How to Conserve Water in the Summer
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Posted June 5, 2018
If you’re trying to save money this summer or looking for a way to be environmentally conscious, then conserving water during the summer is a great place to start. When you make an effort to conserve water, it will not only help communities protect against drought, but it will also save you time and money. That’s a win-win if you ask us! Take this as your opportunity to skip hand washing the dishes or visiting your local car wash. Read more below to discover just a few of the many ways you can conserve water in the summer.
In the Kitchen:
- Minimize your container size. Cook food in the least amount of water possible. Not only will it retain its nutrients that way, but you’ll also save on water waste.
- Refrain from defrosting frozen food with water. Either place the food in the fridge ahead of time or use the microwave defrost setting. Though running cold water of the frozen food is the quickest method, it can also lead to your food reaching temperatures that result in bacterial growth. Yuck!
- When cleaning fruits and vegetables, rinse over a bowl to catch any excess water. This water can then be used for watering plants. The same goes for leftover ice cubes, throw those in your planters to keep your plants hydrated without wasting water. The slow melting process of ice is an excellent way for your plant to allow proper absorption of water.
- Wash dishes in the dishwasher rather than by hand. You will use less water and see cleaner results. If you want to reduce your water waste even further, consider switching out your dishwasher for an energy-efficient model. Want to wash dishes by hand or don’t have an alternative option? Fill your sink basin with soapy water first and refresh the water as needed.
- Skip the pre-rinse. Most dishwashers from the last 10 years have sensors built in to check the cleanliness of the water. If the plates are reasonably clean, the dishwasher will do a lighter cycle, which might not get your dishes as clean as you’d like. Additionally, most detergents do better with a little bit of food left on the plate. The chemicals in the detergent cling to the debris on the plate and do more to deep clean your dishes. Still not convinced? When you blast your dishes in the sink, you’re using 1.6 to 6 gallons of water for every minute you run the water. That can add up each time you wash your dishes.
Pro Tip: Run hot water in the sink for a moment before starting your dishwasher. The dishwasher takes a little while to warm up the water, but by having hot water already flowing, you’ll give your dishwasher a head start and waste less water on warm up.
In the Bathroom:
Take Shorter Showers
- The average home uses roughly 2.1 gallons of water per minute in the shower. If your shower takes longer than five minutes, then consider following the Navy Shower guide and turning off the water in between tasks (lather up or shave without the water flowing). Shortening your shower time by just two minutes can save 1,750 gallons of water per person annually.
- If your shower takes a minute to reach the temperature you prefer, consider collecting that running water in a bucket while you wait. You can use it to water plants later.
Switch to Low-Flow
- Change out your faucets to low-flow options. With a low-flow shower head, you can see a 40% reduction in your water consumption.
- Toilets use a lot of water. With a low-flow toilet, you’ll only use about 1.5 gallons of water per flush instead of 7 gallons with less efficient models.
Turn Off Water
- Similar to our shower tip, you waste an average of 4 gallons of water per minute when you leave the water running while brushing your teeth or washing your face. Only run the water when you need to rinse.
- This goes for anywhere in your home, but it is especially crucial in your bathroom. Ensure that your home is leak free by checking your plumbing regularly.
- You can check for a toilet leak by adding a few drops of food coloring to your toilet tank (just enough to change the tint of the water). After 30 minutes, inspect the bowl of the toilet to see if the coloring seeped into it. If so, you’ve got a leak on your hands. Flush immediately to avoid staining and call your local plumber for repair.
In Your Yard:
Water Your Yard in the Morning or Evening
- Water evaporates quickly when the sun is high. To keep the water in the soil and nourishing your plants, you’ll want to make sure you’re watering when the sun isn’t beaming down directly on your yard. Early in the morning or after sunset are prime times to do this.
- Ensure that the water is staying in your yard. Water waste happens when your sprinklers are mostly spraying down your sidewalk or driveway. For a more targeted approach, a drip irrigation system sends water directly to where you want it.
Take Your Car To a Carwash
- When you wash your car at home, you’re likely to use 100 gallons of water or more! But, commercial washes only use about 40 gallons on a vehicle. The effort (and water) you save will easily be worth a few bucks to have your car washed. Whether you get the basic option or splurge on a touch-less wash, you’ll still use less water than you would at home. Plus, you don’t have to do the work!
For more ways to conserve water this summer, contact your plumbing professionals at Hiller to discover more ways in which your home could be efficient and water conscious.