Summer 2015 has already seen more than its fair share of droughts and flooding across the U.S., which is ample reason to conserve potable water whenever possible and save money while we’re doing it.The difficulty with saving water is a product of several factors. It’s relatively cheap, readily available and easy to overuse, and it’s hard to change our habits when the cost-benefit ratio is so perceptively low.Result: Most of us tend to waste water.The trick to changing our habits is to find easy ways to save that don’t cause too much inconvenience. Like this:1. Take shorter showers.
The Alliance for Water Efficiency pegs water use in the average American shower at just over 17 gallons
, making it the third-largest use of water in your home.They recommend “Navy” showers – soaping up with the water off – but there are other ways.One idea is to time your shower, find out how long it is, and then set an alarm at incrementally shorter times to gradually improve your shower habit. Another is to pick up an eco-friendly shower head
with a lower rate of flow.2. Wash larger loads of clothes and/or wash clothes less frequently.
At up to 45 gallons per load for some models, the washing machine is a home’s biggest water waster.Replacing an old machine with a high-efficiency washer
isn’t always an option, but you can run full loads and wear those jeans an extra day before tossing them in the hamper. Every little bit helps.3. Displace water in your toilet tank.
The average person flushes about 20 gallons of water down the toilet every day, but you can significantly lower that amount with a water displacement device if you don’t already have a low-flow toilet
.You can buy one for a couple bucks, or you can just fill a milk jug full of water and set it in the tank after you flush. This will save you a gallon per flush, which can really add up.4. Turn the faucet off.
This one’s pretty simple and can save plenty of water. Even the most water conscious of us are guilty of leaving the faucet running
when we soap and rinse our dishes, but it comes to gallons of lost water every day.Save it by filling the sink with a bit of water for rinsing your dishes (or veggies) and see how much it can help.Use these four tips for a month and then check your water bill to measure how much you’ve saved, and you might just be pleasantly surprised.