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How to Save Water at Home and at Work

Updated on August 3, 2016
Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy lives in Austin, Texas and has written about environmental issues and conservation for more than a decade.

Save Money by Fixing Dripping Faucets | Leaks

Even a small drip can add up to gallons of lost water.
Even a small drip can add up to gallons of lost water. | Source

Easy Ways to Cut Your Water Bill | Save Money on Water

You don't have to take sponge baths or let your grass die off to reduce your household water consumption. These easy steps can help you conserve water and also save money.

Check Your Monthly Usage:

To get started, check your monthly water bills for the past year or so. This should be available through your the utility company providing your service; many companies even offer online records going back 12 to 24 months.

If you use well water or another resources that isn't metered, you may have to do some personal research on your family's habits. Here are a few questions that will help you assess your daily and weekly habits in using water.

  • Does your family take showers or baths?
  • Do you water your lawn or garden? If so, how often, and through what method (sprinkler system, hand-held hose, etc.)?
  • If you use sprinklers, how long do you let them run?
  • What time of day do you water your lawn?
  • Do you fill your washer to its fullest water level for each load?
  • Do you use an electric dishwasher? How often?
  • Do you use an electric razor or a straight-edge razor (for men in the household)?
  • What climate do you live in?

Showers use less water than bathing in the tub

Check to see whether your shower head conserves water!
Check to see whether your shower head conserves water! | Source

How to Use Less Water in the Bathroom

If you own your home, one of the first steps you can take is to install water-efficient fixtures on faucets and change to a water-conserving shower head.

Don't despair; newer technology has created shower heads and faucets that use less water but provide a stronger flow or spray, so you won't be left standing under a lackluster sprinkle of water or trying to get enough force from the faucet to rinse your razor. There may even be rebates from your local water utility to help offset the expense.

The next thing to check is your toilet. If your house was built in recent years, you probably already have a low-flow toilet. And you probably hate it, right?

Potty technology has advanced considerably in the past decade or so. Newer toilets will, um, do the job better, and will likely use even less water than older low-flow models.

If you're having to flush repeatedly to get solid waste down the drain, you'll save water and frustration by installing a newer model. Look for the dual-flush feature, which uses a very small amount of water for 'clean' flushes and a more powerful flush to eliminate solid waste.

These do work, and they work well. And as with other energy-saving steps, you may be eligible for a rebate if you install one or more in your home. The difference in water use can be significant.

Other Tips:

  • Turn off the faucet when you shave or brush your teeth. For shaving, fill the sink with warm water and dip the razor rather than letting water run endlessly while you trim your whiskers.
  • Fill a glass full of water and use that to rinse your mouth and toothbrush rather than leaving the faucet run while you brush your teeth.
  • Take showers rather than baths whenever possible - it uses less water. This surprises people, but that's what the records show.
  • Check for leaks and drips! What looks like a tiny amount of water coming from your tap, or a low-volume trickling noise in your toilet, can add up to many gallons of wasted water and a higher bill each month.
  • Put a brick in your toilet. Yes, really. If you're not ready to pony up for a newer toilet with low-flow and dual flushing features, put a brick or other large, weighty object in the toilet tank. This will cut down on the amount of water your toilet uses for each flush.

How Important is Water? Watch This Video...

How much water needlessly goes down your kitchen sink drain?
How much water needlessly goes down your kitchen sink drain? | Source

How to Save Water in the Kitchen

We waste many gallons of water in the kitchen, much of which goes down the drain while we rinse dishes before loading the dishwasher.

You can rinse your dishes just as well if you fill up a pan (or even a bowl) with a bit of water and use that to rinse things off before loading the dishwasher. You may have to turn on the faucet here and there, but overall, you'll use a very small amount of water to get the same job done.

A good way to do this is to use a pan you've cooked in (this is especially easy if you make pasta and the pan is already sort of clean). I've also used salad bowls, large cereal bowls, or any other item that already needs to be washed. Rinse it out briefly, then fill it with sudsy water (it doesn't have to be warm water) and use that for the rest of the dishes.

If you plan to run the dishwasher right after the meal, go ahead and turn the faucet to hot or warm water while you're rinsing. This will warm up the water before the dishwasher starts and clean the dishes better.

What setting do you use for most loads? If you're using anything other than the water-saving setting (there may be more than one), you're probably wasting water. Try a few loads on the cycle that uses the least water and energy and see if the results are satisfactory.

Do you run water into a clean pan to rinse it before filling it to boil food? Many of us do this out of some sort of perverse habit. You're using a clean pan, remember? It doesn't need to be rinsed!

The same goes for water glasses; another habit many of us have is to take a perfectly clean glass out of our cupboard and then rinse it before filling it for drinking!

If your refrigerator has a water dispenser, chances are you don't rinse the glass before filling it from that source? You don't need to rinse at the sink, either. if you do have a cold water dispenser, this will save water just due to eliminating the useless-rinse habit.

And, as mentioned before, check for leaky faucets and other water-wasters. Repairing these in a timely way will save on water use, your water bill, and quite possibly on damage to your flooring or counter tops.

Video: Water Savings Tips for Yards and Gardens

Save Water with Proper Lawn and Garden Maintenance

Watering lawns and gardens can be the single biggest water expense during growing seasons. Especially if you water more than once a week and if you turn on the sprinklers and leave them for a while.

An easy way to tell if you're wasting water and money is whether you see a stream of water going down your driveway and into the street. If you water enough for there to be run-off, you have overwatered. Run-off happens when the ground is already saturated and can't take another drink. The run-off is watering the street, not your lawn, and it's sending good water into the storm drains.

Even in very hot, dry climates, once-a-week watering is usually sufficient. Once you realize you're over-watering, you can still have a great lawn without wasting the water you were using before. Experts recommend watering no more than an inch a week. As the video here shows, you can get small cup-like devices to stick in your lawn while you're watering to measure the amount the ground has received during watering.

Try to water during the coolest time of the day (early morning is optimum; if that's not possible, wait until very late evening after winds die down and the sun is gone). This creates less evaporation - and as with the street, your goal is not to make the air more humid; you want the water to go into the ground.

Consider planting low-maintenance shrubs and grasses rather than choosing cosmetically attractive but extremely thirsty plants and trees that are more ornamental than practical. There are many beautiful landscape designs that require less water and don't have the Sahara Desert look many people want to avoid.

Choose indigenous plants that are known to thrive in your climate. Just take a drive in the country and see what's out in rural areas thriving on its own. Ask your local nursery for ideas; they can point you to plants, shrubs, trees, flowers and grasses that grow naturally in your area and are more resistant to diseases than some choices that were imported from elsewhere.

Water-Saving Tips in the Laundry Room

Never run a 'full' load of water for a small load of clothes! You'll waste many gallons of water if you do this. Washing machines (even older models) are designed to clean small loads just as well as large loads and to use less water for those loads. Set the water level to match the load of clothes you're running at any given time.

If your clothes are not noticeably dirty or odor-laden, don't bother with the pre-rinse cycle or extra rinses. If your concern is getting the soap out, you'll probably find you are using too much soap. We use far more detergent than needed, especially when doing loads of clothes that are basically not 'dirty,' but they've been worn a time or two.

Use a fraction of the soap you usually use, and use white vinegar rather than fabric softener to rinse your clothes. White vinegar truly cuts the soap (which is really all you want softener to do), and it is far less harmful to our planet after it goes down the drain.

What About You?

Do you conserve water at home?

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Buy Water-Saving Appliances

As you replace appliances and other fixtures in your home, look for those that are Energy Star rated and have water-saving features. These appliances also usually save gas and electricity, so you'll save in more ways than one.

  • Front-Loading Washing Machine: At first, these look odd and unfamiliar, but they indeed save a tremendous amount of water. These appliances not only conserve water, but help you save on your hot-water bill; if you use less hot water, you're paying less to heat it. Since many of us grew up in the era when we thought we needed to see a huge tub of water with a lot of visible suds, you'll need to adjust to the fact that front-loaders do clean clothes very well, and they leave them softer due to less battering by the paddles in top-loading washers.
  • Energy-Star Dishwasher: All dishwashers will eventually break. When yours goes off to Appliance Heaven, check for an energy-saving model that conserves water as well as electricity. Newer dishwashers use far less water than older models, because they pressurize the sprays better and they have more spray outlets. The cycles are often shorter, so between the savings on hot water bills and electricity, you'll notice a difference in your monthly bills.
  • Instant-On Hot Water Heater: This purchase alone can save many gallons of water each year and also save on fuel bills. These ingenious water heaters (long popular in other countries) ignite only when you turn on the water tap, and heat the water as you need it. They're known for delivering hot water to the tap faster and more efficiently, so you will likely cut down on the amount of time you run the shower waiting for a warm spray. You'll also save on fuel by avoiding the cost of heating water 24/7 just so you'll have it waiting for you when you need it.

Check with your local utility companies to see if rebates are available for installing either of these water-wise appliances in your home.

Water is Precious

There has always been the same amount of water on Earth that we have today.

Much of the water on our planet is frozen or otherwise can't regularly be consumed for drinking or agriculture (sea water has to be processed, for example, to yield drinkable water). We have polluted considerable amounts of water, and we aren't getting any sort of magical new supply to replenish those resources.

You can do your share by saving a few gallons at a time at home. These gallons add up, more than you realize. If only 100 million people in the world (out of the billions living on the planet) each conserved just 100 gallons every year, we would save 10 billion gallons a year in wasted water.

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  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 2 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Kristen - thanks for your comment, and for reading the hub! I love my front-loading washer - it's one of the ones made after they 'fixed' the problems some of them had with the gasket, so it doesn't collect water there. As soon as my DW is ready for replacement, I will be shopping for one that's more energy efficient. My current model was rated that way, but they keep adding new ways to save water and electricity with each new year!

  • Kristen Howe profile image

    Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

    Great tips, Marcy. Ever since I moved, I've saved money on water with an energy efficient shower and washing machine and dishwasher too. Voted up for super useful!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    So glad you like the info here, McNifty - it really does reduce your water use when you do these things! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks for the kind words, adjkp25 - and I very much understand life with a septic tank; I grew up in a rural area, and that was one of our headaches! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • adjkp25 profile image

    David 4 years ago from Northern California

    Living on a well and a septic tank we totally pay attention to our water usage. We know when the well is kicking on too much which is a flag that a faucet didn't get turned off all of the way or we left a sprinkler on.

    The septic tank doesn't do well with too much water going into it at one time so we span out loads of laundry. The one good thing about it is the leach lines go into the ground so the water eventually gets back to the underground water sources.

    Voted up and useful and congrats on the HOTD

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Ha - I can picture what you're describing, BraveWarrior! We seem to have either drought or flood conditions here. I'm glad you're not parched, though. Thanks for dropping by!

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    You can have some of ours, Marcy. It's been storming here at least once a day for the last two weeks! The good news is, I can't remember the last time I turned on my sprinklers!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Allie - please send us some of your rain! We used to have an 'unlimited supply' of water here, but not any longer. Thanks for reading and for the votes!

  • alliemacb profile image

    alliemacb 4 years ago from Scotland

    Useful hub. Conserving water is so important, even here in Scotland where it rains for much of the year. Voted up and awesome

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Many thanks, Thelma - I appreciate your comments and votes!

  • Thelma Alberts profile image

    Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

    Congrats on your HOTD! This is indeed very great tips. Some of these tips I`m already using. You have done here a good work on writing. Voted up and awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Lee - you are so right about rain barrels - I had been planning to add a short section on that, as well as a few more details on some other things, so I will get to work on it. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Many thanks for dropping by and reading, Jennzie!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Peggy - I confess I still have to catch myself on the toothbrushing thing. But I do get a big surge of guilt if I forget! Thanks for your comments, and for the votes!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Snakeslane - many thanks for your words of support!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, cocopreme - it's fun to see your bill go down every month, and it makes you feel like you're doing something good for the planet. I appreciate your comments!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Jackie - capturing rainwater is a great way to save water and lower your lawn care costs. Thanks for mentioning that here, and thank you for reading and commenting!

  • Lee Tea profile image

    Lee Tea 4 years ago from Erie, PA

    Congrats on your HOTD!! This is a very well-constructed hub with tips I'll be using! However, (and I apologize if I've missed this) I'm surprised that there's no mention of RAIN BARRELS in this hub! Collecting the water from your gutters to water your lawns and gardens is a wonderful (and highly promoted) method of water conservation. Many available resources demonstrate the technique and cost-effective ways of acquiring (and having fun decorating) a rain barrel. If it's not in your hub already (again, I apologize if it is), you might consider adding this suggestion. Perhaps you had your reasons for not including it, like the issues that arise from mosquitoes, but those can be addressed with a screen or lid. Regardless, great writing and hub construction. I must be spoiled from my attendance at gardening seminars :) But bottom line - Great Work!! I aspire to write hubs of this quality and usefulness.

  • jennzie profile image

    jennzie 4 years ago from Lower Bucks County, PA

    These are great tips! Voted up and useful.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Really good hub and no wonder it was awarded a HOTD award. We use many of your suggestions but I must admit that I still run water when brushing my teeth. Will halt that habit starting tonight. Every little bit of fresh water savings adds up as you noted. Up and useful votes.

  • snakeslane profile image

    snakeslane 4 years ago from Canada

    Congratulations on Hub of the Day Marcy, well done. Regards, snakeslane

  • cocopreme profile image

    Candace Bacon 4 years ago from Far, far away

    These are some great tips to conserve water! One of the best parts of going green is that it can actually be economically beneficial as well. These ideas are ways to trim down utility bills as well as helping the environment. Congratulations!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Some great tips and I do try to save. I catch water in my yard and garden for outdoor watering.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Ardie! Thanks for the kind words - I appreciate it! As with you, I had to transition into the water-savings items. Fortunately (or not?), my house cooperated nicely by having everything wear out or break in recent years!

  • Ardie profile image

    Sondra 4 years ago from Neverland

    Congrats on HOTD Marcy - but Im not surprised. Your Hubs are always so well researched and put together :) I do try to conserve water but I haven't bought any high efficiency items for my house. I guess now is as good a time as ever!!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, Victoria Lynn! It's great that you're already using many of these strategies - be sure to let us know if you come across other ideas. Many thanks for dropping by and commenting!

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    Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

    Marcy, great hub! I follow most of these. This is great advice and well presented.

    I don't even rinse my dishes before the d/washer, as my dishwasher's job is to clean them! I only rinse off debris other than liquids.

    I appreciate thrifty living hubs. This one is excellent!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Thomas - I'm glad you found a few ideas here, especially if you're in a desert climate. I'm sure as things break or wear out, you'll be amazed at the efficiency of the new fixtures you install. I was astounded after getting a front-loading washing machine. It even saves money on the drying cycle!

  • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

    ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

    Marcy,

    This is a great list! My immediate vision when you were talking about the low-flow shower head was that episode of Seinfeld when they installed those in Jerry's building and they all had messed up hair...lol (Kramer ended up getting some good ones off the black market)!

    Seriously though...we live in a desert so water is certainly an issue and our house/plumbing is kind of old so god only knows who much dripping is going on? I'm off to put a brick in my toilet.

    Great job and Congrats on the Hub of the Day!

    Thomas

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, J.S. Matthew - thanks for your words of support here! We indeed have drought conditions all over much of the United States, and it may get worse. So glad you like the hub!

  • J.S.Matthew profile image

    JS Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

    Awesome Hub with really great conservation ideas. I do everything I can to conserve water (which means saving $) and this Hub is so important right now because so many Americans are short of this necessity! Congratulations on the Hub of the Day! Voted up and sharing!

    JSMatthew~

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Pstrauble48 - it's so great to know kids are learning to be stewards of our natural resources at very young ages. That's the perfect time, too - they get excited and share their excitement at home. Thanks for your comments here, and thanks for being such a dedicated teacher!

  • pstraubie48 profile image

    Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

    These are absolutely tips we all should follow. When I was teaching I really focused on conservation of all sorts including water. Often the parents would mention it when we met to discuss a child. I think the kids were rather turned into nags!!! But that is ok....as you said...every drop counts.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    Congrats on Hub of the day, too!!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Muchas Gracias, Sunshine! I'm glad you like the hub - thanks for dropping by and reading!

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Congrats on your HOTD Marcy! You offered great tips to conserve agua! :)

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, nmdonders - I'm glad you enjoyed the hub!

  • nmdonders profile image

    nmdonders 4 years ago

    Congrats on Hub of the Day! Very useful information, especially during this time of year when water is so scarce.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, HappyBoomerNurse - thanks so much for reading and commenting! I'm glad you found some good ideas here, especially since you're already saving water in many ways!

  • Happyboomernurse profile image

    Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

    Congrats on earning Hub of the Day status for this comprehensive, well written hub.

    I follow many of the things you've listed here but also learned a lot I didn't know, especially about new devices like the dual flush feature toilet.

    Voted up across the board except for funny.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks so much, Vinaya! I appreciate your comments - glad you like the hub!

  • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

    Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

    Saving water means saving lives. This hub is useful and informative.

    Congrats for well deserved HOTD.

    Cheers

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Kristine - the brick trick was popular years ago (before low flush toilets). If your fixtures are already water-savers, you may want to research the brick idea to see if it works for that model. If they're the old models, bricks definitely work! Thanks for reading and for the votes!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thank you for the kind words, Vespawoolf - I hope you see your bill drop now! My bill is already about as low as it can go now, but my next goal is to just plain lower my water usage. Thank you for reading and commenting!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Melovy - many thanks for the kind words here! I think America needs to learn more of your great European conservation strategies. We use way more of everything than any other country.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, ChaplinSpeaks - thanks for reading and commenting! Yep - run out and get a brick, now that you know that trick!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Pramod - it's sad to hear the ways many countries suffer from water shortages. So glad you like the hub! Many thanks for your comments.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, ComfortB - I'm laughing at your Water Police analogy! I used to think I'd go to that really warm afterlife place if I didn't change my ways. Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

  • Kristine Manley profile image

    Donna Kristine 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

    Marcy, I am going to have to try the brick in the toilet - I have never heard of this. What great information. Voted up.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks so much, Cardelean! Let me know if you run across more tips, since you're experienced in many tips!

  • vespawoolf profile image

    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Water is precious! With this great checklist, I hope to reduce our water expenses. Congrats on your well-deserved HOTD! Voted up!

  • Melovy profile image

    Yvonne Spence 4 years ago from UK

    Congrats on your HOTD Marcy! Well done and well deserved, and a great subject!

    You have some great ideas here. Your point about detergent is a really good one. I recently had a conversation with someone who works for Unilever and she said a teaspoon is enough for most loads! Over in Europe we have almost no choice of washing machine other than front loaders so they don't seem strange to us - so you are right, people will get used to them!

    Well done for highlighting such an important issue.

  • ChaplinSpeaks profile image

    Sarah Johnson 4 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

    I like your brick in the back of the toilet idea! Congratulations on Hub of the Day!

  • pramodgokhale profile image

    pramodgokhale 4 years ago from Pune( India)

    I appreciate for such important hub and agree that i am wasting water in my bathroom and i should try to reuse or save but not to waste.

    In India we have droughts in many places but water conservation , no one bothers because water supply is political issue and vote bank issue.

    If the farmers are provided more water they get vote and getting elected.

    Thank you for appeal for water conservation

    pramod gokhale

  • ComfortB profile image

    Comfort Babatola 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

    Congrats on your HOTD. I have to admit that I can sometimes be a waster. I like my shower real hot and I sometimes have to run the water a while to get the right temp.

    If there were Water Police I'll probably get a ticket everyday. Got to learn to let it run into some bucket for other uses around the house, I think.

    Great hub.

  • cardelean profile image

    cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

    Great information. I have to say that I've never even thought about rinsing out a pan before using it so that one I can say I don't do. However, while we do well in some areas, we have some improvement needed in others. Thanks for your great guide and congrats on the HOTD!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Your Cousins! I'm glad you found a few tips you can adopt, even if the shaving habits are hard to change. Maybe you can talk him into growing a beard? Just kidding!!!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, sgbrown - I grew up on a farm with a well, so I can relate! It would be terrifying to start running out of water, and as you mention, city water or other water services aren't available everywhere. Are you piping your grey water outside to use it to water the lawn and garden? Many rural areas do that - it makes so much sense to use those wasted gallons from showers, sinks and laundry to water plants. Good luck! And thanks for your comments here!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Kelley - many thanks! And good work on being on top of things already!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Horatio - it's interesting that because of the new technologies, dishwashers can be more environmentally conservative than doing them by hand. Especially if you turn off the drying cycle. Thanks for dropping by to read and comment!

  • Your Cousins profile image

    Your Cousins 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

    I will try to do better with brushing my teeth and rinsing the dishes by using your tips. But I don't think I'll have much luck getting my husband to give up his water stream while shaving! Very useful HOTD.

  • sgbrown profile image

    Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

    Great tips her Marcy! We live in the country and are on a water well. Our well has run very low before, we knew this as we were getting lots of air in the water. I started finding ways to conserve our water and cut back on our usage. If we run our well dry, we cannot get city water. I use many of your suggestions and will incorporate more of them. Voted up and useful!

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    kelleyward 4 years ago

    Hi Marcy, this is a great hub full of fantastic ideas on how we can save water. I'm surprised I actually do many of these things. Thanks for writing this. Voted up, useful, and pinned. Congrats on the HOTD!

  • Horatio Plot profile image

    Horatio Plot 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, England.

    Congrats on HOTD Marcy. Great tips. It's amazing how much water you can save if you try. Also, modern technology helps. The water saving cycle on my dishwasher only uses 10 litres of water! I doubt if you can wash up a whole day's dishes in that amount.

    Good information. well done.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, HealthyLife - thanks for reading and commenting! That was a bad habit I had to break, too. It's funny how the Guilt Gene kicks in once you're aware of it - a bit like when you don't put on your seatbelt right away. (You do wear your seatbelt, don't you?). I'm glad you enjoyed the hub!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Sen.sush - thanks for your very kind words! It's scary and sobering to realize we have only a limited supply of this precious resource. I'm glad you found new information here!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thank you, Chamitj!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Kathleen - thank you, dear friend! And thanks for sharing! I've seen a lot of 'how to' hubs here, but I can appreciate the way they answer questions and give Information people are searching for on the Internet, so I finally decided they have a good place here. So glad you like the hub!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Many thanks, Cre8tor! You're a veteran of several HOTDs, so I'm honored by your words!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, Izzy! Wouldn't it be great if every household conserved even a few gallons a day? Ma y thanks for reading and for your kind words.

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    Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

    great water saving tips! I need to stop running the water while doing the dishes! Congrats on HOD..well deserved!

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    Sushmita 4 years ago from Kolkata, India

    Hi, Marcy! First of all I must congratulate you on picking such a relevant topic to discuss and do it so well. I thought I am quite responsible in my water usage and accordingly answered your quiz, but I learned from you that the front loading washing machines save water. The explanation seems logical too. I think you are doing a service to the community by writing on this subject. Voted up useful and therefore awesome.

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    chamilj 4 years ago from Sri Lanka

    Great tips to save water. Thanks!

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    Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

    Congrats, friend, on HOD! Great to see this accolade going to a writer I know. As critical as I've been of the string of "How to's" as HODs, this one is fantastic. A great topic, very well presented. Good for you - good for us! Is there any point in sharing an HOD? Sharing anyway.

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    Dan Robbins 4 years ago from Ohio

    Great hub Marcy! Congrats on HOTD!

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    IzzyM 4 years ago from UK

    Great water saving tips all in the one place! This makes a great resource for people wishing to cut down on water consumption. Congrats on winning Hub of the Day! Well-deserved!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Many thanks, Margie - I'm so glad you like the hub!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, BraveWarrior - it sounds like you're already on top of it! You can get a pass on toothbrushing - just tell them I said so. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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    Mmargie1966 4 years ago from Gainesville, GA

    This is an excellent hub, Marcy! I loved the term you coined, "Potty technology"! You really provided a ton of great information. Nice job!

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    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    I must admit I don't rinse clean pots before filling with water or cooking, but I simply cannot brush my teeth without running the water; it creates my rythym much like music motivates me! My water bill is under $35 each month and that includes garbage pickup, so I think I'll risk the usage for clean teeth! Tee hee!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Blossom - wow, what a great idea! I may try that one here, too. My water is not that expensive, and I don't use that much (it's become an obsession with me), but it would be interesting to time showers. Probably won't work when I wash my hair, but it might work otherwise. Thanks for sharing that tip!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks for your kind comments, Summerberrie - I'm glad you found a few new ideas here!

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    Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

    A very useful hub. Here in Australia we often have a real problem with lack of water and droughts. My son got a two-minute egg-timer for his daughters' showers and what a difference it made to their water consumption! Voted up.

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    summerberrie 4 years ago

    Great source of water-saving information. I saw quite a few areas I can change to help conserve this precious resource. Thanks for sharing so much detailed and useful information.

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, GiblinGirl - I know exactly what you mean - I still have to remind myself, "This is a clean pot!" - or to turn off the faucet while brushing. I found if I go into my 'pretend I'm camping' mode, it's easier. When you're camping, you usually fill up a cup and use it to brush, rinse your mouth and rinse off the toothbrush. Saves a lot of water if you do that 365 a year!

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    That would be great, AustinStar - thanks! Yes - I know for sure you understand where I'm coming from on this hub! At least this summer hasn't been as bad as last year, so far. Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

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    GiblinGirl 4 years ago from New Jersey

    Great hub! So many practical suggestions that are definitely doable. I know I'm guilty of rinsing out a clean pot before filling it with water to boil, and every time I do it I think to myself - I'm probably wasting water by doing this. I'm also guilty of running the water while brushing my teeth. I keep telling myself I should try to change these habits but I always just kind of think - eh it won't make much difference. Your article though has given me some new motivation to be a little more diligent. Thanks!

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    Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

    Great info for us poor water challenged Texans. And for the Midwest now too. It's a shame that the most abundant element on Earth is the most abused. I'm going to link to this hub if you don't mind.

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Sis - I'm stunned at what they're charging you for water! My bill is a fraction of that - and I can't imagine how people cab budget to pay for something as basic as water at that huge cost. Thanks for sharing this; it sounds like your townspeople need every water-savings trick there is.

    Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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    Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

    Excellent suggestions and points -- where I live they upped our water bill to $75 monthly several years ago (that's for 2,000 gallons of water) when they installed a new water plant. The powers that be just never lowered the water bill for everyone after that although the water plant has long since been paid for. So...basic water is a huge expense in my little town -- I don't even know of any major cities with water rates like these -- however, those rates do encourage one to conserve water! Super Hub and info -- Best/Sis

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, BraveWarrior - don't you just love white vinegar?! I started using it instead of fabric softener when my oldest child (now an adult) was born, because regular softeners caused too much diaper rash. That was back in the days of cloth diapers.

    I like your point about indigenous plants being more heat-resistant as well as requiring less water; you're right, heat and water are two different issues. Thanks so myth for reading and commenting!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    What a neat place to vacation, Letitia! By the way, I do know of people who capture the water wasted when a shower (or tub) is warming up and then use it to water plants and trees. Thanks for dropping by and commenting; enjoy your vacation!

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    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Great hub, Marcy! I was tickled to see you reiterate my tip on using white vinegar in the wash instead of fabric softener. Also, your advice on planting indigenous plants. They tolerate whatever climate you're in better than "imports". This is especially true here in Florida. While many plants require "full sun", it's not the sun that does damage, it's the heat. There's a difference. Heat tolerant plants require less water and don't wilt as quickly as others.

    Once again, great advice!

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    LetitiaFT 4 years ago from Paris via California

    Thanks for sharing this terrific advice. I'm on vacation in an old country house that uses only water from the two springs on either side of it. We use only organic products for laundry & the dishwasher and the grey water is used for the plants. Wish I could do it in my apartment!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Bac2Basics - what a great way to recycle! Some people in rural areas, where there are no urban regulations to get in the way, have adopted your smart practice of letting basically clean water flow into the garden and lawn and recycling it that way. If you use biodegradable detergent, it doesn't harm plants, and it certainly saves on the amount of water you consume. Maybe someday you can adapt the other areas of your house to capture even more precious drops for repurposing! Many thanks for reading and commenting!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    What a great idea, Billy - to make your students more aware of their habits at home! Too bad the parents didn't understand the value of that teaching strategy. And I agree - there are some major overhauls needed in our society's priorities. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Curiad!

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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, TFScientist - I know what you mean about using long showers as a form of hydrotherapy! Guilty here, too!

    As you mentioned, I do recall that front-loading washers are common in Europe and the UK. I think we must be slow learners here on our side of the pond. Thanks so much for reading and commenting here!

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    Anne 4 years ago from Spain

    Hi Marcy. Very good hub and sound advice. Water is just so important , no one can live without it. I recycle my washing machine water by having an outflow onto the garden which I can move around to wherever needs it the most. I would love to be able to do the same from all the sinks and showers, but it would cost too much rigging this up.

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    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    I used to print up something similar to this and send it home with my students at school....I would ask them to track the water use in their homes and try to institute some changes. I had more than one parent get upset over that, asking me to stop trying to regulate their lifestyle.

    There are times I have serious concerns about the priorities of my fellow man.

    Great hub; I hope someone reads it and then practices it.

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    Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

    Some great tips here Marcy!

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    Rhys Baker 4 years ago from Peterborough, UK

    Excellent advice that is easy to action. Saving water is something we rarely think of and yet it is so important - people often don't think about it until a drought forces water companies to limit usage. Great advice about. Great advice about the timing of garden watering. There is no point watering your garden at noon when most of the water will evaporate long before the plants can use it.

    Front loading washing machines are the norm here in the UK - it is the top loading ones that look weird to us!

    I always take showers over baths...but I have been known to stand under the water for over 30 minutes, which uses FAR more water :) Get in and Get out.

    Great hub. Voted up, useful and shared

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