Have you checked your water bill lately? According to the American Water Works Association the daily indoor per capita use is 69.3 gallons. Even if you know you use less, chances are you and your family could still conserve more. In addition, you could be teaching your children valuable lessons about the environment and the one natural resource that affects us the most, our H20.

Water conservation has many avenues. There are products for faucets and shower-heads that better control personal usage. There are also home repairs such as converting to “low flush” toilets or better insulation around pipes keeping water hotter and prevent running the tap till you reach the desired temperature.

But even if we tear the house down and rebuilt it from scratch conservation awareness won’t just go away. We’d still need to monitor basic functions of our day, which we take for granted. Below is a list of ten tips for both parents and children regarding common water usage at home, namely in the bathroom and kitchen. Feel free to print them out and leave a copy in each room as a reminder until the exercises become routine.

  1. Dish washing: The best way to wash dishes is by hand and not in a dishwasher. When you wash by hand, soak them, scrub them and then turn the water on to rinse. If you have two sinks or two washing tubs you could soak in one and rinse in the other. A spray bottle can also come in handy when wetting dishes, as it uses very little water. NOTE: using less detergent limits the amount of water you need to rinse.
  2. Dishwasher: if you have one- use it for a full load only. Do the same for a washing machine.
  3. Cleaning vegetables: rinse them in a tub like the dishes. Don’t let the water run.
  4. Defrosting: Instead of running water over the fish or chicken use a microwave or leave it in the fridge over night.
  5. Water from boiling veggies: We all boil things and sometimes that water can be a great base for soup. Not planning a soup in the next day? Freeze it for later.
  6. Cold drinking water: Instead of letting the tap run till Mr. Freeze pops through, always leave a pitcher in the fridge for cold drinking water.
  7. Brushing your teeth: don’t leave the water running while you brush.
  8. Showering: For every minute you stand there gallons of water are literally going down the drain. Take short showers limiting water usage to getting wet and rinsing off. If the water takes time getting hot, leave a bucket under the spout to catch the initial flow and use it on plants or to flush the toilet.
  9. The toilet: every toilet flush is on average 3 – 4 gallons of water and as much as 7. Flush only when you need to.
  10. Finally, every once in a while it’s good to check for leaks under sinks and around toilets. However, some are harder to find and need closer investigation. A simple test involves the following: Read the water meter, leave all water devices in the home idle for an hour or two, and then read the meter again. If the numbers changed you have a leak that needs attention.

There you go. These are some great tips that don’t cost anything and will ultimately save in more ways than one. By focusing on them your relationship to water will change and the end result will be rewarding both for you and your children.

Jakob Barry writes for networx.com where you can find more information about home improvement and environmentally friendly resources.

Image source:  momgoesgreen.com

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