With the recent water crisis in Richmond Village, we thought it might be an appropriate time to provide some water saving tips. Saving water not only saves a precious natural resource, it also saves energy. It takes energy to pump and purify water and more energy to clean it up after it goes down the drain.
The average American uses over 150 gallons per day, twice as much as the average in France and nearly three times as much as the average in the UK. There are many ways to save water, and they all start with you. Here are 7 tips to help you save water in your home.
#1 Stop that leak! Monitor your water bill for unusually high use, which may indicate a leak. Faucets (indoor and out), toilets, garden hoses, and bathtubs are all potential leak spots. If you have a leaky faucet or shower, don’t let it drip – get it fixed!
#2 Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
#3 Save at the shower by taking shorter showers and making sure you have a low-flow showerhead. You’ll save not only the water, but also the energy required to heat that water. If your shower can fill a 2-quart saucepan in 12 seconds or less, it’s time to get a new low-flow showerhead. If you tried one a few years ago and didn’t like it, give it another try – the new ones are much better. You can save even more by turning off the water while you soap up.
#4 Toilets… First make sure your toilets don’t leak – a common problem. If your toilet sounds like it’s filling when it hasn’t been used, it may be wasting thousands of gallons of water. Put food coloring in the tank and see if it seeps into the bowl without flushing. If it does, you have a leak. Also make sure you have a low-flush toilet of 1.5 gallons. Older toilets use up to 5 gallons per flush and waste about 20,000 gallons per year for a family of four.
#5 Sinks… When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water. Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost vegetable food waste instead and save gallons. Use low-flow faucet aerators that inject air into the water stream, saving water without compromising on pressure. Collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables, then reuse it to water houseplants.
#6 Install a drip irrigation system in your garden to use a fraction of the water. Spread a layer of organic mulch around plants to retain moisture and save water, time and money. If you have rain gutters, you can save thousands of gallons of garden water by simply diverting one of your drains to fill a barrel.
#7 Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk and save water every time.