If you are a homeowner, it is safe to say that you are spending more than you need to on water to run your home.
Every homeowner can reduce their water consumption and enjoy lower water bills, and that includes the folks who are already taking steps to conserve water.
Even homeowners with rain barrels, low-flow fixtures and efficient appliances can always take it a step farther.
And some of those steps are so simple that you are going to wonder why you have not been doing them all along.
To get you started down the path of becoming a water-saving aficionado, here are 10 things you can do to start conserving water today and enjoying lower water bills right away.
5 Simple Ways to Save Water in the Bathroom
1. Turn the water off while you brush your teeth.
Considering that the average bathroom faucet puts out about two gallons per minute, this single water-saving step can save around 200 gallons of water per month per person.
2. Fix your leaky toilet.
According to WaterSense (an EPA Partnership Program), if you have a toilet that leaks, you could be wasting up to 200 gallons per day.
Fix that pesky leak, and you can save up to 6,000 gallons per month.
3. Take shorter showers and limit baths.
Taking a shower uses less water than taking a bath, and you can save even more water by shortening your shower – even by just a few minutes.
If you want to get even more hardcore, you can turn on the shower to get wet, turn it off while you lather up, and then turn it back on for a quick rinse.
4. Replace your shower head.
While we are on the topic of showers, you should also consider replacing your shower head.
Older shower heads can put out more than four gallons per minute, compared to newer shower heads that put out about 2.5 gallons per minute.
Shower head replacement is simple and can be accomplished by most homeowners, even the ones that are not all that handy.
5. Turn off the tap while you shave.
If you stand at the sink to shave and leave the water running, you are losing that same two gallons per minute that you waste if you leave the tap on while brushing your teeth.
Use the stopper to hold a bit of water in the sink for cleaning your razor as you shave, and then turn the bathroom faucet off while you do the deed.
Once you have mastered these simple steps to saving water during your daily grooming routine, it is time to take a look outside, which is where you are very likely wasting thousands of gallons of water every month.
5 Ways to Save Water Outside Your Home
1. Install an irrigation system with a timer
And set it to water your landscaping in the early hours of the day when the sun is not yet up.
Also, make sure your irrigation system has a rain sensor so that it will not waste water by irrigating your plants when nature is already watering them for you.
2. Stop hosing down your patio, walkway and driveway.
Conserve water, save money and burn a few extra calories by using a simple broom to sweep off the solid surfaces around your home and in your yard.
3. Get down with gray water irrigation.
Your plants do not care if the water you give them was first used to wash your hands or rinse off some vegetables.
Capture some of your reusable gray water in buckets, and use it water trees, bushes, plants and grass.
If you are the handy sort, or know someone who is, you can also rig up a hose that will capture and distribute the water used in your washing machine.
If you go this route, it is a good idea to use eco-friendly laundry soap and to avoid using this water on plants intended for consumption.
4. Replace your natural grass lawn with long-lasting, easy-to-care-for artificial grass.
Most homes have some sort of lawn, and most homeowners overwater them.
It is bad enough that a 100-sqaure-foot lawn can gobble up more than 6,000 gallons of water per watering, but when you account for the fact that most folks are giving their lawns even more, you can see how quickly this adds up.
This is why replacing your lawn with synthetic turf could be one of the biggest steps you can take to conserve water and lower your water bill.
While artificial grass does need a little loving every once in a while, which generally includes rinsing it down and a bit of grooming, the water usage required to maintain a beautiful synthetic lawn is just a fraction of what it takes to maintain natural grass.
5. Beautify your yard with pavers.
Attractive and durable walkways, driveways, patios and pool decks can be created with pavers, which means you can replace some of the water-loving landscape you currently have around your pool or near the back of your home with beautiful paving stones that require no water at all.
You can choose from a wide selection of sizes, colors and textures to find the perfect pavers for your personal style, and then work with your paver installer to create a design or pattern that will make your neighbors insanely jealous.
Conserving water and lowering your water bill is much easier than most people think.
Simple steps like turning off the tap while you are brushing your teeth require nothing more than a slight change in your daily habits, but these slight changes can make a big difference when you add up how many gallons of water you will save every month.