New Year’s Resolution #10 – Stop Wasting Water

It can be easy to take clean water for granted: most of us don’t have to think twice about turning on the tap to wash our   hands, water the plants, or whip up some pasta. In fact, the U.S. has the largest water footprint of any country in the world, at an average of 80 gallons of water per person per day. But it’s not easy to get all that water to where it needs to be, and it takes a huge investment of resources to collect, treat, and transport the water you use every day. So for our tenth New Year’s resolution, we want you to preserve the earth’s resources by reducing the amount of water you use.

The best place to start conserving water is in the bathroom. Toilets and showers together account for almost half of the water used in most homes and are also easy to make more efficient. You can install a toilet dam to lessen the amount of water used per flush and put in low flow showerheads to reduce water use in the shower. It’s also possible to recapture greywater – the dirty water that comes from sinks and showers – for use in toilets or gardens. Low flow faucets can also be installed in the bathroom and on other household sinks as well.

One of the easiest ways to reduce water use in every room of the house is just to turn off the tap. When you’re brushing your teeth, soaping your hands, or doing dishes, try never to leave the water running when you’re not using it. You can even install sensors that will turn off the water when nothing is under the tap. If you do need to leave the water on, put a bucket in the sink to collect the water – you can use it water plants or rinse dishes.

A lot of the water that goes into your home isn’t actually used at all – leaks from pipes and appliances account for 13% of all home water consumption. To cut back on wasted water in your home, check to make sure that none of your sink faucets or pipes are dripping. Also remember to fix any leaks in appliance hook-ups and outdoor hoses.

The yard is another great place to reduce water use. Instead of relying on the tap to irrigate your lawn or garden, put out a barrel to capture rainwater for reuse. If you have sprinklers, be sure to use them efficiently: aim them away from nonabsorbent surfaces like sidewalks and driveways, install sensors so your lawn only gets water when its needed, and avoid evaporative lose by not running them when the sun is out.

Whether you’re making big changes around the house or just tightening leaky fixtures, there are lots of easy ways for you conserve water and in turn reduce your impact on the environment.

Goals for 2012

• Make your house water efficient by installing low flow showerheadstoilet dams, and sink faucet adaptors.

• Use a system to capture greywater for reuse.

• Fix leaky pipes, appliances, and hoses.

• Water your lawn or garden from a rain barrel.

• Look for our bathroomyard, and home water conservation kits to make reducing water use easy.

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