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Over 100 Ways to Conserve Water

When it comes to conserving water, small adjustments can have a big impact. Conserve water with ideas from our 100+ water-saving tips.

INDOOR TIPS

KITCHEN

  • #1 When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  • #2 Dishwashers typically use less water than washing dishes by hand. Now, Energy Star dishwashers save even more water and energy.
  • #3 If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones.
  • #4 Designate one glass for your drinking water each day, or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.
  • #5 Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
  • #6 Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Instead, compost vegetable food waste and save gallons every time.
  • #7 Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
  • #8 Don’t use running water to thaw food. For water efficiency and food safety, defrost food in the refrigerator.
  • #9 Install an instant water heater near your kitchen sink so you don’t have to run the water while it heats up. This also reduces energy costs.
  • #10 Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. This way, every drop goes down you and not the drain.
  • #11 Reuse leftover water from cooked or steamed foods to start a nutritious soup, it’s one more way to get eight glasses of water a day.
  • #12 Cook food in as little water as possible. This also helps it retain more nutrients.
  • #13 Select the proper pan size for cooking. Large pans may require more cooking water than necessary.
  • #14 If you accidentally drop ice cubes, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead.
  • #15 Collect the water you use while rinsing fruit and vegetables. Use it to water house plants.
  • #16 When shopping for a new dishwasher, use the Consortium for Energy Efficiency website to compare water use between models.

LAUNDRY ROOM

  • #17 When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load.
  • #18 Washing dark clothes in cold water saves water and energy, and helps your clothes retain their color.
  • #19 When shopping for a new washing machine, compare resource savings among Energy Star models. Some can save up to 20 gallons of water per load.
  • #20 Have a plumber re-route your greywater to trees and plants rather than the sewer line. Check with your city and county for codes.
  • #21 When buying a washer, check the Consortium for Energy Efficiency website to compare water use between models.

BATHROOM

  • #22 If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a WaterSense® labeled model.
  • #23 Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
  • #24 Time your shower to keep it under 5 minutes. You’ll save up to 1,000 gallons per month.
  • #25 Toilet leaks can be silent! Be sure to test your toilet for leaks at least once a year.
  • #26 Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the bowl without flushing, there’s a leak. Fix it and start saving gallons.
  • #27 When running a bath, plug the bathtub before turning on the water. Adjust the temperature as the tub fills.
  • #28 Upgrade older toilets with water-saving WaterSense® labeled models.
  • #29 If your toilet flapper doesn’t close properly after flushing, replace it.
  • #30 Use a WaterSense® labeled showerhead. They’re inexpensive, easy to install, and can save you up to 750 gallons a month.
  • #31 Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons a minute. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four.
  • #32 If your toilet was installed before 1992, purchasing a WaterSense® labeled toilet can reduce the amount of water used for each flush.
  • #33 Consider buying a dual-flush toilet. It has two flush options: a half-flush for liquid waste and a full-flush for solid waste.
  • #34 Plug the sink instead of running the water to rinse your razor and save up to 300 gallons a month.
  • #35 Turn off the water while washing your hair and save up to 150 gallons a month.
  • #36 When washing your hands, turn the water off while you lather.
  • #37 Take 5-minute showers instead of baths. A full bathtub requires up to 70 gallons of water.
  • #38 Install water-saving aerators on all of your faucets.
  • #39 Drop tissues in the trash instead of flushing them and save water every time.
  • #40 Look for WaterSense® labeled toilets, sink faucets, urinals and showerheads.
  • #41 One drip every second adds up to five gallons per day! Check your faucets and showerheads for leaks.
  • #42 While you wait for hot water, collect the running water and use it to water plants.

GENERAL INDOOR

  • #43 Teach children to turn off faucets tightly after each use.
  • #44 See how your water use stacks up to others by calculating your daily water use.
  • #45 When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it most.
  • #46 Encourage your school system and local government to develop and promote water conservation among children and adults.
  • #47 Monitor your water bill for unusually high use. Your bill and water meter are tools that can help you discover leaks.
  • #48 Learn how to use your water meter to check for leaks.
  • #49 Reward kids for the water-saving tips they follow.
  • #50 Avoid recreational water toys that require a constant flow of water.
  • #51 Grab a wrench and fix that leaky faucet. It’s simple, inexpensive, and you can save 140 gallons a week.
  • #52. We’re more likely to notice leaky faucets indoors, but don’t forget to check outdoor faucets, pipes, and hoses.
  • #53. See a leak you can’t fix? Tell a parent, teacher, employer, or property manager, or call a handyman.
  • #54 At home or while staying in a hotel, reuse your towels.
  • #55 Run your washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.

OUTDOOR TIPS

XERISCAPE LANDSCAPING

  • #56 Use porous material for walkways and patios to prevent wasteful runoff and keep water in your yard.
  • #63 Group with the same watering needs together to avoid overwatering some while underwatering others.
  • #64 Plant shrubs and ground covers appropriate to your site and region.
  • #65 Plant in the spring and fall, when the watering requirements are lower.
  • #66 Avoid planting grass in areas that are hard to water, such as steep inclines and isolated strips along sidewalks and driveways.
  • #67 Leave lower branches on trees and shrubs and allow leaf litter to accumulate on the soil. This keeps the soil cooler and reduces evaporation.
  • #68 Start a compost pile. Using compost in your garden or flower beds adds water-holding organic matter to the soil.
  • #69 Use a layer of organic mulch on the surface of your planting beds to minimize weed growth that competes for water.
  • #70 Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants helps them retain moisture, saving water, time and money.
  • #71 Use 2 to 4 inches of organic mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and save hundreds of gallons of water a year.
  • #72 Next time you add or replace a flower or shrub, choose a low-water-use plant and save up to 550 gallons each year.
  • #73 Collect water from your roof by installing gutters and downspouts. Direct the runoff to plants and trees.
  • #74 For automatic water savings, direct water from rain gutters and HVAC systems to water-loving plants in your landscape.

LAWN CARE

  • #86 Read the Landscape Watering by the Numbers guidebook to help you determine how long and how much to water.
  • #87 Use a trowel, shovel, or soil probe to examine soil moisture depth. If the top two to three inches of soil are dry, it’s time to water.
  • #88 Set a kitchen timer or alarm on your phone when using the hose as a reminder to turn it off. A running hose can discharge up to 10 gallons per minute.
  • #89 Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk or street.
  • #90 Minimize evaporation by watering during the early morning hours when temperatures are cooler and winds are lighter.
  • #91 Timing is everything when it comes to irrigation. Learn how to set your controller properly.
  • #92 Look for WaterSense® labeled irrigation controllers.
  • #93 Learn how to shut off your automatic watering system in case of malfunctions or rain.
  • #94 Apply water only as fast as the soil can absorb it.
  • #95 If water runs off your lawn easily, split your watering time into shorter periods to allow for better absorption.
  • #96 Water only when necessary. More plants die from over-watering than from under-watering.
  • #97 Signs of overwatering: Leaves turn lighter shades of green or yellow, young shoots wilt, and sometimes algae or fungi grow.
  • #98 Water your plants deeply but less frequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance.
  • #99 Use sprinklers that deliver big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller drops and mist often evaporate before hitting the ground.
  • #100 Use a rain barrel to harvest rainwater from gutters for watering gardens and landscapes.
  • #101 For hanging baskets, planters and pots, put ice cubes on top of the soil to give your plants a cool drink of water without overflow.

GENERAL OUTDOOR

  • #102 Winterize outdoor spigots when temperatures dip below freezing to prevent pipes from leaking or bursting.
  • #103 For more immediate hot water and energy savings, insulate hot water pipes.
  • #104 Wash your pets outdoors, in an area of your lawn that needs water.
  • #105 When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your non-edible plants.
  • #106 When you give your pet fresh water, don’t throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs.
  • #107 Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalks and driveways, and save water every time.
  • #108 Set water softeners for a minimum number of refills to save both water and chemicals, plus energy, too.

2 replies »

  1. Jack and Dodie you’ve apparently had me hood-winked all this time! I’ve heard from the best sources that NO Conservatives care about conservation of any sort and here you are finally showing your true colors. Come to think of it, my mother must have been a raving Liberal. She wanted to save water so badly that she made my younger brother and i share the same bath water! How I pleaded to be first!! LOL

    Liked by 2 people

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