The average American household uses around 300 gallons of water daily, with indoor use (bathing, washing dishes, flushing toilets) accounting for a significant portion. With global water scarcity becoming an increasing concern, everyone needs to play their part in conserving water.
Luckily, with water conservation comes money-saving.
According to the EPA, the average American family spends over $1000 per year on water. They, however, affirm that families can save a cool $380 if they adopt water-saving initiatives.
Looking to cut down on your water consumption? This article will explore frugal yet practical ways to reduce water consumption and save money while doing so. Read on.
1. Fixing Leaks
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 1 trillion gallons of water are wasted in the United States annually due to household leaks alone.
Leaky faucets and pipes may seem minor, but their collective impact is significant. A single dripping tap can waste gallons of water over time. Take the initiative to inspect your home for leaks regularly. It’s a simple task that can save you money on your water bill and contribute to conservation efforts.
Also, when turning off taps, ensure it is done firmly to prevent leaks. Remember to teach children in the household to do this, as they often forget to do it well.
2. Installing Faucet Aerators
Faucet aerators are small devices that attach to the end of your faucets. They mix air with water, reducing the overall flow while maintaining adequate pressure.
This simple upgrade can result in significant water savings without sacrificing the functionality of your faucets. Installation of the devices is simple, thus making it a practical solution for homeowners.
Reducing water usage at the source is one great way to save money.
3. Use Low-flow Shower Heads
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the use of low-flow faucets and shower heads can save the average household 700 gallons of water per year.
Long, luxurious showers are a guilty pleasure for many, but they contribute to excessive water usage. Consider installing a low-flow shower head in your bathroom and limit the water flow without compromising your shower experience. Remember, choosing the right low-flow shower head involves considering water pressure and spray patterns.
Besides conserving water, this frugal strategy helps reduce energy consumption, as less water needs to be heated.
4. Take Shorter Showers
While low-flow shower heads are effective, another frugal strategy is simply reducing shower time. Most people spend more time in the shower than necessary, and this excess water usage adds up over time.
You can significantly reduce your water consumption by being mindful of the time spent under the water.
Consider setting a timer or playing your favorite song to keep track of your shower time. Challenge yourself to shorten your showers by just a few minutes, and you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.
5. Turn off Faucets
Leaving faucets running while brushing teeth or doing dishes is a common habit contributing to water waste. Developing the habit of turning off faucets when not in use is a simple yet effective way to conserve water.
It’s a small change that requires minimal effort but has a significant impact over time. Small actions like this, when adopted collectively, contribute significantly to water conservation efforts.
6. Start Collecting Rainwater
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an average American household with a roof of about 2,000 square feet can collect over 60,000 gallons of rainwater annually.
Nature provides us with a free and sustainable source of water: rain. Collecting rainwater is an eco-friendly practice that reduces your reliance on treated water and provides a natural resource for your home.
Rainwater can be used to water plants, wash outdoor surfaces, do laundry, clean floors, or even flush toilets.
7. Full Loads Only
Appliances like dishwashers and washing machines are designed to be efficient, but their water usage depends on how you use them. Waiting until you have a full load before running your dishwasher or washing machine maximizes their efficiency and minimizes water waste.
Running partial loads not only wastes water but also increases energy consumption. Adopting this frugal habit of waiting for full loads ensures that each cycle is as water-efficient as possible.
8. Install a Dual-flush Toilet
Traditional toilets use a standard flush for all situations, leading to unnecessary water waste. Luckily, some modern toilets have two buttons that allow users to choose between a full flush for solid waste or a reduced flush for liquid waste. This simple adjustment significantly decreases water usage per flush, contributing to substantial water savings over time.
A dual-flush toilet in your home helps you save water and reduce your water bill, making it a win-win for your wallet and the environment.
9. Mulch Around Plants
The University of California’s Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) indicates that well-mulched soils require up to 50% less water than non-mulched soils.
Mulching is a tried-and-true method for conserving soil moisture and reducing the need for frequent watering. Covering the soil around plants with a layer of mulch creates a protective barrier that helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. This frugal practice is cost-effective, promotes soil health, and reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers.
10. Water During Cooler Times
The time of day you water your plants can significantly impact water absorption and evaporation. Watering during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening, allows plants to absorb moisture more efficiently. Cooler temperatures reduce evaporation, ensuring more water reaches the roots where needed.
Planning your watering schedule around these cooler times is a simple yet effective strategy for water conservation. It maximizes the effectiveness of each watering session, making the most out of every drop.
11. Use a Broom, Not a Hose
When it comes to outdoor cleaning, many people reach for the hose without considering more water-efficient alternatives. Using a broom instead of a hose for cleaning driveways, sidewalks, or decks saves water by preventing unnecessary runoff.
A broom efficiently removes debris without the need for continuous water flow. Consider using a bucket of soapy water and a scrub brush for tougher stains instead of relying on a hose. Besides conserving water, this frugal approach contributes to a cleaner and more sustainable outdoor environment.
12. Soak Instead of Scrub
Small changes in dishwashing habits in the kitchen can lead to significant water savings. Instead of scrubbing dishes under a continuous stream of water, consider adopting the soak-and-wash method. Fill a basin with soapy water, soak the dishes, and then wash them with minimal water usage.
This frugal method can also minimize the energy required to heat water. Anyone can incorporate this frugal and eco-friendly approach into their daily routine. By making conscious choices in your kitchen, you contribute to water conservation without compromising cleanliness.
13. Use a Pool Cover
According to the Water Education Foundation, the average residential swimming pool loses about 20,000 gallons of water annually through evaporation. This evaporation necessitates frequent refilling, contributing to the overall water consumption associated with pool maintenance.
Using a pool cover minimizes evaporation. Pool covers create a barrier that prevents water from evaporating into the air, especially during hot and sunny days. Further, the cover maintains water temperature and keeps debris out, reducing the workload on pool filters.
14. Reuse Aquarium Water
Pet owners with aquariums often overlook the potential water waste associated with routine maintenance. Instead of disposing of aquarium water, consider reusing it for plants or gardens. Aquarium water is nutrient-rich and can act as a natural fertilizer, benefiting your greenery without additional watering.
Before reusing aquarium water, ensure it’s free of harmful chemicals or additives. You can then incorporate it into your watering routine, giving your plants a sustainable and nutrient-packed boost. This frugal practice demonstrates how even the most minor actions can contribute to water conservation daily.
15. Choose Drought-tolerant Plants
When planning your outdoor space, opt for drought-tolerant plants that can thrive with minimal water. These plants are adapted to arid conditions, requiring less water than traditional varieties. Planting drought-tolerant species reduces the need for constant watering, thus helping conserve water.
Popular drought-tolerant plants include succulents, lavender, and yarrow, among others. Their resilience to dry conditions makes them an excellent choice for water-smart gardening.