Water Interruption Problems? Here Are 7 Tips To Be More Water Smart Starting Now
If you're one of the hundreds of homeowners thinking "H2-no!" instead of H20 thanks to the unanticipated water scarcity problem currently affecting both commercial and residential properties in the metro, you can take a seat and keep the panic at bay.
We rounded up seven water-conserving tips that you and your family can practice right now to make sure that your home doesn't suffer from the impending consequences of approaching El Niño, and more importantly, to alleviate any issues that you could be facing as you're reading this.
1. Turn off faucets and showers when not in use.
Let's start with an easy tip, but one that's fairly difficult to do as it requires habit-breaking. We know not to leave a faucet or shower running when we're done washing our hands, doing the dishes, or rinsing off all the soapy suds after a luxurious bath. However, what we neglect to do is stop water flow in-between; that is, when we're in the middle of shampooing, brushing our teeth, or scrubbing plates and cutlery (i.e.: when running water isn't needed for a task), let's learn to shut off the flow.
2. Sacrifice tub time.
We know, bathtub soaks—especially when paired with a full-bodied glass of wine and an enriching podcast and indulged in after a grueling day—are one of the best things in the world. Unfortunately, they do use up gallons and gallons and gallons of precious water that could be used for more pressing matters (like laundry and watering the garden), and it might not be the best idea to have them often during a season of drought. Save them for your post-summer routine; the delayed gratification will be worth it.
Similarly, try your hardest to cut down shower time. Make it as quick as possible and stick to the basics of cleansing for most of the week; save a long, hot shower for one weekend!
3. Replace hardware.
Sometimes, it's not enough to simply save water itself. The fixtures we use in kitchens and bathrooms and other areas where water consumption is at its highest place a part in the conservation, too. Washing machines, faucets, toilets, and showerheads might not be as efficient as newer, more environmentally-friendly models; consider investing in a change of hardware and it will pay off in the long run, way after summer has come and gone as they'll help with water utility bills all year round.
4. Practice dishwashing hacks.
You'd think that a task as simple as washing the dishes is as straightforward as it seems, but there's actually an environmentally-friendlier way to do it. If you've got two side-by-side sinks in your kitchen, consider filling one with hot, soapy water for washing dishes and the other with cold water for rinsing. (If you only have one sink, you can still accomplish this by using two large bowls). It's said that you could cut the amount of water you use for dishwashing by adopting a change as simple as this!
5. Do manual gardening.
You'll need a (literal) green thumb for this one! Our gardens definitely need a good dose of hydration come summertime. But while we want to keep our lawns, potted plants, flowering shrubs, trees, and backyards lush, we shouldn't do it at the expense of water conservation efforts. One way to achieve this is to water manually and to be mindful of when we water. It might take more to go around with a pail or old-fashioned watering bucket in hand, but if it means up to 33 percent of water savings, it should be worth it.
And don't water when the day is hottest; wait until dusk when the temperature has dropped a little, or else water will simply evaporate from the soil before it gets a chance to seep in deep enough to nurture foliage!
6. Keep pools cool.
Nothing can beat the feeling of jumping into the pool during a summer weekend! But did you know that pool water that goes for days and days under the sun during the hottest months of the year also evaporate? You might be surprised with the need to constantly refill your pool, and one way to combat this is to make sure you put your pool cover in place when it isn't in use, or when you're done with your swim for the day.
7. Cascade your water use.
Learn how to cascade your water use and make sure that things go a long way! For example, save water used for plates' final rinse, collect water that flows from your showerhead while you wait for hot water to kick in, or your handwashed laundry's last basin rinse for the garden or other tasks like garage cleaning or outdoor floor scrubbing.
For more advice on how to become better water conservers this summer and after, read this.
Photos courtesy of Unsplash