50 Easy Ways to Conserve Water

Whether your city is facing a drought or not, you can always think a little greener in the choices you make at homeand at work, especially when it comes to conserving water. It’s not an infinite resource, and those who have it in abundance tend to use it recklessly.

There are lots of creative ways to reduce your water usage and get it closer to the World Health Organization recommended 5 gallons per day, rather than the American average: 100 gallons. Here are 50 ideas to get you started.

  1. Only order water in a restaurant if you plan to drink it.
  2. Collect unusedshower water in a bucket.
  3. Use dirtybathwater to water plants or flush the toilet.
  4. Use a broom, not a hose, to clean your sidewalk.
  5. If your shower fills a 1-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds,upgrade the head.
  6. Upgrade from water-cooled to air-cooled appliances.
  7. Compost vegetable scraps, rather than using the disposal.
  8. Decline automatic refills of water in restaurants.
  9. Pot plants in the fall when conditions are cooler and rainfall is plentiful.
  10. Like your water cold? Keep a pitcher in the fridge, rather than running the tap.
  11. Monitor your water bill. Spikes will alert you to leaks in the house.
  12. Unless your dishwasher requires it, don’t pre-rinse dishes.
  13. Cover your pool so water doesn’t evaporate needlessly.
  14. Soak pots and pans, rather than letting the water run.
  15. Reuse the water your dehumidifier collects.
  16. Don’t water your lawn on windy days.
  17. Locate your house’s master water shutoff valve in the case of flooding.
  18. Water your lawn when temperatures are cooler. Morning or evening is best!
  19. Wash fruit and veggies in a bowl of water, rather than in running water.
  20. Use this dirty waterto nurtureyour houseplants!
  21. Check outdoor faucets, sprinklers and hoses for leaks.
  22. Purchase new appliances that offer cycle and load size adjustments.
  23. Shorten your shower by a minute.
  24. Shorten your shower by two minutes.
  25. Install a rain sensor on your irrigation controller.
  26. Know the water footprint of your food.
  27. Insulate hot water pipes.
  28. Decline unnecessary laundering in hotels.
  29. Cut your grass a little higher. A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil moisture.
  30. Cleaning out your fish tank? Give theextra, nutrient-rich water to your plants.
  31. Apply organic mulch to plants. It retains moisture and saves water.
  32. Don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth.
  33. Fix leaks as soon as you discover them.
  34. Plug the tub the moment you start running water for a bath, then adjust.
  35. Only run full loads of laundry. This can saveup to 1,000 gallons per month!
  36. Load your dishwasher the right way.
  37. Save your drinking glass and use it throughout the day.
  38. Water small patches of greenery by hand, not with a hose.
  39. Check for soil moisture two inches below the surface before watering.
  40. Encourage your office to promote water conservation.
  41. Don’t flush the toilet unnecessarily.
  42. Wash dark clothes in cold water.
  43. Aerate your lawn at least once per year.
  44. Collect water from your roof in a rain barrel, then apply to the lawn.
  45. Wash your pets outdoors in areas of the lawn that need to be watered.
  46. Reuse your towels and washcloths when you stay in hotels.
  47. Turn the faucet off while you lather your hands with soap.
  48. Don’t flush things (like tissues) that can simply be thrown away.
  49. Post notes with reminders to save water around the house.
  50. Share these tips with your friends and neighbors!

You may have heard some of these tips before, but they certainly bear repeating. Others are a fresh take on applying dirty water to new uses, or taking the stingy route when it’s easier to take the convenient one. Remember: every little bit helps!

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Elizabeth M
Past Member 3 months ago

many thanks

Elizabeth M
Past Member 3 months ago

many thanks

Ruth S
Ruth S3 months ago


Paulo R
Paulo R3 months ago


Paula A
Paula A3 months ago

Thank you

Chad A
Chad Anderson4 months ago


Anne G
Anne G4 months ago

Thanks, although watering with bath water is only advisable if there is no soap in it.

Catrin S

A good reminder!

Naomi D
Naomi Dreyer4 months ago

Especially the toilets could not be flushed!

Naomi D
Naomi Dreyer4 months ago

By the way, earlier this month (August) in my area of San Salvador, El Salvador the water company turned off the water for three days!!! It was needed for another area!!! My apartment house does NOT have a cistern! It was terrible.