When you’re running water from your faucet, it’s easy to imagine that there is an endless supply. In fact, the average person uses 80–100 gallons of water every day, and this is having a huge impact on freshwater supplies. Fortunately, there are some fairly simple things you can do to significantly cut your home’s water usage.
Avoid Letting Water Flow
Never let water just pour out of the faucet when you don’t need to. Just turning off the water when you’re shaving or brushing your teeth can save a lot. Keep in mind that the water pressure in an average household can result in a faucet using 6 gallons in three minutes. If you’re washing dishes by hand, fill up the sink with soapy water rather than running the water.
Create a Compost Pile
The garbage disposal in your kitchen sink uses a lot of water. This is why you should compost as much as you can of your garbage rather than putting it down your garbage disposal. Create a compost pile for all of your vegetable matter scraps.
Take Smarter Showers
Showers can also use an enormous amount of water. There are two ways to cut water usage for showers. The first is to install low-flow showerheads. These will get you just as clean as standard showerheads, but with a fraction of the water. The other is to take faster showers. If you normally take a ten minute shower, try to do it in five.
Fix Any Leaks
Locate any leaks in your home and repair them as quickly as possible. One way to determine if you have a leak is to read your water meter, wait two hours without using water and then read it again. If there’s any change, you have a leak somewhere. Look at the connections on your water heater, the pipes under your sinks, and the faucets themselves. You can literally lose thousands of gallons of water every year just because of dripping faucets.
In addition to putting a low-flow showerhead in your shower, you should also install low-flow faucets and toilets throughout your home. Many low-flow toilets use as little as half as much water as older, standard models. Some toilets also have a full flush for solid wastes or a half flush for liquids.
Use Rain Barrels
If you have a large yard and a garden, you can use a lot of water taking care of it. Cut or eliminate this water usage by using rain barrels attached to your gutter system’s downspout to capture water to use in your garden.
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