With water becoming more scarce in many states lately, you may be required to conserve water at your home. And even if you have plenty of water supply, using less water can help you save money. Here’s how.
Start with Your Landscaping
Begin with the exterior of your home. As a general rule, planting native species requires less water because they have adapted to the amount of precipitation in the region. They’ll be hardier and less likely to wilt than plants that are meant for another climate and topography.
If you live in an area where water is really in short supply, try xeriscaping — landscaping without the need for irrigation. Many desert species are ideal for this. Xeriscaping also incorporates more sandy or rock areas to further reduce water requirements. The bonus: no lawn to mow and no worries about trying to create a golf course-type surface in a climate that’s hostile to it.
Wherever you reside, watering late in the day is more efficient than earlier. Less evaporation takes place in the evening and overnight, so less water is wasted, and your plants get more of the benefit.
Create a Water-Efficient Bathroom
Bathrooms are an easy place to save on water use. Install toilets with smaller tanks, or put a brick in the tank to reduce its volume. Use low-flow shower heads and automatic faucets to save as well (no more kids leaving the tap flowing).
If the members of your household are overindulging in long showers, get in the habit of using a timer. Kids and teens, especially, find it all too easy to spend too much time in the shower, which wastes water and runs up your bill.
Economize in the Kitchen and Laundry Room
The kitchen and laundry room are two other places where water use can be excessive. Instead of running water to do dishes, fill a basin or use the dishwasher. Don’t run the dishwasher until you have a full load.
Likewise, don’t press “start” on your clothes washer until it’s full. Do larger loads, and use the shortest cycle possible that still gets your items clean.
Recycle Water Whenever Possible
Recycling water can also reduce your municipal or well water usage. If you live in a rainy climate, collect rainwater in barrels beneath your downspouts. You can use this to water your garden or wash your car.
If you use biodegradable soaps and detergents, you can also utilize gray water — water used for laundry or bathing — to water your yard. Just don’t use water that has any food waste or oils in it, as this can attract vermin.
Finally, how long do you typically wait for your tap or shower to heat up before you use it? For most folks, it’s a minute or two, and this can add up the more people you have in your household. Catch that water in a bucket and use it for watering your plants, cleaning your car, or swabbing down your deck. You’ll love the savings, and Mother Nature will appreciate the effort.