By Gerri Monohan
In honor of Earth Day, here are 10 easy ways to conserve water:
- Turn the water off
Leaving the faucet running while brushing your teeth, shaving or doing the dishes is how many families waste water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), turning the tap off while you brush your teeth can save up to 8 gallons of water per day.
- Add aerators to all of your faucets
Aerators can reduce the water used in a single faucet by as much as 60%. Look for water-saving aerators, and you can save even more water. By adding air into the flow of water, you are able to rinse and clean more dishes with less water. If every house in America installed water-saving aerators, it would save more than 60 billion gallons of water per year.
- Check for leaks
Leaky pipes or faucets can cause serious water damage. You can fix a leaky faucet many times by simply replacing a stem or cartridge without replacing the entire faucet, which can be costly. Also, a leaking toilet can waste up to 90 gallons of water per day. To check if you have a leak, place some food coloring in the tank to see if the color leaks into the bowl without flushing. If so, try replacing your toilet flapper.
- Run full loads only
When you are doing laundry or running the dishwasher, make sure to minimize water usage by only running full loads of laundry. You can save between 300 and 800 gallons of water per month by doing so. And, if you have only a few dishes to wash, wash them by hand.
- Choose a shower over a bath
According to the EPA, a five-minute shower uses only 10 to 25 gallons of water while filling a bathtub can use up to 70 gallons of water.
- Flush wisely
Try converting your toilet with a dual flush system, which allows you to choose if you need a water-saving flush or a standard flush. A Dual Flush Toilet Handle can be installed in less than 10 minutes and can save up to 24% water with every flush.
- Make good use of water
Whenever possible, reuse water. Try washing vegetables in a bucket or bowl so you can use the same water for several items. That way you don’t waste water going down the drain while you are rinsing.
- Use your garbage disposal sparingly
If you have a garbage disposal, only use it when it’s absolutely necessary. Why not consider starting a compost pile with your scraps? You can use the soil from the compost in your garden and save water at the same time.
- Skip the tap
Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator rather than drinking straight from the tap to reduce the amount of wasted water going down the drain.
- Take shorter showers
A 10 minute shower with an older showerhead can use up to 80 gallons of water. Try speeding up your shower time and you can significantly reduce the amount of water you use every day.
Gerri Monohan is the director of operations at Hillsides.