While Earth Day is, for many, the one-time per year when most people think about reducing their carbon footprint, many have come to embrace a sustainable lifestyle as a year-round endeavor. Water is one of the most precious resources, yet most of us take it for granted. Start making a difference in the world, and maybe even in terms of your utility bills, with these five small steps:
1. Get Your Water Tested
Most people in the U.S. deal with hard water. You may be wondering what hard water has to do with saving water, but it brings a lot of issues you previously may have blamed on cleaning products. If you feel like your soap isn’t lathering, or that there is still a residue on your hair or skin after washing, you likely have hard water. This could cause you to take longer showers or leave the faucet running longer, wasting more water in turn. Hard water can also make cleaning products like laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid less effective, causing you to once again use more water and more cleaning products, which leads to you flushing more dangerous chemicals down the drain… All of which are hazardous to the environment, and they increase your carbon footprint. Test the hardness of your water and find a solution to fit your needs!
2. Take Showers instead of Baths
Another way to save water is to opt for a shower instead of a bath. Generally speaking, a normal showerhead uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute, so a 10-minute shower only uses 25 gallons of water. Filling up your bath, on the other hand, can use up to 70 gallons of water! To save even more water, shave a couple of minutes off your shower time, or look into investing in a low-flow showerhead.
3. Use the Dishwasher
It may sound counter-intuitive, but most dishwashers use less water than you would to wash all of the dishes that fit into your washer. If you don’t have a dishwasher, a way to still save water while washing your dishes is to wash them in the biggest dish that you used. Fill that bowl or pot with soapy water instead of letting the water constantly run or filling up the entire sink. You will save water while also cleaning the largest dish! Win-win.
Bonus tip: Once you get rid of your hard water issues, dishes will lose those hard water spots that make them look dirty even when they are clean! Getting rid of hard water will also increase the life of your dishwasher and other appliances that use water.
4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The common slogan also applies to water! What do you usually do with the water you use to boil your pasta? Dump it down the drain? Instead, recycle the starchy water by pouring it into a separate container and letting it cool. Once it’s room temperature again, use it to water your plants! Your plants will appreciate the extra nutrients.
5. Use Mulch in your Garden
Not only can mulch make your yard look aesthetically pleasing, but it can also reduce the amount of water you need to water your plants by two-thirds! Mulch acts as an insulation, reducing the amount of water evaporation while keeping the soil cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter. Mulch also blocks wind which can cause water to dry up quickly. Make sure you can get organic mulch that is made out of decomposed plant matter for best results!
Water is not an unlimited resource. These are small actions that could make a big impact if taken by many people. Every drop counts!
Want to learn more about improving the water quality in your home to reduce the effects of hard water (and, through the soap and water you save, your carbon footprint)? Learn more about the Leaf Home Water Solutions products today!