Maybe it's that I've lived with the Atlanta drought for so long, but warmer weather always gets water conservation on my mind. Even in areas that aren't drought-stricken, it's important to conserve water wherever we can.
Devices like low flow shower heads or toilet lid sinks are great for cutting back your water usage, but not everyone has time or money to install things like this. Here are a few ways to save some water without any large expenses or time commitment.
1. The Shower Bucket
Not as gross as it sounds! Stick a five gallon bucket into the shower while you're waiting for the water to heat up. Last summer, I was able to keep our whole front porch garden alive just using water that I collected in the shower bucket. The trick is to rotate your waterings - hit half the plants one day and the other half the next, then lather, rinse, repeat!
2. Turn Off the Faucet
Most of us know by now not to run the sink while brushing our teeth, but what about when washing our hands? You're supposed to soap your hands for 30 seconds at least; why watch almost two gallons of water go down the drain while you do it?
3. Shorten Your Shower
Whether you invest in a shower timer or just try to be more cognizant of how long you're in there, taking shorter showers can save thousands of gallons of water each year. Maybe consider working a dry shampoo into your routine, instead of doing a water-intensive wash every time your hair needs washing. The average shower head puts out two gallons of water per minute, so shaving your shower time by even two to three minutes can make a big difference!
4. If it's Yellow, Let it Mellow
This tip might not be for everyone, but it's a huge water saver! You might have to have a little family meeting to get everyone on board, but skipping the flush when you pee adds up to enormous water savings. Toilets average around 2 gallons per flush, so even if you reduce your flushing half the time you use the commode you're conserving quite a bit.
Not crazy about skipping the flush? You might consider using greywater to flush instead!
5. Conserve Electricity
Turning down the A/C or switching to compact fluorescent bulbs can make a huge difference in your water footprint. Wait, what does electricity have to do with water? Plenty!
It takes billions of gallons of water every year to cool our coal fired power plants. In areas that use nuclear energy, water plays a huge role in cooling those power stations, too. When we use less power, it puts less of a burden on those utilities which helps indirectly cut our water consumption.
I'm sure there are lots of other easy ways to cut back on water usage, both directly and indirectly. What have you guys been doing to conserve water?
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by necosky