Water is one of the most precious resources on our planet. But we tend to use it way too irresponsibly. Without water, we will not be able to survive. And so, each of us needs to do our part to conserve water as much as possible, starting with saving water at home, so that we do not risk running out of this precious, natural resource. To understand the importance of water conservation, we first need to know how we use our water resources.
Water usage in the U.S.
According to a 2020 USBR report about our water usage facts:
- 8% for domestic use
- 33% towards agriculture
- 59% for industrial use
According to USGS, the average American needs 80 – 100 gallons of water for indoor home usage each day. However, since the recommended quantity of water required for drinking is half a gallon each person every day, not hydrating enough is definitely NOT the answer to our problem here. And as the world population increases, so does the demand for clean and fresh drinking water. So then, how do we correct this big problem staring us in the face – water conservation? Simple, we start from our own homes.
How to save water at home: some useful & eco-friendly tips
Most of us are guilty of taking shortcuts around water conservation. But there are many ways to conserve water at home, and it doesn’t take that much effort.
1. Save water with these smart washing habits
According to ConsumerReports, washing machines typically use about 13 gallons per load. But when you run them at full capacity, you can save up to 3,400 gallons of water per year, according to the EPA. For dishes, ditch handwashing and only run your dishwasher with a full load. Do not pre-rinse dishes, and use an energy-efficient dishwasher — this could save 30% of water wastage annually.
For laundry, avoid the additional rinse or permanent press cycle. Use cold water whenever possible. For other ways to conserve water, handwash a few clothes when required, and remember to reuse your towels and clothes before washing them, not after just one use.
Check out our article on laundry mistakes to know what you’ve been doing wrong, and ways to conserve water while washing clothes.
2. Water-saving tips for your garden/ lawn
Americans use three times more water in their gardens during the summer, as compared to the rest of the year. With almost 10 million acres of lawns in the U.S., about 270 billion gallons of water get used up watering lawns per week. An average American family utilizes about 320 gallons of water per day, with 30% on outdoor usage, i.e., to water yards/ lawns. Unfortunately, a lot of this precious water gets wasted by over-watering, evaporation, and poorly timed or misdirected sprinklers (that’s water wasted on sidewalks and driveways.)
So, don’t overwater your lawn or water your garden during peak periods. Instead, install rain sensors on irrigation systems or rain barrels for outdoor watering. Plant a rain garden to catch rainwater runoff from your roof or driveway.
3. Switch to a low-flow showerhead (with a faucet aerator)
Do you know how to save water at home, particularly in your bathroom? Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators, which will reduce wastage of water in your shower or bathtub by 30% to 50%. A low-flow showerhead uses half as much water, saving both money and energy. For example, a low-flow shower head can reduce your monthly water bill by up to 40%.
It’s also good for your skin and hair — less water means less drying time! These low-flow showerheads don’t cost much and are easy to install. Some are even sold with an attachment for a faucet aerator. So, swapping these bathroom devices are great ways to conserve water, save money, and help the planet.
4. Compost instead of using a garbage disposal
Most people don’t realize that their garbage disposal uses significantly more electricity — up to 20 times more (in some cases!) Composting food scraps, on the other hand, needs no electricity and helps minimize waste in landfills. You can compost in your backyard or kitchen. Use food scraps as compost in your garden or put them in a bin under the sink, allowing them to decompose naturally, and reduce the amount of trash going into landfills.
Most people don’t realize that using non-compostable items like plastics or paper towels in the kitchen sends them down the drain. Using organic waste will reduce the amount of garbage you send into landfills and keeps our environment cleaner, while saving money on garbage disposal fees.
Our beginner’s guide to composting should help you get started!
5. Eat more vegan meals
A vegan diet requires much less water than a meat-based diet since it doesn’t require any animal products or byproducts. According to EcoWatch, about 1,800 gallons of water are utilized for 1 pound of beef (considered the most water-intensive food). While according to Discover, 575 gallons of water are needed to make 1 pound of pork, and 1 pound of chicken meat requires about 470 gallons of water.
Vegan diets are healthy because they’re high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — all good sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help protect you against issues such as heart disease and cancer. And, they need a fraction of the water to be prepared, compared to usual meat-based diets.
Need more reasons to switch to a vegan diet? Do read this bog.
6. Upgrade your appliances
If you have an old appliance that uses a lot of water, consider getting a newer model to save water at home. While looking for a new appliance, opt for ENERGY STAR–certified models. Such devices typically use 1/3 less water than standard models and are designed to use less energy during operation, as well. For instance: older toilets use between 3.5 and 7 gallons of water per flush — so get a high-efficiency toilet that uses as little as 1.28 gallons per flush.
And the best part: such energy-efficient upgrades often pay for themselves in less than a year, through massive savings in your water and electricity bills.
7. Use a broom to clean driveways/ sidewalks
When your driveway or sidewalk needs cleaning, use a broom instead of a hose. Leaves, dirt, and debris are often too heavy for hoses, which could lead to a bigger mess on your yard or sidewalk. Instead, grab a broom and sweep up any dirt or debris around your property, instead of wasting water by spraying it with a hose.
Using a broom instead of other cleaning equipment like pressure washers or power washers is much better for water conservation! Similarly, use a damp cloth or reusable mop can to wipe down your automobile in the driveway and save water, instead of spraying it with a hose or taking it to a carwash.
8. Add mulch to your garden
Adding mulch to your garden not only helps prevent soil erosion but also helps to retain moisture in the soil. In addition, mulch protects plants from weeds, pests, and disease problems that may occur during plant growth. In addition, add mulch to your garden to help conserve water, cut down the need for chemicals, and keep it clean as well.
9. Repurpose greywater to save water at home
And finally, don’t let the lightly-used water runoff from your bath, shower, tub, or sink go to waste. It is known as greywater. Instead, collect this excess water, then repurpose it by watering your plants or the lawn, or mopping down your car or other items in your garage. These are simple yet effective ways to conserve water wastage at home.
A last drop of wisdom…
Adopting such small habits and making simple swaps are ways to conserve water at home, that can reduce your carbon footprint. And if you save water at home, it is not only good for the planet, but for your wallet, as well. You can save an average of $140 on your water bill each year by reducing your water consumption at home to below 1,000 gallons per month. So, when you save water at home, it’s a win for the planet and you too!
And if these water-saving tips above aren’t enough for you to take the importance of water conservation seriously, read through these additional 15 Tips To Save Water At Home.