There are many free and inexpensive ways to save water at home. The most important thing is to develop the habit of being water conscious. If you do that, you will notice ways that you can cut back on water usage. Here are some ideas for saving water inside your home.
Saving Water in the Bathroom
Keep a small bucket in the bathroom. When you start the water running for a shower, put the bucket underneath where the cold, clean water comes out. This water can be used for pets’ drinking water, for watering house plants, and for numerous uses out of doors.
Make that shower shorter. You can even turn off the water while you wash your hair, depending on how cold your bathroom is!
Use an energy efficient shower head.
Shower less often and if needed do sponge baths in between.
Flush the toilet less often, even in public restrooms.
Turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth. (A taxi driver in Guadalajara told me once that his young son learned this tip at school and passed it on to him.) This also applies to washing your hands while you are lathering up.
Saving Water in the Kitchen
When letting the water run to get hot before doing dishes, save this water in a container and use it as rinse water.
When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while you are washing. Turn it off and on, or if you have a double sink you can rinse in one side.
Soak dirty pots and pans before washing them, for less scraping and water use, not to mention less grumbling.
Keep a jug of drinking water in the refrigerator. This saves your running the tap for the water to get colder.
General Water Saving Tips
Fix leaks as soon as you can, or get someone to fix them. It is amazing how much water can be lost from a leak.
Be a little less picky about how often you wash your clothes. Make sure they fail the smell test or have dirt on them before tossing them in the laundry basket.
These are just a few to get you started. I’ll do an article like this for the yard next spring. I didn’t get into gray water at all here, as reusing it is generally more complex than simply reducing the amount of clean water you use.
Readers, please share your favorite tips for in-the-house water savings.