As climate change worsens, we are facing a steady decline in global water security. Today, nearly one billion people on Earth do not have access to clean water to drink, bathe in, or irrigate crops with. Many environmental NGOs predict that worldwide droughts will become more frequent and more severe in the coming years, so conserving water has become more important than ever. Not sure how to do your part? Take a look at the list below for 5 great tips to help you start saving water today!
1. Check your house for leaks.
Did you learn in elementary school that a single dripping faucet in your home can waste hundreds of gallons of water every week? While that’s true, it’s nothing compared to the water we waste by not making sure our pipes are thoroughly sealed. If you suspect a leak anywhere in your house, call a plumber to seal them up. He or she will also be able to help you spot leaks that aren’t showing any signs yet.
2. Take shorter showers.
Though there’s no denying the appeal of a long, steamy shower, cutting back just a little bit can make a big difference in how much water you conserve. The average 10-minute shower requires about 20 gallons of water, so just cutting that down to 5 minutes can help you save 10 gallons every time!
3. Install a more efficient water heating system.
The costs of installing a new water heater puts many homeowners off even looking at alternatives. But did you know that tankless water heaters – which do not store gallons of water when they aren’t needed – can save you money AND help you conserve water? Because best both gas and electric tankless water heaters heat water quickly, they make it less necessary for you to run the cold water for too long, waiting for the temperature you want.
4. Wash your produce in a bowl instead of under the faucet.
Turning on your faucet every time you want to rinse a cucumber or an apple is a surprisingly wasteful habit. You can avoid this and conserve gallons of water every day by pouring a couple of inches of water into a large bowl and then rinsing your produce in it. To make this even more effective, save that water all day to rinse the fruit and vegetables you use in all your meals.
5. Don’t throw out your cooking water.
Whether you boiled pasta, poached eggs, or steamed vegetables, the water you have left over from cooking can be put to so many good uses. After allowing it to cool, you can use it to water your plants, bucket flush your toilets, wash fresh produce (see tip number 4!), or add it to healthy smoothies. Simply let it cool and then use it again! If you have too much to use at one time, just put it in a sealable container and keep it in the fridge.