When it comes to protecting the environment, conserving our water supply is one of the best and easiest things we can do as consumers.
Finding ways to protect our water supply not only helps preserve a valuable resource, but it can also save you money. City of Huntsville Nature Preserve Supervisor Katheleen Theriault has some water-saving tips that are easy to build into your family’s routine:
Turn off the faucet
This is an effective and simple way to conserve water at home while brushing, washing or shaving.
“Turning off the faucet may seem like a basic idea, but it’s so important,” Theriault said. “We all wash our hands. And, after the past year, many are washing their hands more than ever. Keeping the water running while brushing your teeth and washing up is simply a waste.”
The smartest way to save water and put more cash in your pocket is to turn off the faucet every chance you get. Wet your toothbrush, turn off the faucet, apply toothpaste and then brush your teeth. Turn the faucet back on to clean your brush and rinse out your mouth. Use the same philosophy when washing your hands. Turn on the water to wet your hands, apply soap and wash for at least 20 seconds before turning the faucet back on to rinse.
Doing this daily can save at least eight gallons of water. What a difference!
Install aerators in your faucets
Help reduce the volume of water flowing through your faucet by installing aerators in your sink and shower.
“It’s a one-time, simple change not requiring much work and it’s a definite water-saving tip you can put into use right now,” Theriault said.
Only use the washing machine and dishwasher with full loads
Though many washing machines have settings that allow you to pick the size of your load, and thus the amount of water used, experts recommend only washing when you have a full load of laundry. Don’t forget to air/line dry your clothes for a little extra energy savings, too.
The same principle applies to the dishwasher as well. Hand-washing dishes may be something you like to do, but a full dishwasher can often do the trick with less water wasted.
Limit shower time
The average person should shower for no longer than five to 10 minutes to conserve water. You should also turn off the shower while you’re soaping up to save hot water!
In addition to the above water-saving tips, there are other ways to conserve water at home. Check your faucets for leaks, install low-flow toilets and collect grey water to use when watering plants.
Once you cover these basics, a home audit can help you with where to look next. A leaky toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water per day. An ultra-flow flush toilet can cut your family’s total indoor water use by as much as 20%. A dripping faucet can waste up to 2,000 gallons of water a year.
“What’s important is that you take steps to not only become aware of the problem, but to lower the amount of water you use,” Theriault added. “Water conservation starts at home and it starts with you.”