Run your dishwasher with a full load only: Make the most efficient use of your dishwasher’s water consumption and run the dishwasher only when you have enough dirty dishes accumulated for a full load. You can also save water by scraping dishes instead of rinsing them before loading the dishwasher. Most dishwashers today can thoroughly clean dishes that have had food scraped, rather than rinsed, off — the wash cycle and detergent take care of the rest.
Wash your clothes in full loads and use cold water: Much like running the dishwasher with only a full load, washing clothing in full loads can save more than 3,400 gallons of water each year!
Take a Shower: Try a short shower instead of a bath. Taking a shower uses much less water than filling up a bathtub-a shower only uses 10 to 25 gallons of water, while a bath uses up to 70 gallons! Save even more water by keeping your shower under five minutes long — try timing yourself next time you hop in!
Install a low-flow showerhead: They don’t cost much, and the water and energy savings can quickly pay back your investment.
Don’t Flush It All Away: Toilets are responsible for about 40 percent of total indoor water use. If you have an older toilet, use a water-displacement device to reduce the amount of flow per flush. A plastic bottle filled with sand makes an easy DIY toilet modification. If you’re upgrading a bathroom, invest in a high-efficiency toilet.
Fix a leak: Small leaks can add up to gallons of water lost every day. Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide — that’s the equivalent of the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes! Common types of leaks found in the home are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. These types of leaks are often easily correctable, in many cases requiring only a few tools and hardware that can pay for themselves in water savings.
Turn off the tap: Just by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth in the morning and before bedtime, you can save up to 8 gallons of water! Once you’ve got that down, look for creative ways to use less water, such as washing fruits and vegetables in a bowl instead of running the tap or keeping a pitcher of water in the refrigerator so kids and others can pour a cold glass without running the faucet first. When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.
Save that water: Collect shower water as the shower is warming up and while it is running. This water, as well as old bath water, can be reused to water indoor plants, wash animals or to flush a toilet.
Recycle water: Save old water from pet bowls, vase water, water bottles and more. Use it to water plants.
Make a rain barrel: Start saving whatever rainfall you get in a rain barrel connected to your gutters. Use it to water your garden and houseplants, and for outdoor cleaning purposes.
Let your grass grow: Taller grass preserves more soil moisture and needs less water. Leave your clippings where they fall to act as mulch.
Plant a Water-Wise Garden: Scale back on turf and opt for drought-tolerant, native plants. Trees, shrubs, and flowers should be suited to your region as well as to your yard’s microclimates. Plants’ needs vary, but a good general rule is to water deeply but less frequently.