This was written by Kelli Cooper of APM Buildings.
We take our natural resources for granted, thinking that they could never possibly run out. Nothing could be further from the truth and over the next several years, dozens of states are expected to face water shortages. The push to be more environmentally friendly is getting stronger and there are a lot of things we can do as individuals that can make a big difference. In fact, you can start right in your own home; here are some easy ways to use less water.
Install Low-Flow Shower Heads and Faucet Aerators
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to cut down on water use is to install low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators, devices that reduce the amount of water that comes out when you turn on your shower and sink. Changing your showerhead can reduce water usage by at least 750 gallons per month…that is a lot of water!
Put Float Boosters in Your Toilet
Float boosters in your toilet tank can save up to 300 gallons of water a month. Make sure you have at least three gallons of water in the tank before putting them in or else the toilet will not flush properly, leading to greater water waste due to multiple flushes. You can even make some yourself by putting one inch of sand or pebbles in the bottom of two sealed plastic bottles filled with water. If you are in the market for a new toilet, get ones that use less water—low flush toilets use about one to two gallons per flush compared to three to five for standard toilets.
Check For Leaks
Little leaks can add up to huge amounts of wasted water. A leaky faucet can waste up to 20 gallons of water a day while a leaky toilet can use an extra 1,000! You can check for leaks in your toilet bowl by putting some food coloring in the toilet tank; if you flush and see the coloring seep into the toilet, you have leak. Faucet leaks are often very easy to fix, eliminating the need to call a repairman. Home improvement stores have inexpensive faucet repair kits.
Monitoring your water meter can also let you know if there are any leaks. Get your reading and check it again after a two-hour period where there was no water being used. If the reading is different, there is a leak.
Insulate Hot Water Pipes
Insulating your hot water pipes will help produce hot water more quickly, causing you to run water for less time waiting for it to warm up. This will also help you reduce energy use because it will not take as much heat to get your water hot.
Get More Efficient Appliances
Switching to a more water-efficient washing machine can dramatically cut down on water use for laundry, which accounts for about 13 percent of household water use. A machine with an efficiency rating of at least 4 stars can reduce water use by up to 2/3.
There are so many easy ways that you can cut down on water use and committing to making these small changes helps you do your part in being more eco-conscious. The best part is, these changes will also help your pocketbook by reducing water and energy bills. We have reached a point where we all must get serious about being a better friend to the environment and if we all do the little stuff, we can make big changes.
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