We can all agree that water is a precious resource that all forms of life need to survive. We can disagree on what are the best actions to take to preserve our water resources, and what, if any, amount of government regulation is needed.
However, instead of arguing about things we may disagree on, lets focus on things that make sense to all of us. One of those things is preventing waste.
If we can reduce the amount of water we waste without harming our lifestyles, isn’t that something we can all get on board with? I think so, and I daresay you might just agree.
So, let’s take a look at how we can reduce water waste around our homes.
This should go without saying, but if there are any leaks around your home, fix them. Not only does this reduce wasted water, it can also save you money on your water bill.
Water Hose Leaks
If you are like most people, you have need of a water hose. It may be for washing the car, watering some tomato plants or cleaning your windows.
If you have water leaking around the joint where you attach the hose to the spigot, you are not alone. Most people see a bit of wasted water here. Fortunately, there is a quick fix: plumbers tape.
For less than a single dollar, you can pick up a spool of PTFE tape at your local hardware store. This is very thin “tape” (its not sticky like real tape) that wraps around the male threads of a hose connection. After applying the tape, just screw on the hose like normal.
That’s it – the leak is completely gone!
This one is pretty simple and free. When brushing your teeth, turn off the tap. Again, this is something that conserves water but also saves you money.
If you are a man, shaving is likely part of your daily activities. If you have a small basin of hot water, you can use that to rinse your razor instead of using running water. This does mean you have to have a basin in the bathroom, so there is a slight amount of additional work. But, it can save money and water.
Shaving (part II)
Another good way to save water and money while shaving is to move to an electric razor. Modern razors are very power efficient, so they are not likely to impact your electrical bill in any meaningful way. However, using one can save a lot of water waste.
If you are fortunate enough to work in a job that does not require you to shave, you may be sporting a beard. Beards are good, and generally do not require a lot of water use to maintain. However, you still need to wash your beard. The longer the beard is, the more water it will take to properly clean it. Consider using a really good beard trimmer to keep it at a shorter length and needing less water when washing.
Look for Efficiencies When Upgrading
It would be great if everyone could run out and buy the most efficient appliances on the market right now. That is not realistic. Instead, keep efficiency in mind when it is normally time to upgrade. More efficient appliances save both drinking water and your wallet.
For example, my wife and I needed a new washing machine recently. So, we shopped around and found the most efficient unit in our budget that got excellent reviews in Consumer Reports. We have saved a noticeable amount of money on our monthly bill, but it would not have been cost efficient to replace our old unit had it been working properly. But, as a normal part of the replacement process, it simply makes sense to get the most efficient possible.
It is not reasonable to say “don’t water your plants or lawn” and to suggest everyone re-landscape their properties. That said, look for ways to reduce the need to water such as:
- using mulch – It keeps moisture in the ground and improves the soil.
- include short plants and ground cover plants in areas where you have trees – Like mulch, these plants can help keep moisture in the ground and prevent erosion.
- consider the use of swales in your landscaping – Swales can literally turn the desert into a food forrest. Check out additional information on them here.