How to reduce your water usage at home

6 tips to be more mindful of our limited resources

There are many ways to reduce our water usage, a small act we can easily practice on a daily basis without even noticing.

Sustainability has shifted in recent years from being a trend to becoming a lifestyle. More people want to help the planet and reduce their carbon footprint, which often means changes at home. You could start to recycle your soda cans or use less electricity, but many people overlook their water usage.

Whether you turn on your kitchen faucet or the shower, most people have access to clean water any time they want it. In reality, water is a limited resource that needs conservation. There are a few ways you can help save more water without changing your daily routine.

Check out these easy ways to reduce your water usage at home. You won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything and you can help the planet a little more every day.

1. Scrub Your Dishes

After you finish a meal, you might leave your dishes in the sink. Dried sauce and burnt dough don’t come off in the dishwasher easily, so people often soak each dish by covering them in water. Although it helps soften dried food, it also wastes more water than you need.

The next time you have a dirty plate or bowl, scrub it before loading it in the dishwasher. You won’t waste water by soaking it or running it through the dishwasher a second time.

2. Fix Any Leaks

Check the faucets around your home and see if you have any leaks. Every year, Americans waste over 1 trillion gallons of water by not fixing simple leaks. You can find tutorial videos online if you need help or you can call a professional to solve your plumbing problem. Keep an eye open to catch future leaks before they cause additional water waste.

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3. Find Energy Star Appliances

Depending on how old your washing machine and dishwasher are, you could need an upgrade. Older appliances came from a time where the environment wasn’t a pressing consumer issue. Compare newer models to find a few that are Energy Star verified. A single Energy Star dishwasher could reduce your water needs by 3,870 gallons, so see if an upgrade is in your future.

4. Install a Low-Flow Showerhead

Modern amenities and increased access to water have increased worldwide consumption six times in the last hundred years. Something as simple as a shower consumes more water than a bath, but you don’t have to stop showering to make a difference. Instead, install a low-flow showerhead so that no matter how long you spend under the hot water, you’ll use less than before.

5. Cover Your Pool

Anyone who owns a pool knows you have to occasionally refill it, especially in the summer months. When you’re away on vacation or not using the pool, you don’t have to add more water as often. A cover reduces evaporation and cuts replacement water by 30 to 50%, so it’s worth the few minutes it will take to attach it. You’ll even save some time, because it keeps storm debris and leaves from gathering in the filter baskets.

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6. Eat Less Meat

Ever since the “Cowspiracy” documentary premiered, people have become more aware of how their diet affects the planet. Specifically, eating less meat saves 2,000 gallons of water per pound of beef. You can easily replace the protein with eggs, beans, or other vegetarian and vegan meals so your nutrition doesn’t suffer while you cut down on your water usage at home.

Review your water usage routine

The best way to use less water at home is to think about your routine. You might take long showers every day or soak your dishes overnight in the sink. Figure out when you require the most water and you’ll find strategies to reduce it with help from things like eating less meat, using smart appliances, and starting new habits.

How to reduce your water usage at home
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Emily Folk

Emily writes about environmental conservation and sustainability. She’s currently focusing on reducing waste in her life and starting a backyard garden to grow more of her own food. To read more of her work, you can check out her blog, Conservation Folks.

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