Tuesday, January 13, 2009

10 easy ways to be more sustainable with your water usage

Welcome back to my 10 easy ways to be more sustainable... series. I took a little break from my regular weekly series over the holidays, but I'm finally back in the swing again.

Water. We all use it. Here in the U.S., it's easy to come by in most areas. Just turn on any tap and there you have it. I don't live in an area that has frequent drought problems so sometimes its hard to make conserving water a priority. Still, conserving water is important.

I need to remember that all of the water that goes down the drain in my home has to go to a treatment plant to get cleaned and put back into the system. That takes a lot of resources and energy to do. So while there isn't an urgent, immediate need in my region to save water for fear of losing our supply, there is still an environmental reason to conserve it.

Here are 10 easy ways to more sustainable with water use.
  1. If you are washing dishes by hand, turn off the faucet unless the dish is under the water at the moment.
  2. Always do a full load of laundry, or if you simply don't have enough to fill the washer but want to use it, adjust the fill level so it only fills to the point necessary.
  3. Turn off the faucet when you are brushing your teeth.
  4. Use water used to boil pasta or vegetables (but not water that meat has been in) to water inside and outside plants.
  5. If you're letting the kitchen faucet run until the water gets hot, catch the water in a pitcher and put it in the fridge. Then use that water for drinking and cooking.
  6. Put a low flow shower head in your shower.
  7. When you are done with your bathroom towels, hang them immediately so they don't get all musty. You can go longer between washings.
  8. Moderate the time of your kids' showers.
  9. Place a toilet tank displacement device in older toilets so they don't use as much water when they flush.
  10. Don't wash your car often. When you do, take it to a car wash that recycles its water.
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Emily Oleaga-Talley said...

In the summer when I am running my downstairs window A/C I put my watering pitcher under it to collect the condensation that would otherwise fall on the walk.

I tried putting a used one liter bottle in our old toilet tank so it uses less water but sadly it wouldn't flush properly.

One last thing I would recommend, is that if you have to buy a new washing machine, buy a front loader. They use one third of the amount of water a top load uses, and you can put more clothes in them.

Nani said...

First, I love your blog!

I'm sure you have seen this:

I would add #3. Don't rinse before using the dishwasher:)

Robin Shreeves said...

Emily - I would love a new washer, but I'll be using my old one till it dies probably.

The water pitcher under the air conditioner is very resourceful. Good job.

Nani - thanks for the compliment. I'll check out the site you recommended.