196 Unexpected Ways To Save Water At Home

save water

Water – it covers nearly three quarters of the earth (71% to be exact), yet we can never seem to get enough of it. Did you know there are millions of people on the planet who don’t even have clean water to drink?

If you live in countries like the United States and Canada, you’ve probably never had to deal with not having water. However, there are some exceptions. Currently, there are a few states that are going through a major drought, and it’s so bad that some people are policing the ways others use water.

Save Water

You probably know that water’s chemical formula is H2O. It fills the world’s oceans, lakes and streams and falls to the earth as rain. It supports life on earth. A water molecule consists of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, which are connected by covalent bonds.

When someone tells you that 71 percent of the planet is covered with water, you’re probably asking yourself why we need to save it. The problem is that a large percentage of that water is not suitable for everyday uses.

Why we need To save Water

We only have a small amount of water that we can use for drinking and other important purposes, so we need to do everything we can to conserve it.

The small choices that we make on a daily basis have an enormous impact on how much water we save or waste. The human population is growing by leaps and bounds, and if we don’t start conserving water, there won’t be enough drinking water to go around.

How You Can Conserve Water

The good news is that YOU can make all of the difference. You can start saving water today. All you need are some simple tips that you can practice each and every day. You should be pleasantly surprised when you learn of all of the ways you can avoid wasting water. Check out the list below.

196 Ways to Save Water

1.) Avoid sending water down the drain if it can be used for cleaning or watering.

2.) Check your home for leaks. A lot of homes have hidden leaks, which can waste a lot of water. You can check for leaks by checking your water meter for change during a period of time when you’re not using any water.

3.) Repair dripping faucets. If you have a water faucet that is dripping a single drop per second, you’re looking at 2,700 gallons of water waste per year.

4.) Check for toilet leaks. You can add food coloring to your toilet tank, and after 30 minutes, if color appears then you have a leak. You’ll want to check your toilet for corroded or worn parts. Fortunately, toilet parts are cheap. The toilet tank is the part of the toilet that fills with water after you flush it.

5.) Don’t flush the toilet if you don’t need to. If possible, dispose of small tissues, insects and other waste using the garbage.

6.) Take shorter showers. You can also replace your showerhead using an ultra-low flow head.

7.) Use minimal water during a bath. Make sure to close the drain before you start running water, and fill the tub to only 1/3 full.

8.) Don’t allow water to run while washing or shaving your face.

9.) Replace wasteful faucets or retrofit them with flow restrictors or aerators.

10.) Only operate clothing and dish washers when they’re totally full. Also make sure to set the water level according to the size of the load.

11.) To wash dishes by hand, fill one sink with water. Use a very small stream from the faucet to rinse the dishes after each one is washed.

12.) Instead of letting the tap water run whenever you want a glass of water to drink, store the drinking water in the refrigerator.

13.) Don’t thaw frozen foods or meat with running water. Instead, defrost food inside of the refrigerator overnight or use a microwave.

14.) Use a compost pile instead of a garbage disposal. As an alternative to running the garbage disposal, you can get rid of food waste using a compost pile. Garbage disposals are known to contribute nearly half of the solids volume inside of a septic tank.

15.) Install an instant water heater on your kitchen sink, so you won’t have to let the water run while it heats. By doing this, you will also reduce the amount of money you pay for heating.

16.) Insulate water pipes. Insulated pipes let you get hot water faster and help you to avoid wasting water while it heats up.

17.) Don’t install a water to air AC or heat pump. The air to air models work just as well and don’t waste water.

18.) Only install water softening systems if you actually need them. Save additional water by running the smallest number of regenerations needed to maintain softness. Also, be sure to turn off softeners while gone on vacation.

19.) Inspect your well pump. If the pump turns on and off while water is not being used, then you probably have a leak, which wastes water.

20.) Adjust water temperatures. See if turning water flow down instead of up works better to adjust water temperatures. It might not be the best idea to increase water flow to balance the water temperature.

21.) Replace the toilet handle. If you toilet handle sticks in the flush position, it needs to be replaced as it will run constantly and waste water.

22.) Don’t excessively water your lawn. Most lawns only need to be watered once a week during the summer and once every two weeks during winter. A strong downpour can eliminate the need to water your lawn for up to two weeks.

23.) Water your lawn early in the morning, which is when wind speed and temperatures are lowest, which reduces water loss from evaporation.

24.) Avoid watering sidewalks, driveways and streets with sprinklers. You should make sure to position sprinklers so they water only your lawn and garden.

25.) Install or replace old sprinklers with water efficient models. Drip and micro irrigation hoses are great water efficient irrigation tools.

26.) Check sprinkler timing devices regularly to make sure they’re operating correctly. In some places, there is actually a law that forces you to buy a rain sensor with an automatic irrigation system, which prevents water wastage.

27.) Raise your lawn mower blade by three inches. By cutting your grass higher, it encourages deeper root growth while holding in more soil moisture and shading the root system.

28.) Try not to fertilize your lawn. By applying fertilizers, you’re increasing the lawn’s need for water. If possible, apply only fertilizers that have water-insoluble or slow-release types of nitrogen.

29.) Make sure to mulch because it helps soil retain moisture. You can also fight weeds with mulching.

30.) You can plant drought-tolerant and native grasses. Once they’ve been established, these varieties don’t need to be watered nearly as often and can survive dry periods.

31.) Never use your hose to clean your sidewalk or driveway. You can use a broom to clean debris from these surfaces. You can waste hundreds of gallons of water when you clean your driveway with water.

conserve water in the office

32.) Attach a shut-off nozzle to your hose. The nozzle should allow you to adjust the spray, and it should let you turn off the water at the faucet instead of the nozzle, which prevents leaks.

33.) Add hose washers between water hoses and spigots to eliminate water leaks.

34.) Never leave hoses or sprinklers unattended. A typical garden hose can release 600 gallons of water within a few hours, so if a sprinkler is left unattended, it can waste an enormous amount of water.

35.) Check spigots, connectors and hoses regularly because they can develop leaks over time.

36.) Use a commercial car wash that recycles water. It will waste far less water than washing your car at home.

37.) Wash your car in the grass instead of the driveway, so the water can be used by the lawn and won’t go to waste.

38.) Try not to install ornamental water features, like fountains, unless all of the water is recycled.

39.) Consider buying water saving pool filters. A back flush with a traditional filter can use as many as 250 gallons of water.

40.) Create awareness among your children about the importance of conserving water.

41.) Avoid buying recreational toys that require a continuous supply of fresh water.

42.) Always patronize all businesses that promote the conservation of water.

43.) Report errant sprinklers, open hydrants and broken pipes to their respective owners. You can contact property owners, water management officials or local authorities about these issues.

44.) Encourage the government and school systems to create and promote proper water conservation strategies.

45.) Offer support to programs that increase and encourage recycling water waste.

46.) Offer support for programs that encourage state visitors and tourists to conserve water.

47.) Try to encourage your neighbors and friends to conserve water and promote conservation using bulletin boards, newsletters or other forms of communication.

48.) Avoid wasting water even when you’re not the one paying for it, such as in hotels and other establishments.

49.) Try to do at least one small task each day that results in the conservation of water. Remember that every single drop counts.

50.) Check your evaporative cooler once per year. Seasonal maintenance will ensure your evaporative cooler isn’t wasting water.

51.) Only run the dishwasher when it’s full; it could save you 400 gallons of water every single month.

52.) For hard to water areas, use groundcovers and shrubs instead of turf. These options can work well for isolated strips and steep slopes of land.

53.) Install covers on spas and pools to prevent evaporation of the water inside.

54.) Try to use the garbage disposal as sparingly as possible.

55.) Always try to plant during the fall or spring because watering requirements are much lower during these periods.

56.) Fill a pitcher up with water and place it inside of the refrigerator instead of running the faucet whenever you need a drink.

57.) Water plants early in the morning to prevent evaporation and save water.

58.) Use a pan to wash vegetables instead of running tap water over each individual veggie.

59.) Reduce the evaporation of water from plants by applying a layer of organic mulch around them. This can save hundreds of gallons of water every single year.

60.) Replace a high-flow shower head with a low-flow alternative. The difference in shower experience will be hardly noticeable.

61.) Reuse water that was used rinsing vegetables for plant watering.

62.) Adjust watering cycle to use shorter periods, which reduces runoff and promotes better absorption.

63.) Check outdoor faucets often to make sure they’re not leaking; we’re far less likely to find these leaks because we don’t notice outdoor faucet problems as often.

64.) If you have automated refilling devices, make sure to check your pool for leaks often.

65.) Water your lawn only when it needs it. Check it by walking across it. If this action leaves footprints on it, then it’s time to water it.

66.) Install new, energy-efficient appliances if your existing appliances are out of water.

67.) Try to time your shower and keep it under 5 minutes, which has the potential to save you 1,000 gallons of water every single month.

68.) Replace high-flow toilets with low-volume alternatives.

69.) After cleaning a fish tank, recycle the water and use it for your plants. It contains lots of phosphorus and nitrogen, which serve as fertilizers.

70.) Wash small patches of grass by hand and use a sprinkler for larger areas.

71.) Build patios and walkways with porous materials to make water stay in your yard and prevent waste.

72.) Direct runoff and downspouts towards trees and shrubs, or you can collect the runoff and use it to water your garden.

73.) Use the same glass to drink out of each day, which prevents unneeded running of the dishwasher.

74.) Alter the grade of your lawn to reduce runoff, which can harm local waterways. Redirect the fast flowing water to a mulched shrub located at the lower end of your lawn.

75.) Save water by reducing the amount of grass you have in your lawn. You can use ground covers with granite and rock mulching.

76.) Precisely match the washer water level to the size of your laundry load.

77.) Teach your kids how to completely shut off the faucet after every use. A lot of children have a problem with this.

78.) Check your sprinkler system valves regularly.

79.) For stuck-on, food-soaked pans, just soak them in water while scrubbing them instead of washing them with running water.

80.) For healthier landscapes, water your lawn deeply and less frequently.

81.) Always know where your master water shutoff valve is located. In the event of a pipe break, you will be able to shut off the water quickly and save a lot of money.

82.) You can group plants that have similar watering needs together to water them more efficiently.

83.) Get rid of weeds as soon as they’re spotted. They’re known for stealing water, nutrients and sunlight from other plants.

84.) Avoid using fertilizers because they require a much larger amount of water.

85.) Whenever possible, avoid installing ornamental fountains that spray water straight into the air. Instead, choose cascading or trickling fountains.

save even more water

86.) Turn off the water while you brush your teeth. It can help you save up to three gallons of water per minute.

87.) Purchase and install a rain gauge to make sure you’re not overwatering your lawn.

88.) If you have a newer dishwasher, cut back on the amount of rinsing. Newer models are far more efficient than older models.

89.) You can test soil moisture by pushing a screwdriver into your lawn. If the screwdriver easily slides into the lawn, then it doesn’t need to be watered. This technique can save thousands of gallons of water every year.

90.) When installing a new lawn, install a turf mix that blends with the local site and climate conditions.

91.) If you’re forced to let the kids cool off in the sprinkler, get the sprinkler setup in an area of the lawn that needs water the most.

92.) Equip any ponds, fountains and swimming pools with recirculating pumps.

93.) If you have more than one child, bathe them all together in the tub.

94.) Save water by landscaping with drought tolerant groundcovers, plants and trees.

95.) If temperatures are expected to drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, winterize your outdoor spigots, which will prevent them from bursting and wasting enormous amounts of water.

96.) Insulate water pipes, so you don’t have to run the faucets nearly as long to get hot water.

97.) Prune plants only when it’s absolutely needed. By pruning them too often, you’ll make them require more water than usual.

98.) Talk to your employer about ways to save water and try to implement these methods.

99.) Don’t trim the lower branches on shrubs and trees and let leaf litter build up on the top of soil. The leaf litter will reduce evaporation and keep soil cooler.

100.) To save even more water, convert your lawn to Bermuda grass varieties. They remain brown during the winter and only require water about every four weeks.

101.) Create a compost pile and use it when you plant new plants. The organic mulch will trap water and allow plants to take the water as they need it.

102.) Install sprinklers that disburse large drops of water that impact close to the ground. Mist and small drops of water usually evaporate because they make it to the ground, which wastes water.

103.) Water plants only as they need it. Most people don’t realize that more plants are killed from overwatering than under watering.

104.) When cooking, use the smallest amount of water possible. This is particular effective when cooking pasta.

105.) Adjust your regular watering schedule to account for seasonal climate changes.

106.) By shutting off the water while you condition and shampoo your hair, you can save as much as 400 gallons of water per month.

107.) Try to bathe pets outdoors in areas that need water.

108.) Wash dark clothes in cold water. It saves on energy and water consumption.

In The Kitchen

109.) Whenever possible, wash dishes with a newer, energy efficient dishwasher instead of by hand.

110.) Use a single water bottle for your daily drinking water.

111.) Avoid using the garbage disposal as much as possible. You can use organic food waste to create a compost pile.

112.) Never thaw frozen food using running water.

113.) Fill up a pitcher of drinking water and place it in the refrigerator instead of constantly getting water from the faucet.

114.) Reuse the water that is leftover from steamed and cooked foods to make a healthy soup.

115.) Always use the correct pan size that is appropriate for the meal you’re cooking.

116.) If you ever drop ice cubes onto the floor, pick them up and place them inside houseplants instead of throwing them down the drain.

117.) Before purchasing a new dishwasher, try to find a model that uses the least amount of water possible.

In The Laundry Room

118.) Anytime you’re doing laundry, it’s important to match the water level to the exact size of your load.

119.) Save both water and energy by washing dark clothes in cold water. This will also help your clothes to retain their color.

120.) If looking for a new washing machine to buy, look for a highly energy efficient model. Doing this could save you as much as 20 gallons of water a load.

121.) Pay a plumber to reroute your grey water to plants and trees. However, you’ll need to check county codes before doing this to make sure it’s possible.

In The Bathroom

122.) If your toilet is older than 1992, buy a modern toilet to save water. It will use far less water for every flush.

123.) Buy a showerhead with the WaterSense label. It will allow you to save up to 700 gallons of water per month.

124.) Regularly check to make sure the toilet lever isn’t sticking. This is a common problem and can waste a ridiculous amount of water.

125.) Check for toilet tank leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the coloring seeps into the toilet bowl when you flush it, then you have a problem that is wasting water.

126.) At least once per year, check the actual toilet for leaks. It’s quite common for toilet leaks to be totally silent.

127.) Save 1,000 gallons of water per month by keeping your shower time under five minutes.

128.) Save up to 150 gallons of water per month just by reducing your shower time by a single minute.

kitchen saving water

Outdoors

129.) Try not to plant in areas that are difficult to water, like driveways and along isolated strips of sidewalk.

130.) Go to a landscaping class that is hosted by a water provider. It will teach you how to save water in ways you never thought possible.

131.) Consider making your property look better with xeriscaping, which is a low-water use method of landscaping.

132.) Always try to plant species that are native to the region you’re living in.

133.) Add a layer of organic mulch to the top of your planting beds. It will prevent the growth of weeds, which steal water from important plants.

134.) Replace plants with low-water species.

135.) Install downspouts and gutters to collect rainwater from your roof. Direct the water towards the trees and plants on your property.

Indoors

136.) Pay money to hire a GreenPlumber, who can help you reduce your chemical, energy and water use.

138.) Fix all leaky faucets inside of your home. It’s not very expensive and can save you 140 gallons of water a week.

139.) Teach and reward your children when you follow tips that help your entire family save water.

140.) Learn and use a water meter to check for leaks.

141.) Constantly check your water bill for unusual usage, which can indicate leaks are present.

142.) Make teaching your kids how to save water fun.

143.) Teach your children the importance of shutting off the faucet completely after every use.

144.) Reuse your towels while at home or while staying in a hotel.

145.) Calculate your daily water usage and see how you can reduce it.

Landscaping and Lawn care

146.) Use an empty tuna as a cheap way to measure how much water you’re giving your lawn. It’s safe to use up to one inch of water whenever you irrigate your lawn.

148.) During the winter, water your lawn once per week. During summer, water it about once every three days.

149.) Apply only as much fertilizer as you need because it increases water requirements.

150.) Garden and removes weeds from your lawn regularly.

151.) When seeding your lawn for winter grass, avoid applying too much seed.

152.) Allow your lawn to turn brown during the winter. When grass is dormant, it only needs to be watered once every four weeks.

153.) Make sure to aerate your lawn occasionally. This involves creating small, six-inch holes throughout the lawn. Aeration makes it much easier for water to find its way to the roots.

154.) If you want to install a new lawn, make sure to choose a grass variety that is suitable for your local climate conditions.

155.) After mowing, leave the grass clippings on your lawn. It will cool the ground and help grass to retain moisture.

156.) Have an automatic irrigation installed professionally.

157.) Make an adjustment to your watering schedule every month to account for seasonal weather conditions and additional or unneeded requirements.

158.) Avoid over watering your plants and lawn. Some of the symptoms of over watering are the wilting of young shoots, fungi growth, algae growth and lighter shades of yellow or green.

159.) Only water your lawn as quickly as the soil can absorb it.

160.) When it comes to irrigation, timing is everything. Make sure you learn how to properly set your controller.

161.) Adjust sprinklers to make sure they don’t water the sidewalk or driveway.

162.) Use a soil probe to check the moisture depth of the soil. If the top three inches of soil are dry, then it’s probably time to water the lawn.

163.) Avoid watering your lawn on windy days because the wind causes water to evaporate much faster.

164.) Save water by using drip irrigation to apply water directly to tree and shrub roots.

165.) Purchase a rain barrel to harvest and get use out of rainwater.

166.) Use ice cubes to water hanging pots, planters and baskets. It will give plants water without overflow.

167.) Give your sprinkler system a full inspection during spring to make sure it has no leaks or other problems.

conserve water in the bathroom

In The Pool

168.) Conduct a bucket test using a grease pencil. This is a great way to check for leaks. If the water level drops at an unnatural rate, then there could be a leak.

169.) Cascading and trickling fountains lose far less water to evaporation than fountains that spray water into the air.

170.) Rather than building your own private pool, swim at a community pool.

171.) Teach kids to keep water inside the pool when they’re playing in it.

172.) Never overfill the pool, and you won’t have to worry about water loss caused by kids splashing water out of the pool.

173.) Avoid installing waterfall or spraying devices in your pool.

174.) Check your pool’s automated refilling device frequently for leaks.

175.) Purchase and install a pool cover to prevent the loss of water through evaporation while reducing the use of chemicals and keeping your pool clean.

In The office

176.) Perform a water audit on your facility to make sure it’s not using more water than needed.

177.) Promote water savings to the community by frequently inviting water utility conversation staff to your office.

178.) Publish the amount of water that your organization uses monthly.

179.) Create and implement a water management plan. Educate employees on proper water use and how to reduce the amount of water used by your organization.

180.) Make a newsletter containing water saving tips and give it to your employees.

181.) Make sure employees are taught to report water leaks because it’s very important that they get fixed immediately.

182.) Install air cooled appliances in your office.

183.) Install urinals, sink faucets and toilets that have the WaterSense label inside of youroffice.

184.) Equip faucets with water saving aerators.

185.) Replace all older toilets with newer, water saving models.

186.) Be aware of hidden water costs in the office, such as those associated with chemical treatments, cooling, heating and pumping.

187.) Shut off the water to unused areas of your office.

188.) Discover even more ways to save water by asking your employees their opinions.

189.) Before washing dishes, just scrape them instead of rinsing them.

190.) Install icemakers that conserve water rather than wasting it.

For The Kids

191.) If your younger kids take showers, make sure to keep it under 5 minutes.

192.) Wash your children’s dark clothes in cold water to save.

193.) Keep an eye on kids and their water use habits. If you feel they’re wasting water, intervene.

194.) Make sure the faucet is turned off while kids brush their teeth.

195.) Limit the amount of time your children are allowed to play in the sprinkler or similar device.

196.) Teach your kids the importance of water conservation and make sure they regularly practice good water use habits.

REFERENCES:

http://www.epa.gov/greeningepa/water/

https://www.sba.gov/content/water-conservation

www.usbr.gov/waterconservation/

http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/landscaping-water-conservation

http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/884158/eib99.pdf

http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wr/ws/wtrcnsv.html

http://www.brentwoodca.gov/gov/pw/water/conservation/default.asp

http://www.water.ca.gov/wateruseefficiency/

www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/consumer/09952.html

http://drought.unl.edu/DroughtforKids/HowCanWeProtectOurselves/WaterConservation.aspx

http://water.tamu.edu/water-resources-homeowners/