At this very moment, California is going through a drought that some argue hasn’t happened for more then 1200 years. Going into their third solid year of record low rainfall, there are few signs that exist that this drought is going to let up any time soon. As this is happening, the 38.8 million people, or 1 in 8 of every American struggles to find ways to conserve.
Banding together to conserve as much water as possible, many California residents are also beginning to face harsh fines for using more water then they are allowed. With the sheer number of fines now going out due to over-usage, Californians are looking for new and improved ways to save water. With that in mind, lets review 4 key areas in your home where a bit of creativity and green-tech can save you big.
1. The Shower
On average Americans are among the most prolific group of shower users in the world. Generally speaking, the average American might shower once a day, using up a great deal of water as a result. Now, I’m not saying that we should give up showering or our generally high level of cleanliness. Rather, with a few creative ideas, we can dramatically improve the amount of water we save.
The first thing to consider is the total time you end up spending in the shower. There is nothing better then a hot shower, and it is far too easy to lose track of time. Using a time, try for the 3-minute military shower. Get in, get your business done, and get out once the timer is done. In this way, you can bring the average 10-minute shower down to 3-minutes, saving you 7 minutes in your morning or evening routine! Also, consider getting a green showerhead. Specifically designed to save on the amount of water you are using, green shower heads will minimize the water used saving you even more. As most people really enjoy warm showers, consider getting a bucket and putting it below the shower/bath nozzle. Turn the shower on, and let it warm up. Once it is warm, remove the bucket and take your shower as normal. Once done, you will have a bucket of water that you can use for everything from brushing your teeth to drinking or making ice cubes.
2. The Toilet
The toilet is another place where a lot of water can be wasted. If you haven’t already, replace your toilet if it is more then 20 years old. In the past few decades, toilets have become significantly less wasteful, saving a great deal of water as a result. Also, consider getting a low flow toilet or other green toilet that shaves off a gallon or two every flush. Finally, you may want to consider the ‘only flush with #2 rule. With this mindset, only ever flush the toilet if you have to poop. As urine is sterile, it does not hurt to leave it for an extended period of time until #2 calls. Keep the toilet seat down, improve your toilet, and only flush when you need to.
3. Dish Washing
Consider the following question carefully. What uses more water, using a dishwasher or hand washing dishes? The average dishwasher consumes roughly 6 gallons of water when used. A green dishwasher dramatically improves on this with an average of 2 gallons of water cycle. Now, hand-washing dishes can change dramatically based on your method and the number of dishes out there. Also, the faucet head for your sink can help to improve the overall efficiency of your dishwasher.
While what ultimately saves the most amount of water will depend on the situation, here is a general rule you can follow. If you have a lot of dishes, and you have a water efficient dish washer, then you should fill it to capacity and give it a wash. If you have only a few dishes or are very good at efficiently washing dishes, then you should consider hand washing.
4. Team Up When Doing Laundry
For washing cloths with a washing machine, the two golden rules apply very well. First, make sure you only wash full loads and second make sure your washing machine is a newer model if you can. With that being said, what you should strongly consider is teaming up with roommates or family to do like-loads together. For example, as most people have delicates, it can save a lot of water if all delicates are washed together. The same is true for whites, colors, and any other special load. Communicate with the people in your house and together you can work to save water in what would otherwise be one of the greatest uses of water in your home.