Indoor Water Conservation

Are You Water Wise?

Indoor Water Conservation

When talking about water conservation, we can focus so much on yard water usage and forget that we run many, many gallons through each home each day. Small adjustments in how we use water in our homes can result in millions (yes, that is right…millions) of gallons of saved water each year. An average family of four can uses approximately 400 gallons of water per day. We can reduce this and minimize our waste by following a few simple practices. Here is an extensive list of ways your family could reduce water waste indoors. How many gallons can your family save?

KITCHEN

  • When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  • Dishwashers typically use less water than washing dishes by hand. Now, Energy Star dishwashers save even more water and energy.
  • Designate one glass for your drinking water each day, or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.
  • Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
  • Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Instead, compost vegetable food waste and save gallons every time.
  • Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
  • Don’t use running water to thaw food. For water efficiency and food safety, defrost food in the refrigerator.
  • Install an instant water heater near your kitchen sink so you don’t have to run the water while it heats up. This also reduces energy costs.
  • Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. This way, every drop goes down you and not the drain.
  • Reuse leftover water from cooked or steamed foods to start a nutritious soup, it’s one more way to get eight glasses of water a day.
  • Cook food in as little water as possible. This also helps it retain more nutrients.
  • Select the proper pan size for cooking. Large pans may require more cooking water than necessary.
  • If you accidentally drop ice cubes, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead.
  • Collect the water you use while rinsing fruit and vegetables. Use it to water house plants.
  • When shopping for a new dishwasher, use the Consortium for Energy Efficiency website to compare water use between models.

LAUNDRY ROOM

  • When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load.
  • Washing dark clothes in cold water saves water and energy, and helps your clothes retain their color.
  • When shopping for a new washing machine, compare resource savings among Energy Star models. Some can save up to 20 gallons of water per load.
  • When buying a washer, check the Consortium for Energy Efficiency website to compare water use between models.

BATHROOM

  • If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a WaterSense® labeled model.
  • Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
  • Time your shower to keep it under 5 minutes. You’ll save up to 1,000 gallons per month.
  • Toilet leaks can be silent! Be sure to test your toilet for leaks at least once a year.
  • Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the bowl without flushing, there’s a leak. Fix it and start saving gallons.
  • When running a bath, plug the bathtub before turning on the water. Adjust the temperature as the tub fills.
  • Upgrade older toilets with water-saving WaterSense® labeled models.
  • If your toilet flapper doesn’t close properly after flushing, replace it.
  • Use a WaterSense® labeled showerhead. They’re inexpensive, easy to install, and can save you up to 750 gallons a month.
  • Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons a minute. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four.
  • If your toilet was installed before 1992, purchasing a WaterSense® labeled toilet can reduce the amount of water used for each flush.
  • Consider buying a dual-flush toilet. It has two flush options: a half-flush for liquid waste and a full-flush for solid waste.
  • Plug the sink instead of running the water to rinse your razor and save up to 300 gallons a month.
  • Turn off the water while washing your hair and save up to 150 gallons a month.
  • When washing your hands, turn the water off while you lather.
  • Take 5-minute showers instead of baths. A full bathtub requires up to 70 gallons of water.
  • Install water-saving aerators on all of your faucets.
  • Drop tissues in the trash instead of flushing them and save water every time.
  • Look for WaterSense® labeled toilets, sink faucets, urinals and showerheads.
  • One drip every second adds up to five gallons per day! Check your faucets and showerheads for leaks.
  • While you wait for hot water, collect the running water and use it to water plants.

GENERAL INDOOR

  • Teach children to turn off faucets tightly after each use.
  • Watch the Home Water Challenge video or use the Home Water Audit Calculator to see where you can save water.
  • When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it most.
  • Encourage your school system and local government to develop and promote water conservation among children and adults.
  • Play fun games while learning how to save water!
  • Monitor your water bill for unusually high use. Your bill and water meter are tools that can help you discover leaks.
  • Learn how to use your water meter to check for leaks.
  • Reward kids for the water-saving tips they follow.
  • Avoid recreational water toys that require a constant flow of water.
  • Grab a wrench and fix that leaky faucet. It’s simple, inexpensive, and you can save 140 gallons a week.
  • Hire a GreenPlumber® to help reduce your water, energy, and chemical use.
  • Be a leak detective! Check all hoses, connectors, and faucets regularly for leaks.
  • We’re more likely to notice leaky faucets indoors, but don’t forget to check outdoor faucets, pipes, and hoses.
  • See a leak you can’t fix? Tell a parent, teacher, employer, or property manager, or call a handyman.
  • At home or while staying in a hotel, reuse your towels.
  • Make suggestions to your employer or school about ways to save water and money.
  • Run your washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
  • See how your water use stacks up to others by calculating your daily water use.