World Water Week

In honor of World Water Week, here are some tips from Seventh Generationon water conservation:

  • If you have a water meter, check your home for hidden leaks. Take a reading, don’t use the water for several hours, then check the meter again. If your new reading is higher, you’ve got a leak somewhere.
  • Leaky faucets could be the cause so fix any you find. A faucet dripping just once per second will waste an incredible 2,700 gallons per year.
  • Most faucets have aerators that mix air into tap water to reduce usage. If you don’t have one of these inexpensive screw-on attachments, buy one at the hardware store.
  • Retrofit your bathroom: Install low-flow showerheads and if your toilet is a water guzzler, replace it. Older toilets waste as much as 14,000 gallons per year vs. new water-saving models.
  • If a new toilet is not an option, “convert” your commode to a water-saver by sealing a plastic jug of water or two and placing it in your toilet tank to displace some of the water there.
  • Showers use less water than baths. Limit the showers in your home to five minutes each and you’ll save even more!
  • Don’t run your faucet while you shave or brush your teeth. Teach your kids the same conservation ethic.
  • Dishwashers are generally more efficient than hand-washing. If you own one, make sure to run it only when it’s full, and don’t bother rinsing dishes first in the sink. (Research shows this doesn’t help!)
  • Stop using your sink’s garbage disposal. It needs a lot of water to work and wastes perfectly good compost!
  • Rather than run your tap waiting for drinking water to get cold, keep a pitcher in your fridge. Similarly, install an instant hot water tap on your kitchen sink.
  • When it’s time to do laundry, make sure your washing machine is full. If it’s a lightly soiled load, use the shortest wash cycle. Try to use bath towels more than once before washing them.
  • Consider buying an energy-efficient front-loading washing machine.
  • In the yard, cut your grass high in order to keep soil moist and promote deeper roots that will need less watering. Aerate your lawn by poking deep, nail-sized holes in it at roughly six-inch intervals. This will help water soak into the soil rather than run off the surface.
  • Put an empty baking pan in your yard and measure rainfall. If you’re getting at least an inch of rain per week and the weather isn’t scorching, you probably don’t need to water your lawn. If you do, water in the early morning before the day heats up to prevent wasteful evaporation, and make sure your sprinkler is hitting only lawn and not sidewalks or driveways.
  • Use a rain barrel to collect gutter water for garden and houseplant use.
  • Practice xeriscaping, the art of landscaping with regionally indigenous plants that don’t need a lot of water. Use mulch wherever possible to help soils retain moisture and reduce the need for waterings.

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