at pumps.
  • If your shower fills a 4-liter bucket in less than 20 seconds it should be replaced with a more efficient model.

Advanced Tips:

  • Install a rainwater collection system off of gutters to use for irrigation, indoor plumbing, or to fill pools.
  • Reroute shower, washer, and sink water (grey water) to be used in toilets or as irrigation for gardens.
  • Install dual flush toilets, front-loading washing machines, and aerated shower heads.
  • Use a drip system in gardens to avoid water loss due to evaporation.

Writer: Tori Aleece Phillippi

Information from The Franklin Institute: http://fi.edu/guide/schutte/howmuch.html