If you’re living on a budget, then you know every penny counts. So being able to trim spending in ways that don’t have a major adverse effect on your daily life is always fabulous. One way you can do that–and protect the environment as well–is reduce the amount of water you use in your day-to-day life.
Whether your goal is to save your wallet or to save the world, check out these five ways to save on your water bill.
Though there’s no way to ignore the incessant drip-drip-drip of a leaky faucet, you may have other leaks in your household that haven’t yet been detected. Look for water stains on ceilings and walls. Check under the counters of your faucets for pooling, behind your washing machine for cracks in a hose, and around the base of the toilets, water heater, and outdoor spigots. Learn how to conduct a household water meter test to see if your plumbing is watertight.
Wash Dishes Wisely
If you have a dishwasher, use it. Washing dishes by hand can take up to twenty gallons of water, whereas most dishwashers use less than eight gallons, sometimes as little as four. To save even more water, only run full loads and forego rinsing the dishes in favor of scraping them clean before loading.
Take A Shower
Short showers trump long baths when it comes to water usage. A standard shower uses approximately 5 gallons per minute, so a five-minute shower would use up 25 gallons but filling a bath uses approximately 35 gallons. If you install a low-flow shower head fixture, you’ll double your water savings.
Install Low-Water-Use Appliances
Toilets are responsible for about a quarter of indoor water use, so switching to a low-flow toilet from a high-flow one can do a lot more to stop the relentless flush of money down the drain than sticking a brick in the toilet tank. Other water-guzzling appliances include washing machines, which can be responsible for around seventeen percent of indoor water use. An upgrade can save you tons.
Water Your Lawn Wisely
Installing a sprinkler system with a system timer and moisture sensors is the ideal way to minimize the amount of water wasted in caring for your lawn. If such a project is beyond your means, consider watering at night when less evaporation will occur, collecting rainwater to be used for irrigation, mulching plant beds well, and using drought-hardy varietals in your landscaping.
You don’t have to upgrade every appliance or stop washing your clothes in order to lower your water bill. Small changes, like shutting off the faucet as you brush your teeth, can make a big difference.