Anywhere you regularly use water, there’s a good chance there’s something you can do to reduce your use. And there are two areas of the home you can make changes with the most impact: the bathroom and the kitchen.
If you’re looking for small ways you can save money and help the environment, put these tips into practice:
In the Bathroom
Be a faucet hawk! Run the water only when absolutely necessary. That means turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth, and put the stopper in the sink or use a bowl when you shave.
Go low-flow. While the early versions of low-flow shower heads left much to be desired, newer state-of-the-art versions offer a satisfying shower experience at a fraction of the flow rate. Even better, this is almost always a DIY upgrade that requires only a few basic tools. You can also replace your bathroom sink faucet with a low-flow model.
More showers, fewer baths. Filling the bathtub usually requires about 30 gallons of water, compared to about 25 gallons for a ten-minute shower with a standard shower head. If you’re using a low-flow shower head, a ten-minute shower will use closer to 20 gallons.
In the Kitchen
Use the dishwasher. Washing dishes by hand not only takes more effort, it takes more water! Just be sure to wait until you have a full load to start the cycle.
Upgrade to a water-smart dishwasher. If it’s nearly time to replace your existing model, shop with water efficiency in mind. You can choose one that is also energy efficient to save even more money on each cycle.
Favor the garbage can, not the garbage disposal. The disposal can be a great tool for certain smelly items you want to get rid of immediately, but it requires water to work. If it can go in the trash or compost, put it there and save the water.
Even just taking the time to think about how much water you’re using is a great first step. See running water, and you don’t need it? Turn it off.