Whether you’re motivated by the desire to see a lower water bill or by genuine care for the environment, conserving water is an important step to achieving your goals. Water is a vital resource for humanity, but it’s also one that’s easy to waste.
So what are the easiest and most important ways to conserve water in your household?
Install a Bidet
At first glance, a bidet is a counterintuitive installation if your goal is reducing water consumption. After all, bidets use water to clean your underside, hypothetically increasing the water you have to use on a daily basis. But the reality is that bidets can help conserve your total water consumption. That’s because bidets are often used as a replacement for toilet paper, and the production and processing of toilet paper uses an absurd amount of water.
On an individual level, you may notice a very slight increase in your household water consumption, but these bathroom devices use an almost trivial amount of water – and more importantly, you’ll almost completely eliminate your need for toilet paper.
Invest in Efficient Appliances
Next, invest in efficient appliances, especially if your current appliances are more than 10 years old. Modern appliances are designed to use fewer resources, yet still get the job done adequately. Newer washers, dishwashers, and even refrigerators use less water, greatly decreasing your total water consumption.
While you’re at it, it’s a good idea to make water conservation upgrades throughout your house, installing low-flow shower heads and flow-restrictive heads for your faucets.
Use Your Dishwasher
Washing dishes in the dishwasher is, perhaps surprisingly, the superior choice for efficiency, as long as you have a relatively modern dishwasher. When preparing your dishes for the dishwasher, scrape the extra food and particles off the plates, rather than rinsing them. Also, make sure your dishwasher is as full as possible before running a cycle, and make sure you understand the various settings and options of your dishwasher so you can optimize it for efficiency.
Time Your Showers
One of the most impactful uses of water in a household is in bathing. As you might already guess, the longer your shower is, the more water you’re going to use. If you’re willing to work quickly, you should be able to get your shower done in just a few minutes – but it’s often tempting to shower longer if you’re not paying attention. One solution is to time your showers so you stay more aware of how much time and water you’re using, and set limits (or goals) for your household.
Don’t Overfill the Bathtub
Similarly, avoid overfilling the bathtub. Depending on the circumstances, baths can use even more water than showers, but we’re all entitled to a nice, relaxing bath on occasion. What’s important is that you only fill the bathtub with the water you actually need, potentially reducing your use by several gallons in the process.
Turn Off the Water During Household Activities and Chores
Many people leave the water running during specific household activities and chores; for example, you might leave the water running when you brush your teeth or between washing various dishes. While this might be temporarily convenient, it’s also extremely wasteful. Get in the habit of turning the water off during these household activities and chores.
Stop Watering Your Lawn
Millions of homeowners take pride in having a bright, green, flourishing lawn, but there’s often a substantial cost to maintaining this image; watering a lawn takes thousands of gallons a season and can drive your water bill much higher. For many homeowners, the appropriate solution is to simply stop watering your lawn altogether; your yard will probably get all the water it needs through rain.
If you absolutely must water your lawn, try to cut back and water as efficiently as possible. Only water your lawn when rain is insufficient, and only do it once a week.
Do Bigger Loads of Laundry
Optimize your laundry loads, fitting as many clothes in your washer as possible without interfering with the operation of the machine. If you must do a smaller load, make sure to change the setting on the washer so it uses a smaller amount of water.
Save and Reuse Extra Water Wherever You Can
Finally, be willing to save and reuse extra water wherever you can. Depending on where you live, that could mean setting up a rain barrel outside for watering your crops, or something much simpler like using the water pulled out of the air by your dehumidifier to fill your toilet tanks. These steps take a bit of extra effort, but they can save you a lot of water, especially if you practice them over the course of years.
You don’t need to incorporate all of these strategies to see measurable improvements in your household water conservation. In fact, even one or two strategies can reduce your water bill and help make your house more sustainable. Do whatever you can, whenever you can to promote water conservation, save money, and help your household operate more efficiently.