When you save water, you save money. It's just that simple. And we've collected more than a hundred important and easy water-saving tips for you to tap into. So don't just go with the flow, discover all there is to know, and start saving some H2O!
1. Monitor your water bill for unusually high use. Your bill and water meter are tools that can help you discover leaks.
2. Know where your master water shut-off valve is located. This could save water and prevent damage to your home.
3. Insulate hot water pipes for more immediate hot water at the faucet, and for energy savings.
4. Make sure there are water-saving aerators on all of your faucets.
5. Set cooling systems and water softeners for a minimum number of refills, to save both water and chemicals, plus more on utility bills.
6. Some refrigerators, air conditioners and ice-makers are cooled with wasted flows of water. Consider upgrading with air-cooled appliances for significant water savings.
7. When buying new appliances, consider those that offer cycle and load size adjustments. They're more water and energy efficient.
8. Listen for dripping faucets and running toilets. Fixing a leak can save 300 gallons a month or more.
9. Teach your children to turn off faucets tightly after each use.
10. For cold drinks, keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. This way, every drop goes down you instead of the drain.
11. Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water, instead of running water from the tap.
12. Collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables, and then reuse it to water houseplants.
13. Don't use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator for water efficiency and food safety.
14. 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.
15. Re-use the water left over from cooked or steamed foods to start a scrumptious and nutritious soup.
16. Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost vegetable food waste instead and save gallons every time.
17. When washing dishes by hand, fill the sink basin or a large container and rinse when all of the dishes have been soaped and scrubbed.
18. When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
19. 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.
20. Soak pots and pans, instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
21. If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones.
22. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth, and you could save up to 25 gallons a month.
23. Turn off the water while washing your hair, and you could save up to 150 gallons a month.
24. Turn off the water while shaving, and you could save up to 300 gallons a month.
25. Shorten your shower by a minute or two, and you could save up to 150 gallons per month.
26. Use a water-efficient showerhead. They're inexpensive, easy to install, and could save up to 750 gallons a month.
27. To save water and time, consider washing your face or brushing your teeth while in the shower.
28. When you are washing your hands, don't let the water run while you lather.
29. When running a bath, plug the tub before turning the water on, then adjust the temperature as the tub fills up.
30. Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water as it warms up or runs. Use this water to flush toilets or water plants.
31. If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a water-efficient model.
32. Upgrade older toilets with water efficient models.
33. Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it could save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
34. If your toilet flapper doesn't close after flushing, replace it.
35. Drop your tissue in the trash instead of flushing it down the toilet, and save water every time.
36. If your toilet was installed before 1992, reduce the amount of water used for each flush by inserting a displacement device in the tank.
37. At home, or even in a hotel, consider reusing your towels.
38. When shopping for a new clothes washer, compare resource savings among Energy Star models. Some of these can save up to 20 gallons per load, and energy too.
39. When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load.
40. Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You could save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
41. Washing dark clothes in cold water saves on both water and energy, while it helps your clothes to keep their colors.
42. We're more likely to notice leaks indoors, but don't forget to check outdoor faucets, sprinklers and hoses for leaks.
43. Winterize outdoor spigots when temperatures dip below freezing, to prevent pipes from leaking or bursting.
44. Report broken pipes, open hydrants and errant sprinklers to the property owner or your water provider.
45. Install walkways and patios. They provide space that doesn't ever need to be watered. These useful "rooms" can also add value to your property.
46. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk, and save water every time.
47. Avoid recreational water toys that require a constant flow of water.
48. Use a hose nozzle or turn off the water while you wash your car. You could save up to 100 gallons every time.
LAWN & GARDEN TIPS
49. Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered, instead of the house, sidewalk, or street.
50. Choose shrubs and groundcovers instead of turf for hard-to-water areas, such as steep slopes and isolated strips.
51. Plant in the fall when conditions are cooler, and rainfall is more plentiful.
52. Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler, to minimize evaporation.
53. Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants retains moisture and saves water, time and money.
54. If water runs off your lawn easily, split your watering time into shorter periods to allow for better absorption.
55. Check the root zone of your lawn or garden for moisture before watering, using a spade or trowel. If it's still moist two inches under the soil surface, you still have enough water.
56. Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil moisture better than if it is closely clipped.
57. Use sprinklers for large areas of grass. Water small patches by hand to avoid waste.
58. Collect water from your roof to water your garden.
59. Rather than following a set watering schedule, check for soil moisture two to three inches below the surface before watering.
60. Install a rain sensor on your irrigation controller so your system won't run when it's raining.
61. Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees to apply water directly to the roots where it's needed.
62. Reduce the amount of lawn that needs to be watered in your yard by planting shrubs and ground covers appropriate to your site and region.
63. Remember to check your sprinkler system valves periodically for leaks and keep the sprinkler heads in good shape.
64. Don't water your lawn on windy days when most of the water blows away or evaporates.
65. To decrease water from being wasted on sloping lawns, apply water for five minutes and then repeat two to three times.
66. Group plants with the same watering needs together, to avoid over-watering some while under-watering others.
67. Use a layer of organic material on the surface of your planting beds to minimize weed growth that competes for water.
68. Use a minimum amount of organic or slow release fertilizer to promote a healthy and drought tolerant landscape.
69. Trickling or cascading fountains lose less water to evaporation than those spraying water into the air.
70. Use a rain gauge, or empty tuna can, to track rainfall on your lawn. Then reduce your watering accordingly.
71. Learn how to shut off your automatic watering system in case it malfunctions or you get an unexpected rain.
72. Set a kitchen timer when watering your lawn or garden to remind you when to stop. A running hose can discharge up to 10 gallons a minute.
73. If installing a lawn, select a turf mix or blend that matches your climate and site conditions.
74. When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it the most.
75. Wash your car on the lawn, and you'll water your lawn at the same time.
76. Direct water from rain gutters and HVAC systems toward water-loving plants in the landscape for automatic water savings.
77. Leave lower branches on trees and shrubs, and allow leaf litter to accumulate on the soil. This keeps the soil cooler and reduces evaporation.
78. Let your lawn go dormant during the summer. Dormant grass only needs to be watered every three weeks or less if it rains.
79. Plant with finished compost to add water-holding and nutrient-rich organic matter to the soil.
80. Use sprinklers that deliver big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller water drops and mist often evaporate before they hit the ground.
81. If you have an automatic lawn watering system, adjust your watering schedule each month to match seasonal weather conditions and landscape requirements.
82. Wash your pets outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs water.
83. Apply water only as fast as the soil can absorb it.
84. Aerate your lawn at least once a year so water can reach the roots rather than run off the surface.
85. Catch water in an empty tuna can to measure sprinkler output. One inch of water on one square foot of grass equals two-thirds of a gallon of water.
86. Have your plumber re-route your gray water to trees and gardens, rather than letting it run into the sewer line. Check with your city codes, and if it isn't allowed in your area, start a movement to get that changed.
87. Water only when necessary. More plants die from over-watering than from under-watering.
88. For hanging baskets, planters and pots, place ice cubes under the moss or dirt to give your plants a cool drink of water and help eliminate water overflow.
89. Water your plants deeply but less frequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance.
90. Next time you add or replace a flower or shrub, choose a low water use plant for year-round landscape color, and you could save up to 550 gallons each year.
91. When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your plants.
92. When you have ice left in your cup from a take-out restaurant, or when you drop ice cubes on the floor, don't throw them in the trash. Dump them on a plant or put them in your pet's water dish.
93. When you give your pet fresh water, don't throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs.
POOL & SPA TIPS
94. Install covers on pools and spas to eliminate evaporation, and check for leaks around your pumps.
95. If you have an automatic refilling device, check your pool periodically for leaks.
96. Use a grease pencil to mark the water level of your pool at the skimmer. Check the mark 24 hours later to see if you have a leak.
97. Make sure your swimming pools, fountains, and ponds are equipped with recirculating pumps.
98. When back flushing your pool, consider using the water on your landscaping.
SAVING WATER IN YOUR COMMUNITY
99. Use a commercial car wash that recycles water.
100. Encourage your school system and local government to develop and promote water conservation among children and adults.
101. Make suggestions to your employer about ways to save water and money at work.
102. Support projects that use reclaimed wastewater for irrigation and industrial uses.
103. Share these water conservation tips with your friends and neighbors!
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