Many of us only really think about water shortages when we’re facing a heatwave, but water is a finite commodity that’s overused regardless of extreme heat. The average person uses 80 to 100 gallons of water per day.
From brushing your teeth to taking a bath, the amount of water you use adds up. And with the looming climate crisis, it’s more important than ever to minimize water waste.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to minimize water waste in your home.
1. Fix minor leaks around your house
The occasional drip from your faucet may not seem like a big deal. But the average family can waste up to 180 gallons of water per week because of leaks. In a year, that’s enough water to wash your clothes 300 times.
It can be trickier to find a leak when your faucet isn’t dripping but your pipes are showing signs of corrosion. Talk to your plumber and have your pipes inspected to minimize water waste and to mitigate the need for emergency plumbing services.
2. Install a low-flow faucet and showerhead
Showerheads and faucets typically send out five to ten gallons of water per minute. Your hardware store and plumbing supply store stocks inexpensive flow restrictors and showerheads that can cut your water flow to three gallons a minute instead.
Low-flow faucets and showerheads are easy to install. Your showers will still be cleansing and your dishes will still get perfectly clean, too, so you can minimize water waste without worrying about leaving the shower with a soapy residue on your skin.
3. Always wash a full load of laundry
You can waste a lot of water when you wash small loads of laundry here and there throughout the week. While most high-efficiency washers use up to 30 gallons of water to wash your clothes, older washers use 45 gallons per load. The most efficient washers use only five gallons of water per cubic foot of capacity.
Wait until you have a full load of laundry to wash your clothes. You can use cold water to reduce the risk of bleeding colors.
4. Keep a jug of water in your fridge
Room-temperature water may be better for you, but ice cold water is always more refreshing. Unfortunately, you can waste a surprising amount of water waiting for your tap water to turn cold before filling your glass.
The good news is that you can avoid water waste and get ice cold water fast using the same solution — placing a jug of water in the fridge for drinking.
Why does saving water matter?
While you’re minimizing water waste around your home, it’s important to remember the reason why you’re reducing waste in the first place. Water might not look like it’s in short supply, but using less water means you’re saving money and reducing energy use.
Cleaning wastewater is an energy-intensive process that has a sizable carbon footprint, and there’s a lot of energy that goes into heating your hot water, too. That said, by reducing the amount of water you use around your home every day, you can minimize your own carbon footprint in more ways than one.
Author Bio: Bryan Graves is the Vice President of Preferred Plumbing & Drain and has been in the plumbing and drain cleaning industry since 1989. In his free time, Bryan enjoys spending time with his family, boating, and attending sporting events.