Who would have thought that water would become a precious commodity? After all, isn’t two thirds of the planet covered with water? Truth is that in the years to come, water will indeed be a precious commodity in the first world, as it is already in the third.
Did you know that a steady drip from a leaky faucet can mean the loss of up to 20 gallons in a single day?
Water Conservation Begins in the Bathroom
Conserveh2o.org tells us that more than 45% of all use in the average American home occurs in the bathroom. Of that, 27% is used by the toilet. If you are unable to replace an older toilet with a High Efficiency Toilet (HET), here are some things you can do right away to use less water.
Don’t flush things down the toilet. Dispose of them properly. This includes: cigarettes, expired prescriptions, etc. Just a single flush requires anywhere from 3.5 to 7 gallons – HET’s or low-flow toilets use approximately 1.2 gallons per flush. Check for a leaky toilet tank by adding a little food coloring to the water in the tank. If the food coloring appears in the bowl you have a slow leak. To use less per flush, either fill an empty bottle and float it in your tank, or fill it with sand or rocks and place it at the bottom of the tank. Every person in your household flushes the toilet an average of five times per day. You can see how the gallons add up.
Here are ten simple things you can do in and outside the house to conserve more
- Don’t run the water while shaving or brushing your teeth.
- Don’t run water in the shower for a long time before getting in.
- Keep a container of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap.
- Wait until you have a full load before using your dishwasher or washing machine. (Note: New “Energy Star” dishwashers and washing machines are up to 40% more efficient.)
- Keep use of your garbage disposal to minimum when possible.
- Plant a drought resistant lawn, shrubs and plants in your yard.
- Distribute mulch around shrubs and trees to retain moisture.
- Water your lawn and garden less – only when they really need it – but do so in the early morning, or late in the day, allowing moisture to get to the roots before evaporating.
- Don’t use water to clean your sidewalk or driveway. A large broom will do just as well.
- Install a rain barrel to catch rain from your gutters and use for plants and shrubs.
In the US we tend to take our easy access to drinking water for granted until something bad happens. Such was the case when a chemical spill in West Virginia last year reminded the Nation just how truly precious this life giving substance is. Conserving is easy if you make it part of your daily routine. Start now and look for some savings on your bill as well.