Are you conserving water as well you should? Unless there's a drought in your area, you may not think water conservation is all that important. On the contrary, not only is conserving water good for the environment - regardless of your area's recent rainfall - you can also save money every month by changing a few habits regarding your water use. Conduct a simple water conservation audit in your own home to see specific areas you could be saving more. Check out wateruseitwisely.com for the original Home Water Conservation Audit and more resources about saving water and the environment at home. Answer "yes" or "no" to the following questions. "Yes" means you're doing it right. "No" means you have some room for improvement.
- My showers last no longer than five minutes. Just cutting a minute or two off the end of your shower could save about 150 gallons per month.
- I fill the bathtub less than halfway up when I bathe. Maybe you're not a shower person. If you prefer to soak, prevent wasting water with each bath by not filling the tub as high.
- The showers and sinks in my home have low-flow shower heads and faucets. Upgrading to a WaterSense-labeled shower head could save up to 750 gallons per month. Low-flow faucets save on water use as well, especially if you remember to turn off the water when you're not using it.
- My toilets are efficient and leak-free. Check for leaks once a year by putting food coloring in the tank. If it appears in the bowl, you have a leak.
- I never use the toilet as a trash can. You waste water if you flush tissues, cotton balls and other pieces of trash down the toilet. Plus, this action can lead to clogs since the toilet is only designed to get rid of human waste and reasonable amounts of toilet paper.
- I turn off the water when I brush my teeth. There's no reason to keep the water running. Turn it off while you brush, and then back on when you're ready to rinse.
- I stop up water in the kitchen sink when rinsing dishes. An open tap is a wasteful way to rinse dishes. Soak a whole batch of dishes in a stopped-up sink to use a fraction of the water. If you have a newer dishwasher, you may be able to avoid pre-rinsing all together since these models clean more thoroughly than older units.
- I only run the dishwasher and washing machine when they're full. It may be tempting to run a quick batch when these appliances aren't completely full, but avoid this habit if you want to make water conservation a top priority. If you need to wash a smaller batch of laundry, match the water level to the batch size.
- I thaw food in the refrigerator. The alternative for good food safety is to thaw food under cold running water. Defrosting in the fridge is a more efficient option.
- When the sidewalk or driveway gets dirty, I use a broom to clean it. Grass clippings, soil and other debris can easily be cleared off the pavement with a broom, no water hose required.
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, write them down to help you remember. The next time you find yourself faced with a choice to waste or conserve water, choose the money-saving option to conserve! For more water conservation tips, contact Mr. Rooter®. We're here to help.