Whether you are proactive at saving water or not, there are always ways to conserve more. Some of the easiest ways to save water often require only a slight change in our daily habits. These seemingly minor shifts, in the bigger picture, can make a lasting impact on the environment in your community and the ecosystem at large. Here are five ways to get started.
1. Consider Compost Instead of a Garbage Disposal
Kitchen sink disposals usually need lots of water to run smoothly. In addition, garbage disposals can add up to 50 percent of the solids in a septic tank, which in turn can cause them to malfunction and add to maintenance costs. Instead of using the garbage disposal, consider starting a composting bin for your leftover food.
2. Try Not to Over-Mow Your Lawn
Raising the blade on your lawn mower to a minimum of three inches or to its highest setting may help your lawn grow deeper roots and shade the root system. This holds in moisture and requires less frequent watering than lawns with really short grass.
3. Check for Leaks
Water leaks mean money down the drain. Check your indoor appliances (the ones that use water) for leaks by monitoring your meter over a two-hour period. Begin by noting what your meter is at, then stop all water use and check your meter again two hours later. If the reading isn't the same, you've got a leak. You may also want to consider fixing any irrigation system leaks. Keep an eye out for unusually high water bills that might alert you to these potential leaks.
4. Using a Pan Instead of Running the Tap
Rinsing your food doesn't require much water, but using the tap may waste more water than what you need. Instead of rinsing food and vegetables using a steady stream, consider collecting water in a shallow pan and rinsing all the food in it. Another option, if you don't want to rinse all of your food in the same water, is to collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables and use it to water your plants. Water, like your aluminum cans and plastic bottles, can and should be recycled.
5. Displacing or Replacing Toilets
Take a plastic bag or bottle weighted with pebbles and water and place it in your toilet tank. By displacing the water in this way, you use less water with each flush. If you installed your toilet before 1992, chances are it is time for an upgrade. Newer, water-efficient models use only 1.6 gallons per flush. Now you are saving water instead of flushing it down the drain.