As the summer peaks, things keep heating up. Whether it’s your pool, the kids’ sprinkler, or your wilting flowers, water usage notoriously skyrockets at this time of the year. Here are some great ways to conserve water – inside and out:
1. Don’t overwater your lawn. An easy test to tell if your lawn needs water is to simply walk across the grass. If you leave footprints, it’s time to water. In fact, fewer, deep-soaking waterings encourage deep root growth and stronger turf. And don’t water on windy days when evaporation is greater.
2. Water in the early morning. As much as 30% of water can be lost to evaporation by watering during midday. Put mulch around trees and in gardens to further prevent evaporation.
3. Set your lawn mower one notch higher to make your lawn more drought-tolerant.
4. Shut the water off when shaving or brushing your teeth. Use Post-it notes as friendly reminders above the sink.
5. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your sidewalk, driveway, or patio.
6. Forego the hose and wash your car with a bucket and sponge instead. According to EPA WaterSense, a hose left running can waste as much as six gallons per minute while a bucket and sponge uses only a few gallons to do the job. Try driving your car onto the lawn when you wash it and water your lawn at the same time!
7. Use the trash can. By using the garbage disposal less and the actual garbage more, you can save 50 to 150 gallons of water a month.
8. Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are full. If you have a water-saver cycle, use it.
9. Use a timer when showering. This will be particularly difficult to reinforce with teenagers but worth the effort—an extra five minutes in the shower could mean another 50 gallons down the drain! Use a moderate stream or, better yet, a low-flow shower head that has maximum force using minimal water.
10. Regularly check your toilet, faucets and pipes for leaks and have them fixed promptly. An easy test for toilet leaks: Place a drop of food coloring in the tank. If the color tints the water in the bowl without flushing, there’s a leak. Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
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