Save Money by Using Less Water at Home
If you live in southern California, you live in a desert. The entire south-west of the US is desert, and water has to be brought here from a very long way. So water in Socal costs money and can be rationed in drought years – as it was last year. A residential home uses a huge amount of water. Americans use 100 gallons of water per person per day; compare that to the average African or Asian family, who might exist on one gallon of water per person per day — and that’s after someone has carried the water to the home from a great distance. But even though we have water, we shouldn’t be wasting it, and there are many ways to reduce home water use without needing to change your plumbing or fixtures or to radically change your life. When you reduce home water use, you lower your water bills so you save money, and when you use less water you can also feel that you are doing something for the “greater good”.
So let’s look at four major areas of your home where there are a number of things you can do to reduce your water consumption.
Reduce Home Water Use in Your Bathroom
There are many ways to reduce home water use in your bathroom. Start with your toilet/s. These devices use a huge amount of water. Consider installing a low-flow toilet. These really save money by using less water. There are even toilets available today that have two flush settings – a short flush for liquids and a longer flush for solids including human waste and toilet paper.
You can also reduce home water use in your bathroom with low-flow faucets. These are inexpensive and easy to install. Simply install an aerator at the end of your faucet, and you will use less water each time you turn on the faucet – but the aerator makes the same amount of water feel “full”.
Another place you can reduce your water consumption in the home is by collecting the water from the hot tap in the bath, shower or sink before the water gets hot. Keep a plastic bucket handy, and capture the water so it doesn’t simply run down the drain. You can use this water to water your indoor plants, and if you have enough, you can even water outdoor plants or lawn grass. It might even be worth it – if you have space – to keep a larger water container nearby and pour the water saved this way into the large container for use at a later date.
Reduce Home Water Use in Your Kitchen
The next area to look for ways to save water in the home is in the kitchen. Let’s start with the dishwasher. Believe it or not, a dishwasher uses far less water than you use when washing dishes by hand. The new Energy-Star dishwashers are not only more energy efficient, they also use less water. But don’t run the dishwasher every time you load in a few items. Make sure the dishwasher is full before you run it. And if you must wash dishes by hand, fill a large receptacle with warm water and use that rather than keeping the water running the whole time.
You can also reduce your water consumption by doing the same as we advised you to do in your bathroom – capture the water that comes out of the hot tap before the water becomes hot. Then use this water for uses like watering indoor or outdoor plants or even your lawn. Again, if you have the space, get a larger water container and pour in the water you save each time into the container for later use.
Reduce Home Water Use in Your Yard
If you live in an apartment, your landlord is responsible for the water and there is little to nothing you can do to cut your home water use. But if you live in a single family home, your yard can consume more than half your household water. SO there are many places where you might be able to reduce home water use by taking a good look at your yard.
Sweep, Don’t Wash Your Yard
Sweep up leaves, twigs and cut grass rather than hosing down your yard. Hosing uses way too much water.
Water Your Lawn During Cooler Hours
Watering your lawn during the hottest times of the day wastes a huge amount of water through evaporation. Water your lawn during early morning or evening hours, when evaporation loss will be less.
Water Sprinklers Very Inefficient
Using water sprinklers also wastes a huge amount of water. Consider installing a more efficient irrigation system – such as drip irrigation – and you will be amazed at how much water you can save. The cost of an efficient, sophisticated irrigation system will easily pay for itself very quickly.
Take Your Car to Car Wash
Don’t use a hose in your yard to wash your car. You won’t believe how much water you will waste. Take your car to a car wash – preferably a car wash that uses environmentally-friendly cleaning products.
Your Lawn Uses the Most Water
Nothing uses more water than your lawn. Today, many Californians are re-thinking the lawn and are looking at alternatives. Many Californians have ripped up their lawn and replaced it with pebbles, or bark, and have taken things a step further by planting hardy desert-adapted plants like the cactus, which also use less water. And several California companies are now offering to replace your lawn with great-looking artificial turf. If you don’t need to water your lawn you will reduce your home water use big-time.
Other Ways to Reduce Home Water Use.
If you follow the advice given above, you can start to reduce home water use. Which means you start saving on your water bill. If you’re really serious about reducing your home water consumption, look at two things: capturing rainwater and recycling gray water. If you can get into either or both of these, you will have a whole new supply of water for you to use in a huge variety of ways. Recently, a new California home was built from the ground up with a dual plumbing system, automatically recycling all the home’s gray water. In drought-stricken California, this may be the wave of the future.