Everyone knows that it's important for the environment to conserve water, but what most people don't know is that it's also profitable. WaterSense, a division of the EPA, put together a list of easy steps you can take to save water and money both inside and outside your house.
Inside the House Tips
Giving your bathroom a water efficiency makeover could save thousands of gallons of water annually.
1. Consider a WaterSense labeled toilet that uses 20 percent less water while still offering superior performance, according to WaterSense. Compared with older models this toilet could save you $90 a year.
2. WaterSense suggests checking your toilet for leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If it is leaking the food coloring will appear within 15 minutes. Be sure to flush your toilet after because the food coloring can stain.
3. Installing a WaterSense labeled aerator is a great way to save money. Also consider replacing the entire facet a WaterSense model. This will increase efficiency by 30 percent without sacrificing performance.
4. Repair dripping facets and showerheads. According to WaterSense drip rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year.
5. A full bathtub requires up to 70 gallons of water, so WaterSense suggests taking a five-minute shower which uses between 10 and 25 gallons of water.
6. WaterSense claims that turning off the tap while you brush your teeth can save eight gallons per day.
7. WaterSense says to wash only full loads of dishes and clothes or lower the water settings for smaller loads.
8. Replace your old washing machine with a high-efficiency, ENERGY STAR® labeled model, which uses up to 50 percent less water and electricity, according to WaterSense.
Outside the House Tips
According to WaterSense the average single-family suburban home uses at least 30 percent of its water for outdoor purposes such as irrigation and as much as 70 percent in dry climates. Some experts estimate that more than 50 percent of landscape water is wasted due to evaporation, wind or overwatering.
1. WaterSense says to water your lawn or garden during the cool morning hours, as opposed to midday, to reduce evaporation.
2. Look for sprinklers that produce droplets, not mist, or use soaker hoses or trickle irrigation for trees and shrubs, suggests WaterSense.
3. WaterSense reminds homeowners to set sprinklers to water lawns and gardens only. Check that you're not watering the street or sidewalk.
4. Try not to overwater your landscaping, says WaterSense. Learn plants' water needs and water different types appropriately.
5. WaterSense warns not to overfertilize. You will increase the lawn's need for water.
6. Raise your lawn mower blade to at least 3 inches says WaterSense. Taller grass promotes deeper roots, shades the root system, and holds soil moisture better than a closely cropped lawn.
7. Plant climate-appropriate species. WaterSense says to try plants that are native to where you live, which don't require as much water, and group plants together by water requirements.
8. Use mulch around trees and plants, according to WaterSense it helps reduce evaporation and control water-stealing weeds.