Guest contributor Mike Sorensen is here today to share 5 tips for conserving water.
Water is in the news all the time it seems, and the use of water and rights to it are predicted to be a huge source of conflict in the world in the near future. In the United States, the average amount of water used by each person every day is 100 gallons, and that number is rising.
Water is a precious natural resource that is not infinitely available – there are limits to how much we can use and not be taking away from others in the world. So it is a good idea to learn how to conserve water on a very personal level, and thereby help sustain the planet. Here are 5 tips to save water easily, every day.
1. Upgrade to water saving shower heads, toilets, washing machines, and dishwashers
All of us use water in many ways every day. Many of these uses could be made more environmentally friendly by swapping out old appliances and fixtures for new ones that save water. Shower heads are the first thing most of us think of, and there are water-saving fixtures readily available that really make a difference. Toilets are major users of water in the home, and the installation of more efficient units also can make a difference in your household water consumption. Other appliances that use water have become available in water-saving versions – washing machines and dishwashers, for example. More energy efficient as well as conserving water, these space-age products are very worthwhile investing in for the average homeowner.
2. Don’t wash your car(s) at home
Commercial car washes are much more efficient and effective at keeping your vehicles clean. When you wash a car at home, you waste water in washing, rinsing and the overall process. Take your car(s) to a public car wash and be water smart. The same goes of course, for campers, tractors, riding lawnmowers, and so on.
3. Save water outside of the home
Sprinklers watering the lawn on hot summer days are an American tradition – that has to go. Well, not completely, but it at least should be governed by common sense. Do lawn and garden watering in the cool of the evening or night so the water is absorbed, not evaporated. Set the cut height on your lawnmower an inch or two higher – taller grass stays moister and helps the soil retain water as well. Don’t use water to clean your driveway or patio – use a broom. It’s a very inefficient use of water to clean large dusty surfaces.
4. Don’t let the water run, and teach your kids not to do the same
Many people have the habit of leaving the tap running while they are brushing their teeth, washing their face, or even washing and preparing food in the kitchen. These habits are incredibly wasteful, and you can provide a model to children by showing them how to turn off the tap when the water is not being used. Another related conservation method is to learn to take faster, shorter, slightly cooler showers. It’s possible to save hundreds of gallons of water a month in the average household this way.
5. Be a smart water consumer
Learn how to read your water meter and check your home and property for leaks. If no one is using water and you see a usage registered, there is a leak somewhere that should be fixed. Notice when the most water is used in your house, and try to determine how it’s being used, and if the amount used can be reduced.
Mike Sorensen is a master cabinet maker, structural engineer and the author of www.AcousticFields.com audio blog. He provides tips for soundproofing a room using environmentally sound production methods and helping control energy savings.