With concerns about our planet’s depleting natural resources growing each day, there has never been a better time to join the “Go Green” movement. Leading efficient lifestyles is the first step to reducing our impact on the environment, and water conservation is the perfect place to start.
Check out these tips to learn how you and your family can do your part to make our world a smarter, more efficient earth – all while saving a little money on your monthly water bill.
1. Adjust Your Bathroom Habits
Think saving money on your water bill requires too much of your time and effort to be worth it? Think again! Making small changes to your daily bathroom habits can save dozens of wasted dollars each month. Simply turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth can save water and lower utility bills. Encourage your children to turn off the water while brushing, and tell your husband to do the same while shaving.
Another habit to break is using your toilet as a garbage can. The average toilet uses 4-7 gallons per flush, flushing more of your hard earned money away with every pull of the handle. This can also lead to blocked pipes, which in turn may lead to costly repairs.
For those extremely dedicated to transforming their bathroom into a money saver, consider upgrading to high efficiency showerheads and toilets, which can save thousands of gallons of water per year.
2. Check Your Sprinkler System
Reducing the amount of time your sprinklers water your lawn can have a drastic impact on your water bill. Adjust your timer for seasonal changes in weather once a month, and run your system during the morning hours to limit evaporation and wind factors. Programming your system to water in 2-3 short cycles as oppose to a single long period of time will allow water to soak in and reduce water run-off. For example, if you normally water for 15 minutes, try watering with three 4 minute cycles spread out over 30 minute intervals.
For a more long term project, think about inspecting your sprinkler heads for leaks. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program, a leak the size of a ballpoint pen can waste up to 6,000 gallons of water per month.
3. Dispel the Dishwasher Myth
Contrary to popular belief, it takes more water to hand wash dishes than it takes to wash them in the dishwasher. As long as the dishwasher is full, don’t be afraid to use it whenever necessary.
If you must hand wash your dishes, fill one side of the sink with hot, soapy water and the other with rinse water. Millions of gallons of water are wasted each year by people who leave their faucet running while hand washing dirty dishes.
4. Small Leaks, Big Problems
Similar to your sprinkler system, letting leaks in your house go unfixed is like flushing money down the toilet, literally and figuratively. Be sure to check for leaks in your faucets and toilets. A good way to test for leaks is to read your house meter at a time where no water will be used for the next few hours. After a few hours, check the meter again and if it does not stay exactly the same, then you have a leak that needs to be repaired.
To check for leak in your toilet, drop a toilet dye in the tank and wait a half hour. If blue water appears in the bowl before the first flush, you may want to consider a repair.
5. The Laundry Room
For those of us with families, we know that the laundry room is responsible for a significant amount of water usage each month. Yet with just a few practical tips, you can turn your laundry room into a cost-effective machine, no pun intended. To do this, try only washing full loads. Also, try wearing clothes more than once before washing. You’ll save water and cut down on housework, something moms can definitely appreciate.
For more experienced environmentalists, you can wash your clothes in cold water with Purex Natural Elements. While it may not conserve water, it will help you save on energy and promote the use of biodegradable laundry products.
By making a few adjustments to our daily lives, we can all do our part in reducing our environmental impact. Engage your children and take the time to teach them good habits. Not only will it help the environment, it will also help you save hundreds on your water bill, and I think we can all agree that’s a win-win for everyone.