Reduce Water Usage And Save Big
We all want to help save the environment and we all want to save on our utility bills. When you can make both happen, it is a no-brainer! Reducing your water usage, even by just a little each day, can mean big savings – on your wallet and on the environment. While some of these tips may seem “too simple” it takes turning them into daily habits to really pay off. Our staff at NeighborWorks doesn’t just preach this stuff, we live it too! Here are some easy ideas that could make a big difference:
You’ve heard of rain barrels, well this is a shower bucket! It may sound odd to place a bucket under your showerhead in the morning, but this is a great way to save all of the water you normally run while you wait for it to heat up. You can use this water to water your house plants, fill up the dog or cat water bowl, or pour it into an outside rain barrel or container to water your garden with later. On average, almost a gallon of water is wasted each morning just waiting for the water temperature to be right!
Turn Off Faucets
Similar to the tip above, make a habit of shutting off the tap. In other words, don’t leave the faucet on in between brushing your teeth or while soaping up your hands. Filling up a water filter, coffee machine or hot water heater? Don’t run the water waiting for hotter or colder water – fill with what comes out and let the machines do the rest of the work.
Don’t waste that water! Reuse the water from cooking your pasta to water your plants. How about the water you use to hard boil your eggs? Yup, that works too! Just make sure to let the water cool completely before using the water for your plants!
Fix your leaky faucets! Did you know that a faucet that drips just ONE drip per second can waste over 2,000 gallons of water in a year? Simple leaks can be fixed with just a little know-how and some tools. There are hundreds of Youtube videos like this one that give you a step-by-step guide on fixing your leak. Feeling like the issue is bigger than a simple fix? Calling a local plumber seems like it could be a lot of money, but just think of all the money dripping down the drain already.
Have a garden or outdoor plants? A rain barrel is a great way to collect water and use it for your garden instead of using up your well or town water. Rain barrels are also a great way to collect water for your farm animals. Just be sure to use a screen or filtration system so no dirt or bugs get into their water.
Shower vs. Bath
On average, filling up a bath uses between 40 and 70 gallons of water, whereas a taking a shower uses between 7 and 20 gallons of water. Overall showers waste less water but if you are in need of a relaxing bath or need to get your kids clean, try not to fill the tub to full capacity.
One way to really cut down on a household’s water usage is to swap out standard plumbing fixtures for those that are water-efficient. Things like low-flow faucets and showerheads, low-flow toilets and even water efficient appliances like washing machines, dish washers, and hot water heaters.
Reducing our water usage does much more than we think, helping to reduce the energy used to process and deliver the water, reducing the pollution and fuel resources, and on the home front, helps us live less stressful (on the environment that is) lives. Using just a few of these tips could potentially reduce your water usage drastically. Not sure how your appliances stack up or want to know more about how to save not only on your bills but help the environment? Have our HEAT Squad energy auditors come out to your home and do a comprehensive audit!
Author, Bailey Aines, NeighborWorks of Western Vermont part-time employee