25 things you can do to save water (and survive the drought)
In the bathroom
1) Check your toilet for leaks.
Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the coloring begins to appear in the bowl, you have a leak that may be wasting more than 100 gallons of water a day.
2) Stop using your toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket.
Every cigarette butt or tissue you flush away also flushes away five to seven gallons of water.
3) Use a Toilet Tank Bank.
Tank Bank is the easiest device to use to save water. Fill it to top, snap to close and hang in the toilet tank. It saves up to 0.8 gallons with every flush. [Get a Toilet Tank Bank here!]
4) Take shorter showers.
A typical shower uses five to ten gallons of water a minute. Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rinse off. Shower Coach will help you change shower habits from long to short showers.
5) Install water saving shower heads and flow restrictors.
You can save up to 30% of water. They are easy to install, and your showers will be refreshing and enjoyable. [You can get water-saving shower heads online!]
6) Take baths.
A partially-filled tub uses less water than all but the shortest shower.
7) Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
Before brushing, wet your brush and fill glass for rinsing your mouth.
8) Turn off the water while shaving.
Fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of warm water in which to rinse your razor.
Kitchen & laundry
9) Check faucets and pipes for leaks.
Even a small drip can waste 50 or more gallons of water a day.
10) Use your automatic dishwasher for full loads.
Every time you run your dishwasher, you use about 25 gallons of water.
11) Use your washing machine only with full loads.
Your automatic washer uses 30 to 35 gallons a cycle.
12) Don’t let the faucet run while you clean the vegetables.
Rinse the vegetables instead in a bowl or sink full of clean water.
13) Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator.
This puts a stop to the wasteful practice of running tap water to cool it for drinking.
14) If you wash dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing.
If you have two sinks, fill one with rinse water. If you have only one sink, first gather all your washed dishes in a dish rack, then rinse them quickly with a spray device or a pan of water.
15) Check faucets and pipes for leaks.
Leaks waste water 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
16) Water your lawn only when it needs it.
Step on the grass. If it springs back up when you move your foot, it doesn’t need water.
17) Deep-soak your lawn.
When you do water your lawn, water it long enough for water to seep down to the roots where it is needed. A light sprinkling that sits on the surface will simply evaporate and be wasted.
18) Water during the cool parts of the day.
Early morning is better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus.
19) Use a self-closing nozzle on your hose.
20) Plant drought-resistant trees and plants.
Many beautiful trees and plants thrive without irrigation in the limited rainfall of our semi arid region.
21) Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants.
Mulch slows the evaporation of moisture.
22) Use a broom to clean driveways, sidewalks and steps.
Using a hose wastes hundreds and hundreds of gallons of water.
23) Don’t run the hose while washing your car.
Soap down your car from a pail of soapy water. Use a hose only to rinse it off.
24) Tell your children not to play with the hose and sprinklers.
Children love to play under a hose or sprinkler on a hot day. Unfortunately, this practice is extremely wasteful of precious water and should be discouraged.
25) Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets and couplings.
Leaks outside are easier to ignore since they don’t mess up the floor or keep you awake at night. However, they can be even more wasteful than inside leaks, especially when they occur on your main water line.