We talk a lot about conserving energy, but what about conserving water at home?
Here in the U.S., we take clean safe drinking water for granted. In many places, people don't have this luxury. It's often the women and children who have to walk miles each day to bring water to their families, and sometimes that water isn't the cleanest. Water is a precious resource, and we should be doing out best to conserve wherever we can. Here are some simple ways to cut back on the water use at home.
1. Don't run the faucet while you're brushing your teeth or while you're washing your hands.
2. Reuse your cooking water. Don't dump the water from boiling pasta or veggies down the drain! Let it cool completely, and you can use this water on your garden.
3. If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down. The toilet is one of the most water-intensive fixtures in your house, so don't flush if you don't have to.
4. Don't run the sink while you're hand-washing your dishes. Fill one side with clean water and one side with soapy water instead. If you don't have a double sink, use a bucket for the clean water.
5. Use a shower bucket. Put a bucket under the faucet while you wait for your shower water to heat up. You can use the water on your plants or even to flush the toilet.
6. Skip the half loads. Don't run the dishwasher or the washing machine until you have full loads.
7. Water plants in the morning or evening. When you water during the hot parts of the day, you lose water to evaporation. If you're worried about mold, morning watering is best.
8. Take shorter showers. If you want to get really hard core about this, set yourself a timer. Every minute you shave off of your shower saves you 2.5-7 gallons per minute, depending on what sort of fixture you have.
9. Reuse your dishes. Do you need a fresh cup every time you pour yourself a drink? Pick out a glass for the day, and use it all day long. You can also reuse your breakfast plate for lunch and dinner - just scrape it off in between meals.
10. Reuse your towels (and wear those jeans again!). You really only need to change your bathroom towels out once a week, and you can wear jeans more than once before washing. Not only will you save water, but they'll last longer, since washing causes wear and tear.
What are some of the ways that you conserve water around your house?
Image Credits: Creative Commons Shower Head photo by stevendepolo; Shower Bucket photo by Becky Striepe