To better safeguard our planet, companies around the world are taking on recycling, sustainability and water conservation initiatives. You too can do your part at home. Whether it’s taking steps to reduce, reuse and recycle or to use less water, there’s so much that everyday people can do to help the Earth.
Below are a few leading examples of how you can reduce water waste around the house while also lowering your utility bills.
Why Water Conservation Is so Important
First, it’s essential to understand the importance of water conservation. Although it may seem there is an unlimited supply of fresh water, that is simply not the case. Water that is safe to drink or use for agriculture is actually very limited. In fact, it only accounts for 3% of all water on Earth.
What’s more, as environmental conditions worsen and the population swells, this already scarce natural resource will dwindle even further. To combat this, it’s necessary for everyone to minimize their water waste now, not later.
Tips to Reduce Water Usage
- Turn off the tap
One of the smallest steps to conserve water is to turn off the faucet whenever possible. Whether you’re washing your hands, brushing your teeth, shaving or prepping food, this tip could help prevent gallons of water from going down the drain needlessly. Doing so during a 20-second hand wash alone could save a quarter of a gallon of water each time.
- Modify your shower routine
Along the same lines is to limit the household’s showering time. Bathing uses a lot of water, with the U.S. averaging 15.8 gallons of water per shower. However, by simply shortening your shower, taking fewer showers or washing your hair less frequently, you could reduce this amount significantly.
- Upgrade for meaningful savings
Investing in a few home improvements is another way to conserve water. In the bathroom for example, you could install a low-flow shower head or a high-efficiency toilet. Both of these low-cost solutions can also pay off in utility bill savings. Speaking of utilities, you could also invest in utility billing software to better manage both your home and business’s utility bills and save money each month.
- Repair any leaks
A leaky faucet or pipe may seem innocuous, but even a slow rate of continuous drops can be very wasteful and make a big difference in your water bill. According to the conservation organization Home Water Works, if there is a drop every second it will waste 192 gallons of water per month. That tallies up to over 2,304 gallons of water per year!
- Consider composting
It’s easy to toss unwanted food scraps in the sink’s garbage disposal. However, the process uses more running water than you might think to get rid of the food and keep the disposal operating as it should. Instead, you could dispose of these odds and ends in a backyard compost bin. Composted waste also has the added benefit of providing nutrient-rich soil for your garden.
- Run your appliances optimally
Another way to cut down on wasted water is to only run your dishwasher or washing machine with a full load. It’s also recommended to opt for shorter settings, avoid pre-rinse or additional rinsing cycles, and to invest in water- and energy-efficient models, but only when it’s time for a replacement.
- Change up your eating habits
Feeding the world takes a lot of energy and nutrients. It’s also incredibly water-intensive, especially when considering the fresh water needed for animal agriculture. One way you could decrease the environmental impact of these processes is to eat more vegetarian or vegan meals. While eliminating all animal products from your diet is a hefty undertaking, you could start small by swapping out certain groceries or making one animal-free dish a week to be eco-friendlier.
Small Steps Can Make a Big Difference
While these actions may not appear to be significant, they can have a tremendous effect when carried out on a global scale. After all, it’s going to take all of us acting together to adequately conserve water and protect the place we call home.
Author bio: Tom Tobin is President of Diversified Technology. Tobin has more than 30 years of experience serving municipalities and municipal utilities. After representing Diversified Billing’s predecessor software for 15 years, he bought the rights to the software and founded Diversified Technology in 2007. For the last 15 years he has grown the business to serve more than 350 clients that use the software to generate more than 7 million utility bills annually.