by Elizabeth Flading
Do you realize how much water you use in a day? If you’re like the typical American consumer, you’re likely using close to 100 gallons a day. That makes one person accountable for over 36,000 gallons a year. Chances are, the tips below can help you significantly reduce that number this year.
If you’re like us, you understand conscious living is a journey and starts with making subtle changes in your life. Below, we’re providing you with those necessary changes to minimize your impact and do your share to conserve this precious resource.
Think about all the major water users in your house. Toilet, shower, dishwasher, laundry machines… the list goes on. Now think of the increase in technology, research, and awareness over environmental issues as of the past decade. Keep up to date with all these progressive shifts by upgrading your appliances. You’ll be surprised at how much water, energy and, in result, money you’ll save with each investment.
Toilets account for the highest water use in a home, meaning they can also be a major water waster in a home. Save 13,000 gallons a year by replacing dated toilets (installed before 1994) for high efficiency ones. Look for WaterSense labels when upgrading, earning this label means a product must meet stringent criteria and uses no more than 1.28 gallons per flush.
In the past 6 years, the amount of gallons per load of laundry has dropped from 45 gallons to 25 gallons. To embrace this eco-friendly innovation, consider switching to a high-efficiency washer. Not only do you save water (6,000 gallons annually, to be specific), but you also save energy, reduce fabric wear, extend clothing lifetime, and get a cleaner result.
Another modern appliance that has made progressive strides while remaining same efficiency is the dishwasher. Energy star dishwashers now use less than 5.5 gallons per load, compared to upwards of 15 gallons in older models. Making this switch will save up to 1,000 gallons per year, while saving energy as well.
Opting for WaterSense labeled faucets and aerators can save 700 + gallons of water a year. Some older faucets use 5 or more gallons per minute, compared to now efficient faucets that use no more than 1.5. If every U.S. home took this piece of advice and upgraded their faucet, we could save 64 billion gallons of water annually!
Total: 20,700 gallons
Since the shower is the second biggest water user in the average household, it’s important to analyze your current situation. One easy way to reduce usage is to shorten your shower time. Start with trimming one minute off your usual shower time and you’ll save 2.5 gallons. If you’re an every other day kind of showerer, that accumulates to over 450 gallons annually.
Another thing to be cognizant about when showering is to keep in mind how long you let the water heat up. Ever gotten distracted when waiting for the shower temperature to heat up and then it’s 5 minutes later and your bathroom is already steamy? We’ve all been there, so consider looking into ShowerStart TSV, which automatically reduces water flow when the temperature has warmed up. When you’re ready to jump in, pull a string for full pressure. This will save you from wasting a minute of hot water, adding up to another 450 gallons yearly.
Our last recommendation on showering- consider turning off the water when shaving or lathering up. Even if you decide to reduce the flow during these times, you can expect meaningful water savings.
Total: 900 gallons
Loose the Leaks
So you’re not ready to upgrade every appliance in your house? Completely understandable. Those things come in time. A more immediate and cost-effective method is to properly maintain the ones you currently have. Be proactive by monitoring for leaks and drips around the house. Unnoticed problem areas can waste hundreds of gallons on a daily basis. For example, a leaking faucet can waste over 3,000 gallons per year if undetected. This is just one aspect, however, as the average family’s leaks accumulate to over 10,000 gallons of H2O a year.
Total: 10,000 gallons
Change Your Habits
Like we mentioned earlier, conscious living is a journey. It takes time and true effort doing so. By becoming aware of wasteful habits, you’ll have an easier time you can easily nixing them from your routine. Some easy water reduction tactics are:
- Turning off the water when brushing teeth
- Running full loads of dishes and laundry
- Washing clothes less
- Making sure water levels are correct on your washer for each load
- Choosing brands who are environmentally conscious and cognizant of their water usage
By changing your actions, you’ll find that these proactive changes come naturally.
Total Gallons Saved Annually: 31,600
Want to get a better grasp of the amount of water you’re currently using? Try this water usage calculator – you might be surprised at what an average day comes to! You can also get a baseline from your most recent water bill, and then see each month how these changes impact your usage.
Do you have any water saving methods we didn’t mention? Already committed to some of these and seen the results? Tell us about it in the comment section below!