How to conserve water and save money
It’s sad to know that there are people who defiantly ignore calls to conserve water. Even in the face of a drought they feel it’s their right to be wasteful. They’ll let the shower run for minutes before they get in it and then stay in for an irresponsibly extended long stretch. They’ll ignore those leaky faucets. They’ll wash their cars and water their lawns during a drought, despite instituted guidelines. But what are we going to do, fight them? Of course not. There’s always a higher road, and this time we simply have to do a little more to compensate for our less considerate neighbors.
Even the smallest of actions accumulate to greater effect. For instance, don’t buy clothes that have to be washed separately. Wash all of your laundry together. Let your dirty clothes accumulate until you have a full load. Apply the same concept to washing dishes – don’t run the dishwasher until it’s full. If you don’t finish a glass or bottle of water, use it to water a plant. If you are washing your face at the sink turn the water off while you are lathering up. Don’t leave the water running while you’re brushing your teeth or shaving either… Sure, these are minor things but if you get into the habit of doing them, it becomes second nature – no big deal – and you’ve become part of the solution. Bravo!
If you take baths, fill the bathtub no more than halfway, less if possible. You can still use your favorite bubble bath and oils and enjoy yourself, but you could also save up to TWELVE gallons per bath by not using excessive water.
If you take showers, try to limit them to five minutes. Sure, there are cold mornings when you never want to come out, but be conscientious; you’re just being wasteful staying in after you’ve already washed yourself. Efficiency shower heads make a nice difference and you will be saving over ten gallons of water per use!
Sure, an efficiency shower head has little force. Now, if you’re one of those who refuses to do without a high pressure shower, at least change to a head that has a shut-off button. You’d be surprised how quickly you become accustomed to it. You’ll discover that it’s much easier to soap up without the water running. Simply turn the water on and off between rinsing and lathering.
Have leaks in the home? Grab a wrench and fix ‘em. Maybe you can afford an efficiency toilet. If not, here’s a tip – take a single quart water bottle and fill it up to an inch or two with pebbles (this will weigh it down). Fill the rest of the bottle with water and put it in the toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanism. In an average home, this trick could save five gallons or more of water, every day.
Do you enjoy making tea or coffee at home? Use only the amount of water that you actually intend to drink. There’s no need to fill a 32 ounce pot when you typically have only two cups. And have you tried steaming your vegetables instead of boiling them? It’s delicious! Again, the little things…
Lastly, especially if you have a garden or plants, set out buckets to catch rain water. Store it and use it to water your plants. They probably prefer it over tap water, and would likely tell you that if they could.
It’s a shame that we can’t depend on rain water to keep us lush and wet. Water shortages need to be taken seriously. Nobody wants to think about what it would be like if we hit crisis mode, but they should. Maybe after they consider the scary challenges we would face, they would be more likely to contribute to conservation.
In the meantime, let’s do what we can to pick up the slack for those that prefer to remain apathetic. Even if your motivation for implementing these steps is to save a few bucks, be proud that you are also doing your part to conserve water!