Know Your Footprint
Know the Facts
Consider Your Habits
Your efforts to save water will be sustainable only if you take stock of—and correct—your daily habits. Do you take long showers? Wash tiny loads of laundry? Make a list of 10 daily activities that you can change up to reduce your water use.
Leak-Proof Your Home
Change Your Fixtures
Too much good, clean water goes to waste, either down the drain or out through the downspouts. Catch it before it disappears! Place a bucket underneath your shower head or tub faucet to collect running water that's heating up, and invest in a rain barrel to capture rainwater from your gutters. Use the saved water for plants and cleaning.
It’s easy to lose track of time in the shower. Keep water use to a minimum by timing your showers and shaving a little bit from them until you reach a goal. Do the same with your bathroom cleaning routine to make sure you're not wasting too much water when you clean the tub.
Turn Off the Tap
You’ve probably heard this one before, but it bears repeating: Always turn off the tap while you're brushing your teeth! It’s a simple way to save hundreds of gallons each month.
Don't Forget the Toilet
A low-flow toilet is the best option for saving water, but if you have an older model, make sure it's working efficiently. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) recommends checking for leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank. If the color shows up in the bowl, your toilet needs a tune-up.
Plug the Sink
Running the tap while washing dishes wastes up to 27 gallons a load according to the NRDC. Plug the sink while doing the dishes, and if you capture the gray water (leftover waste water), you may be able to use it for cleaning, watering plants, or flushing your toilet—just pour it down the bowl!
Run Full Loads Only
Completely fill up your dishwasher and washing machine (preferably Energy Star-certified models) before you press start. And don’t bother rinsing dishes—just scrape and load.
Choose Cold Settings
When it comes to laundry, cold water is better in most cases. It preserves fabric quality, and because you're able to wash more types of clothing together, it cuts down on the number of loads, which saves both water and energy (heating water accounts for roughly 17 percent of home energy use).
Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances
Water by Hand
Use your salvaged shower water (see above) to water your garden by hand. This will let you monitor moisture levels more precisely, avoiding water waste. If you must rely on an automated sprinkler system, be sure to have it serviced regularly.
Eat and Drink Consciously
Trim Energy Use
Almost 90 percent of electricity in the United States is generated by thermoelectric power plants, which heat water into steam that turns turbines and generates power. Water is also crucial in producing and refining fossil fuels, so when you cut down on your electricity and fossil fuel use, you are helping to save water.
Buy WaterSense Appliances
Make It a Game
Have your family take this EPA-designed quiz for kids, then challenge them to find everyday ways to save water. Turn it into a game, and encourage everyone in the family to find fun and creative solutions. Review your water bill as a family, then choose a usage target—and a reward for hitting it.
Focus on Fashion
This headline says it all: “It takes 2,700 liters of water to make ONE T-shirt—as much as you’d drink in 3 years.” Think before you buy, and don't fall for fast fashion and seasonal buying sprees. The power is in your hands.
Save water and cut down on the number of germy, polluting plastic water bottles littering the streets and clogging up recycling facilities. Instead, buy a sleek, refillable stainless steel bottle, and keep it with you at all times.
Cover the Pool
For those lucky pool owners among us, did you know that an average-size pool loses upward of 20,000 gallons of water each year to evaporation? Cover your pool in all types of weather, or invest in an automatic pool cover system.
Don't Be Wasteful
Do your part to save a little of the world's most precious resource.
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