Water Conservation: 10 Things You Can Do at Home

Jun 23 07:38 2009 Ellen Bell Print This Article

Water conservation isn't something that everyone thinks about.  In many parts of the developed world, water is cheap and readily available.  But did you know that one in five people around the globe does not have access to clean drinking water?  Find out what you can do to help.

Water conservation is an important topic for all of us.  Even if you don't live in an area subject to freshwater shortages,Guest Posting billions of other people around the world do.  Freshwater is one of our most precious and also our most wasted resources.  Approximately 1.2 billion people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water.  Can you imagine if you came home at the end of the day and had no water to prepare dinner, take a shower, brush your teeth, or prepare a bottle for the baby?  This is what much of the developing world deals with on a daily basis.  And the problem grows worse as the world's population increases.

So how do the rest of us help?  The best way to make a difference is stop taking water for granted and start conserving the freshwater that we use every day.  It's easier than you might think, and just a few little steps multiply as time goes by, adding up to thousands of gallons saved each year.  Here are some ideas to get you and your family started conserving water.

  1. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and washing your face at the sink.  Water saved: 3 gallons per day.
  2. Turn off the water in the shower when you're lathering up or shampooing your hair.  Water saved: 5 gallons per minute.
  3. Install a water-saving showerhead.  Water saved: 1 to 2 gallons per minute.
  4. Don't rinse your dishes before loading the dishwasher.  Believe it or not, most dishwashers are designed to handle un-rinsed dishes, and in fact, they may perform better if dishes are not pre-rinsed.  Water saved: 20 gallons per dishwasher load.
  5. If you have a dishwasher, use it.  Studies have shown that new, efficient dishwashers use far less water than washing dishes by hand, so when in doubt, put that pan in the dishwasher!  Not only will this save you water, it will save you time, too.
  6. Routinely check toilets for leaks.  Standard, water flush toilets are very leaky, that's all there is to it.  Most toilets will need their inner parts replaced at least once every year or two to prevent unnecessary leaks.  Water saved: Up to 200 gallons per day.
  7. If you have old toilets, consider replacing them with new, high efficiency toilets that use less water per flush.  Or, better yet, consider installing a composting toilet that uses no water.  Water saved: 5 to 7 gallons per flush.
  8. If you water your lawn, be sure to put your sprinklers on timers.  A sprinkler that's accidentally left on all night can waste over a thousand gallons of water.
  9. If you don't have aerators on your kitchen and bathroom sink faucets, get some.  They are incredibly cheap, you probably won't notice a difference in the amount of water flowing from your faucet, and they'll save 1 to 2 gallons of water per minute.
  10. Use a rain barrel at the bottom of your gutter downspouts to collect rainwater for watering plants and filling birdbaths.  Rain barrels can be purchased online or through specialty stores, or it may be possible to build one yourself.

Remember, water usage habits are learned at home.  If you teach your children how to conserve water while they are growing up, they will carry those habits with them for a lifetime.  Think what a difference we could make in 20 or 30 years if an entire generation were raised with water conservation in mind.  So start today, and start at home.  Water conservation is important for everyone, regardless of who you are or where you live.  Freshwater is our most precious natural resource, and we want to be sure there is enough of it to go around.

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Ellen Bell
Ellen Bell

One of the best ways to save water is to install a compost toilet.  For more information on these odorless units that are easy to install, please visit the Composting Toilet Store at http://www.composting-toilet-store.com/

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