As many of us come to worry about the environment and water becomes an increasingly precious resource in some areas, you may be looking for ways to reduce your own home water use. Of course, this can also lower your utility bills, especially if you cut down on hot water. There are a few simple tips you can use to help keep the water use in your house down.
Water your lawn carefully: Try not to water as often. Your lawn will be able to tolerate it, and watering heavily but less often can encourage deeper root growth, making the grass more drought-tolerant. Make sure to water as early in the day as you can, so that the water doesn’t evaporate as much.
Collect rainwater: The runoff from your gutters is a good source for watering your garden or washing the patio, where you’re not looking for a drinkable level of cleanliness.
Have your car washed professionally: Though you might not like spending the money, a commercial car wash generally won’t use as much water as washing with a hose in your driveway does. Make sure you’re not regularly watering sidewalks and patios along with the lawn.
Use water-efficient appliances: Replacing your old appliances with newer models, which tend to be more efficient, will save you water use—and money—in the long term. Front-loading washers in particular use much less. Waiting until your washing machine and dishwasher are more full to run them will help you get more out of each load. You can also avoid pre-rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, which is often unnecessary. (If it is, you should probably be replacing your dishwasher.) When you do wash dishes by hand, rinse in a full sink rather than under running water.
Use low-flow faucets and shower heads: You can find models that will give you the performance and water pressure you’re looking for while still being more efficient. And yes, shorter showers will help—try turning the water off while you’re soaping up, then back on to rinse.
Watch for leaks: Keeping an eye on your water meter, as well as paying attention to dripping and running sounds, is an important part of water efficiency—those drips add up fast. You can check your toilet by putting food colouring in the tank—it shouldn’t get into the bowl without flushing.
Keep chemicals out of runoff: Dumping oil and other waste in the gutters risks contaminating the existing water supply.
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