10 Tips for Saving Water (Irene or No Irene!)

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Low-flush toilet saves waterThe East Coast may be in the middle of the floodpocalypse, but the South is still suffering through some of the worst drought conditions on record.

Even when there’s no shortage, saving water is just good policy. As a child, I used to watch my dad shave. Rather than running the water over his razor to rinse it, he would fill the sink with water and swish the razor through at top speed. He said that serving in the Navy taught him how precious water is. 

“Why don’tcha save some for the fish,” he’d mutter, if I was letting the tap run too long.

We could all stand to preserve a few drops this summer. Here are some tips for saving water at home. Some are strange, some are easy, and some will save you buckets of cash on your water bill, for reals.

  • When you have to hand-wash dishes, don’t leave the tap on. Fill the sink and scrub, and only run the water to rinse.
  • Don’t run your washing machine or dishwasher till they are full, full, full.
  • Rinse veggies and fruit in a tub of water -- then use that tub to water your plants.
  • If you need to relax and space out, save it for a tub soak – and set a timer for your showers. Even the newest, most efficient showerheads use about 2.5 gallons per minute, and older (pre-1992) models can use more than 5 gallons per minute!
  • In fact, just go and upgrade your shower head to a high-efficiency model.
  • Same with the toilet: Pre-1994 models can use up to 8 gallons per flush, and new ones use less than 2. And you might qualify for a rebate.
  • Test your water meter: Turn off all the water in the house and take a look at the meter. The dials should be still; if not, you may have a water-wasting leak. Check your water bill, too, to make sure there’s not a big leap in usage.
  • Leave your grass a little higher. Taller grass = more shaded roots = moister soil = more efficient watering.
  • Collect rainwater (remember rain barrels?) and cover the container. Use it later, for your plants.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. (I know, no-brainer, right? Just imagine my dad walking by and muttering.)
  • Insulate hot water pipes so you don’t have to run the water to get it hot.
  • Don’t throw dropped ice cubes down the drain. Drop them into a house plant instead.
  • Switch from grass to shrubs in places that are hard to water.
  • If you have a sprinkler system, have a “water auditor” look it over to make sure you’re not over-watering.
  • It's gross, but we do it because Gov. Jerry Brown of California told us to: "If it's yellow, let it mellow. When it's brown, then flush it down."

How do you save water?


Image via TotoUSA.com

bathroom, creative reuse, going green, gardening, kitchen, yards, thrifty solutions

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aj23 aj23

I have 4 large barrels for collecting rain and watering the garden. They worked great except when it when a while with no rain. It ook 400ft of water hose to reach the plants so I would have much rather had the barrels.

asil asil

nice list... thanks for sharing

suema... suemayonline

We had a farm & our own well when I was growing up, so I developed a healthy respect for water saving--we ran the risk of a dry well in the dry months.  So I already knew how to save water w/  most of these tips. We have returnable bottles & cans (we pay a deposit when we buy) & I refuse to take containers to the machine that are all sticky!  You can save water by not filling every bottle & can w/ water--pour from one into another. The same goes for milk & juice jugs, etc.!

Leele... Leelee1008

great tips we do use most of them

Leele... Leelee1008

I like the ice cube idea alot, I never thought of that before

Leele... Leelee1008

We turn off the water when were not using it

KamiB79 KamiB79

Great tips!

dixie... dixiegurl223626

We turn off the water when not in use, recycle rainwater to water plants, flush only when needed

Pnukey Pnukey

We don't have house plants, but if we ever get any, I will try to toss the dropped ice cubes in them instead of in the drain.

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