Did you know that Americans use 127 percent more water than they did in 1950? Or that about 95 percent of the water we use goes down our drains? Given the severe drought conditions occurring in parts of the United States right now, it seems prudent to dive in and share some helpful water saving tips with you.
Although we appear to have plenty of rain in the United States, our water resources are under pressure. Quite simply we are consuming too much. Water also requires huge amounts of energy, both to treat it and pump it to our houses, so our thirst for water is damaging our planet in more ways than one.
The good news is that there are many simple things we can do at home and at work to reduce our consumption of water. Here are 10 of the 100 smart water-saving tips from Water: Use Less, Save More:
1. If you are making a hot drink, fill the kettle with only as much water as you need. You will save energy as well as water.
2. Garbage disposals use a considerable amount of water. Start composting and put vegetable scraps in your compost bin.
3. Use a bowl to wash vegetables or to wash and rinse plates.
4. Don’t keep the tap running when cleaning your teeth.
5. While waiting for shower water to run hot, collect the cold water and use it on your plants.
6. Have a five-minute shower instead of a bath and save 30 gallons of water.
7. Attach a hose to your washing machine outlet pipe. Collect the used water when the machine is discharging and use it to water the garden.
8. Use a rain barrel to collect the rainwater from your roof rather than using treated drinking water on your garden. (Read all about using rain barrels here.)
9. Make sure everyone in your home knows where the main water valve is and how to work it. Use it to turn the water off if you have a leak.
10. Keep the telephone number of a plumber handy for emergencies.
Adapted from Water: Use Less, Save More by Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert (Chelsea Green, 2007).