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57 Ways To Protect Your Home Environment (and Yourself)
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57. Conserve Water In And Around The Home

water use in the home

Conserving water means smaller water bills if you live in an area serviced by a municipal water system. If your home is connected to a septic system, water conservation also can help prevent water pollution. Overloading a septic system may cause nutrient and bacterial contamination of nearby lakes and streams.

According to the American Water Works Association, the average U.S. family uses water inside the home at the rates shown.

water-saving devices

Because such a large percentage of water use is in the bathroom, this is where water conservation efforts should begin. Install water-saving devices on faucets and showerheads. Take shorter showers. And when filling the tub, don’t let water run down the drain while waiting for it to get hot.
flush toilet tank diagram

Place “toilet dams” or rock-filled containers in the tanks of older flush toilets. Don’t use the toilet to flush away facial tissues, paper, and other similar solid and liquid wastes—use a wastepaper basket. Repair leaks in your faucets and toilets.
boy brushing his teeth

Turning off the water while brushing your teeth can save a family 5 to 10 gallons per day. Rinse hand razors in a filled sink rather than under running water. When shampooing, turn off the water while lathering the hair.
washing vegetables

To conserve water in the kitchen, don’t let faucets run for washing or rinsing. Instead, fill a container with water or use the sink by stoppering the drain. Wash all the vegetables for a meal at the same time. When washing anything, use a brush, washcloth, or your hand to dislodge particles of dirt rather than relying on the force of water to do the job.
food in a refridgerator

Keep a bottle of water in the refrigerator rather than letting water run in the sink to get a cool drink. And use only the minimum amount of water to cook foods. When filling the kettle, try to estimate the actual amount needed.
loading a dishwasher

Run an automatic dishwasher only with full loads. Don’t use the extra-long prewash and scrub cycles unless absolutely necessary. Do not use a garbage disposal except at the end of cooking or cleanup periods or when it is full. Whenever possible, don’t use the disposal at all. Compost vegetable peelings or put them in the garbage can.
sprikler watering lawn

To conserve water outside, water only when necessary. It takes 660 gallons of water to supply 1,000 square feet of lawn with 1 inch of water. Water the lawn in the early morning to avoid evaporation losses. Irrigate the lawn slowly, deeply, and infrequently. In the garden, use drip irrigation or soaker hoses because they apply water slowly and directly to the soil.
hose sprayer

Use pistol-grip nozzles on all hoses and always turn off the faucet tightly to prevent leakage. Avoid sprinklers that produce a fine mist. Too much water is lost by wind and evaporation. Use an alarm clock or the stove timer to remind you to shut off the sprinklers. Sweep sidewalks and driveways, instead of washing them down with the hose.

Reduce evaporation losses from gardens by using an organic mulch or plastic ground cover between rows. Leave grass clippings in place; they provide a kind of mulch. Collect water from roof gutters to use for lawn and plant watering.
kids washing a van

Do not water lawns or wash cars when water is in short supply. When washing the car, rinse it once, use a bucket of soapy water to wash it, and then give it one more quick rinse. Taking it to a car wash may save water because many commercial installations recycle their water.

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