Today (April 22nd) marks Earth Day, an annual event celebrated across the globe that’s dedicated to demonstrating support for environmental protection. Hundreds of countries observe this day each year with various areas of focus, all aligned with the common goal of helping the environment. In light of the current water crisis in Cape Town, we’ve decided to focus this year’s post on conserving water at home. Although taking on a critical global issue such as water conservation sounds like an insurmountable endeavor, you’d be surprised how easy it can be to make small changes that add up to a big impact. If you’re still deciding how to celebrate this Earth Day, or just want to try and limit your overall negative impact on the environment, consider any (or all!) of these ways to conserve water at home:
25 Ways to Conserve Water at Home
Easy Ways to Conserve Water at Home
1. Reduce Your Shower Time
This is a really simple way to use less water. Use a timer to help you track your time. Reducing your shower by just two minutes saves 4 gallons of water.
2. Use a Shower Bucket
While you’re waiting for your shower water to warm up, put a large bucket under the showerhead to catch the water. You can then take the water and use it for other things such as watering plants or flushing toilets.
3. Avoid Baths in the Bathtub
Although there’s nothing better than soaking your tired muscles in warm water after a long day, try to avoid it where possible. A deep tub can use 50-plus gallons of water. Instead of being a habit, it should be an occasional treat.
4. Shave in the Sink
Rinsing off your razor in the sink uses much less water than if you shave while showering. Plus, you can turn off the water while you’re not rinsing off your razor.
5. Turn Off Water While Brushing Teeth
You probably have heard this since you were a kid, but it’s a good reminder. Turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth. There’s no need to keep it running.
6. Run the Dishwasher Only When It’s Full
Your dishwasher uses the same amount of water, whether it’s completely full or half full. Therefore, make sure it’s all the way full when you run it.
7. Scrape Dishes Before Rinsing Off
Garbage disposals use a lot of water to operate. By scraping food off your dishes into the garbage before taking them to the sink, your disposal will use less water and will last longer.
8. Avoid Overwatering Your Lawn
If you’re not sure you water your lawn enough, put an empty tuna can out. Once it’s full, you’ve watered the right amount, so turn off the water.
9. Sweep Your Driveway and Walkway
Instead of taking out the hose to wash off your driveway and walkways on the outside of your house, get out the broom.
10. Use Foaming Soap
With foaming soap, you don’t need water to start. Just pump the foaming soap onto your hands and rub it around for about 20 seconds. Then turn on the water to rinse off.
11. Cover Up Your Pool
When the weather is hot, water evaporates quicker from pools. Covering up the pool reduces water loss and saves energy.
12. Clean Pool Filters
Cleaning pool filters out manually, rather than performing a backwash, saves between 250 and 1,000 gallons of water.
13. Use a Sprayer Hose When Washing Your Car
Rather than running your hose the whole time you’re washing your car, use a hose with a spray nozzle. That way you can turn the water off and on easily, saving as much as 150 gallons of water.
14. Look for Spikes in Your Water Bill
If you suddenly see a spike in your monthly water bill and it’s not because of starting the sprinklers again in the spring or any other obvious causes, investigate. More than likely, there’s a leak somewhere.
Ambitious Ways to Conserve Water at Home
If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and do more to save water, here are some more ambitious projects you can do to prevent wasted water in your home.
15. Reduce Your Lawn’s Size
The more grass you have, the more you have to mow and water. You can reduce or replace your grass with other landscaping, such as rocks and plants that do well with little water.
16. Redesign Your Garden
Even better, have a landscaping expert come out and redesign your garden to use less water. This could include different plants, mulching plants to reduce evaporation, and getting advice on how often you should water and for how long.
17. Get a Rain Barrel
Rather than letting rainwater go to waste, get a rain barrel to catch rainwater; then use it later when the temperatures are drier.
18. Install a Rain Harvesting System
If you want something that works even better, install a roof-based system to harvest rainwater. It’s especially helpful in arid areas.
19. Replace Your Sprinkler System
Get a sprinkler system that you can customize to account for local weather conditions (no sprinklers going while it’s raining!).
20. Reduce Your Toilet Water
Fill two plastic water bottles with a couple inches of pebbles or sand, fill the rest with water, and recap. Put them inside the toilet tank where they won’t interfere with the operating mechanisms. Check to ensure the toilet flushes properly. If there’s not enough water for everything to go down in one flush, remove one of the bottles. This can save as much as 10 gallons of water or more each day.
21. Check Toilets for Leaks
To figure out if your toilet has a leak, drip several drops of food coloring into the tank. If any of the color appears in the bowl within 30 minutes, there’s a leak.
22. Fix Leaky Faucets
A faucet with a small leak can waste as much as 20 gallons of water per day. These leaks are typically pretty easy to fix and don’t cost a lot.
23. Replace Showerheads With Low-Flow Models
Install a low-flow showerhead to your shower. With quality showerheads, you won’t notice the difference.
24. Install a High-Efficiency Toilet
High-efficiency toilets reduce how much water they use by 1–3 gallons per flush.
25. Switch out the Old Washer
Old washing machines use 25 gallons of water per load. In contrast, new high-efficiency washing machines use as little as 13 gallons of water while still getting your clothes nice and clean.