With the drought conditions we’ve been experiencing in the West recently, my family and I have been taking water conservation pretty seriously. Along with scaling back the length of our showers, we do things like watering our houseplants with old aquarium water and recycling our bathtub water for flushing the toilets.
While these are extreme ways of conserving water, there are some easy ways to save water too. I think of these measures as being “sneaky” because no one but you will notice the difference.
Use the lightest setting possible on the dishwasher
Contemporary dishwashers use between 3-5 gallons of water per use. Unless your dishes are really dirty, using the “light wash” setting instead of the “heavy” will save 2 gallons per load. Running full loads only will save water too.
Switch to a low flow shower head
If your shower head is older than 20 years, it may be time to switch it out for a low flow version instead. Older shower heads pump out 5 gallons of water a minute (GPM) whereas the new water wise models use between 1.9-2.5 GPM. If your family is in the habit of taking 10 minutes showers, this will save roughly 37 gallons of water per shower.
Full loads of laundry only
Running full loads of laundry instead of mini loads conserves both water and electricity. If you must wash a small load of laundry, do adjust the settings so you aren’t using more water than is necessary. Another sneaky tip: avoid the permanent press setting when doing laundry to save an additional 5 gallons of water per load.
Avoid using the garbage disposal
Garbage disposals use between 2-3 gallons every time it is used to flush food scraps down the drain. Toss your vegetables scraps in the compost and meat scraps in the trash to save between 6-12 gallons of water a day.
Install low flow aerators on the faucets
This easy (and sneaky) DIY project will mean huge water savings in your home. Low flow aerators reduce the output of water from your kitchen and bathroom sinks from 3 GPM to less than one gallon. According to Earth Easy (25 ways to conserve water in the home and yard) this is the single best method of conserving water in the home.
More by this contributor:
How a new shower head reduced our energy costs by 17%
Do you save more money by taking a shower or a bath?
Energy tips that are best ignored