Water is everywhere. 71% of the Earth is covered with it. The problem is that most of that is undrinkable saltwater. Only 0.5% of Earth’s water is fresh and accessible. As the world’s population increases, so do our water needs. We have the same amount of water available to us as the dinosaurs. More isn’t coming. Conserving our water is a big challenge, but it starts with individual action. Use these tips to protect our precious water supply, and save money while you’re at it! This guide includes tips you can do yourself with ease. Whether it’s being more conscious of when you’re running water, or bringing more plants into your diet, every action counts.

Don’t let the faucet run

Turn off your faucet when brushing your teeth, shaving, etc. It’s one of the easiest ways to conserve water. The average faucet allows 2 gallons of water to flow each minute. By turning on your faucet only when needed, you can save over 1,000 gallons of water per year. Being conscious of when you’re running your faucet, hose, shower, etc. is the best way to reduce your water use. 

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Skip the hose, go for a broom

When cleaning a driveway or sidewalk, avoid using the hose to rinse it off. Instead, grab a broom. Every time someone washes their driveway with the hose, they can waste as much as 150 gallons of water. Not only is it a good tip, but in some places it’s the law. Los Angeles and many other cities prohibit hosing down sidewalks and driveways. So save some water, and yourself from a ticket, by sweeping your surroundings.

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Load up the dishwasher

It might not seem like it, but washing dishes by hand wastes more water than using a dishwasher. If you have a dishwasher, put it to use! Just make sure that it’s fully loaded to minimize waste. Take advantage of the rinse option as well. It rinses your dishes with a couple gallons of water, keeping your dishwasher free of decaying food while it waits for a full load. This uses significantly less water than rinsing your dishes by hand before putting them into the dishwasher.

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Grab a low-flow showerhead

Switch to a low-flow shower head! It can result in saving around 15 gallons of water per 10 minute shower. An 8 minute shower with a traditional shower head uses around 24-64 gallons of water, compared to around 12 gallons of water with a low-flow version. You’ll save water every day without even thinking about it!

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Repair any leaky faucets or pipes

Household leaks are responsible for nearly 1 trillion gallons of water wasted every year in the United States. Check for leaks in pipes, toilets, baths, etc. When your home has a leak, you’re paying for water you don’t even use! Fixing leaks can save you around 10 percent on your water bill. Water saved is money earned!

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Keep water in the fridge

Do you enjoy cold water? Resist the urge to run the faucet until the water gets cold. Waiting for the tap water to get cold before filling your bottle or pitcher wastes water. Keep your water pitcher in the fridge to keep it cold. Now you’ll always have fresh cold drinking water without the waste!

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The toilet ≠ the trash

Avoid flushing things down the toilet to dispose of them. Opt for a wastebasket in the bathroom for anything such as tissues or q-tips. A wastebasket/trash doesn’t require gallons of water every time it’s used. Around 27% of home water usage comes from flushing the toilet! Reducing the amount of times you flush every day helps you save water and money.

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Bring plants into your life

Try a vegan or plant-based diet. Reducing the amount of meat you eat is a great way to reduce your impact to the environment. Animal agriculture is extremely expensive and water-intensive. In order to produce 1 pound of beef, it takes around 1,800 gallons of water. You could take a year’s worth of showers with the water it takes to produce 10 ⅓ lb patties!

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Go Thrifting!

Expand your wardrobe without hurting the environment. Purchasing second- hand clothes is an easy way to conserve water. According to the World Wildlife Fund, it takes over 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1lb of cotton. That’s enough for just one T-shirt and a pair of pants. Try options such as thrifting, hand-me-downs, and swap meets.

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Share the knowledge

A great way to conserve water is to get others on board too! Share with your friends and family the tips & strategies that work best for you. Reducing water usage is something everyone can easily do. Together we can work towards a better Planet Home.