10 Simple Ways to Conserve Water
By Sidor Clare, Grade 9
Conserving water is a big deal. Water is a life-sustaining resource that is running out. It can be overwhelming to read about all the ways water is being polluted or used unwisely. Never fear— here are ten ways to conserve water in your everyday life and why they matter:
Fix leaky appliances. This not only conserves water, but it will also save you money.
Water your lawn smartly. I know this is a common tip, but it’s important. Between 30-60% of private drinking water is used on yards and gardens(1). It is best to water it before 10am, which reduces the amount of water that evaporates. Make sure your sprinklers are aimed correctly; you don’t want to water your sidewalk. Lastly, you only need to water your lawn once or twice a week with 1-1.5 inches of water per time.
Plant a rain garden. These gardens are meant to catch runoff from roofs, driveways, and hard surfaces. Instead of this runoff causing erosion and flooding, it can make a beautiful garden for your yard.
Run the dishwasher and washing machine only when you have a full load. This way, you are using less water by washing everything at once rather than doing many smaller loads that use the same amount of water. Besides saving water, this will save you money on your water bill as well.
Use brooms instead of hoses to clean outside areas. A broom will help loosen dirt and other things on your sidewalk, driveway, door, and window frames and may prevent the need to use water at all.
When washing your car, don’t run the hose. Fill a bucket with soapy water and wash the car with a rag. Only use the hose when rinsing. Even better, you could use a waterless product to clean your car. Either of these water-conserving options can save up to 100 gallons of water(2).
Use grey water. This is the water that drains from sinks, laundry machines, and bathtubs. Black water, which drains from toilets, isn’t usable. Anyways, you can catch grey water by placing a bucket in your shower or sink and then use that water to water plants. You could even get a grey water system installed. They reroute the water that goes down the drain and direct it into your landscape.
Buy less stuff. Did you know that one third of people’s water footprint is made up of consumer products? It’s surprising how much water goes into the making and transporting goods. Keep that in mind the next time you’re shopping.
Use the garbage disposal in your kitchen sink less. This machine uses a lot of water and adds solids to the drainage system, which can cause repair problems later on.
Eat more water-friendly foods. A surprising amount of water goes into our diets. Animal products, especially beef, require plenty of water. Changing your diet so you eat more plants unquestionably decreases the water footprint of the food you eat.