Are you letting a valuable natural resource go right down the drain? With spring showers upon us and warm summer months quickly approaching its time to take another look at how we use, and waste water at home.
Less than 1% of all water on Earth can be used by people, while the typical household uses approximately 260 gallons of water every day according to the EPA. You can reduce your water use and save money by using water more efficiently. Just as you’ve made changes in behavior and energy efficiency improvements to reduce your electricity and natural gas use, take the time to look for opportunities to improve your water efficiency at home.
Fixing leaky faucets, watering the lawn and garden with a minimum amount of water, fixing leaky toilets and preventing water waste can help you save money and a precious natural resource.
The faucets in your home account for more than 15% of indoor household water use and more than 1 trillion gallons of water across the United States every year. To improve the water efficiency of your home repair leaks and consider replacing the aerator in your faucet with a more efficient one. The aerator, or screw-on tip of your faucet, determines the amount of water or the flow rate of the faucet. You can purchase an efficient aerator for less than five dollars at most hardware stores and home improvement retailers.
Thinking about replacing a faucet? Look for a WaterSense label. WaterSense faucets and accessories reduce water flow by 30% or more without sacrificing performance. Click here to learn more about WaterSense.
In the United States, 30% of the 26 billion gallons of water consumed daily, approximately 7.8 billion gallons, is used outdoors. Water use outdoors during the summer by a household can exceed the amount of water used for all other purposes in the entire year. To reduce the amount of water you use to beautify your lawn and gardens use water-efficient landscaping and irrigation methods.
Choose plants that naturally grow well in your climate and area of the country based on rain, sun and type of soil. Preserve existing trees and shrubs whenever possible because established plants usually require less water and maintenance than new plants. Select a grass that can withstand dry periods, there are many widely available grass options that demand up to 2/3 less water than common turf grasses. Cover bare or eroding areas with shrubs, trees and other vegetation to reduce runoff.
Looking for a low-maintenance, water efficient landscaping solution? Don’t forget about re-naturalization. You can convert areas of your lawn to a natural landscape by allowing the area to grow as if the lawn wasn’t there. Within two to five years, native plants will take root and re-establish their presence to form a natural habitat.
Toilets account for nearly 30% of residential indoor water consumption and can be a major source of water waste. Toilets manufactured before 1992 use up to 3.5 gallons per flush, if all of these toilets were replaced with WaterSense toilets it would save nearly 2 billion gallons of water per day in the United States. Be sure you fix toilet leaks to reduce water waste and improve the efficiency of your home. Click here for simple toilet leak solutions.
Your energy and water use are connected because in most cases electricity or natural gas are used to heat water. Water heating accounts for 19% of home energy use, improve your energy and water efficiency to save money and reduce your environmental impact.
Does that water really need to go down the drain? Be sure to turn off running faucets while you brush your teeth, take a break from the dishes or put down the hose. Not thirsty for the entire glass of water? Use the left overs to water your house plants or use it out in the garden. Consider a rain barrel, rain provides free source of “soft water” that can be used to water gardens or wash your car and windows. On average a rain barrel can save a homeowner about 1,300 gallons of water during peak summer months, or about 40% of total household water use. Click here to learn more about the benefits of rain barrels.
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