Water, essential to life, but in real scarcity in many places. According to the United Nations, by 2030, 47% of the world population will be living in areas of high water stress.
Water use has been growing at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century. Obviously adequate access to useable water is a concern, that if not already affecting, will touch us all within the coming decades.
Here are 12 ways that we as individuals can reduce our use of water this summer and well beyond. If collectively, enough of us reduce consumption, we can help move the needle towards less water use. And an added benefit, will be decreased water and energy bills.
In the Yard
1. Make sure to use plenty of mulch in your flower beds. Mulch such as pine straw will help to reduce evaporation and hold down the number of water sucking weeds.
2. Incorporate soaker hoses into your landscaping beds wherever possible. The hoses deliver water at the base of the plants in a controlled drip, thereby reducing the amount of water needed to properly hydrate the plants.
3. Add a rain barrel for water collection to your yard. The rain barrel incorporated into a downspout on the gutters can be really useful for collecting water for gardening when mother nature provides a rainy day.
4. When using sprinklers, water during the cooler parts of the day. Early morning is the most preferable time. And remember to water for a longer period of time, less often. The general rule of thumb is that you want to deliver moisture until it reaches about an inch down in the soil.
5. Consider transitioning from traditional heavily water-dependent landscaping to native plants and xeriscape elements. These types of planting have greatly reduced water requirements and tend to be much more drought tolerant.
6. Leave a little height when mowing your yard. Taking your grass nearly down to the dirt when you mow may seem like a good way to keep from having to mow as often. Actually, it could mean lots more work and expense for you in the long-term when you have to replace your grass. Mowing grass down too far stresses it and does not leave enough surface area for proper absorption of nutrients and hydration.
In the House
7. Install low flow shower and faucet heads. Many of these gadgets are so well engineered that you hardly notice the difference in water flow. Also, limiting shower time helps with water conservation.
8. Install a low flow toilet adapter kit in current toilet or, if time to replace the potty, do so with a low flow one. This can save you at least several gallons of water each time you flush.
9. Consider purchasing a tankless water heater. We have had one for about 5 years and have been pleased with the drop in our energy bill. Because energy production is very water-intensive, it helps to cut down on water consumption in that way. *Please note, that upfront cost of a tankless water heater is higher than a regular water heater, but cost difference gets paid back over time.
10. Inspect plumbing and fixtures for any water leaks. Even a small drip can add up to big water loss over time.
11. Pre-soak dishes to remove leftover food and run dishwasher when full (Water Use It Wisely).
12.While brushing teeth, turn off water until you are ready to rinse (Eartheasy.com).
The great thing about conserving water around the home is that it is relatively easy to do with some simple changes. I know I am going to do my best to expand my efforts to reduce our household water use.
For more environmentally friendly tips:
10 Sites with Green Tips to Save You Green
Great tips! I live in California so water conservation is on everyone’s mind. Thank you for sharing with us on the Merry Monday link party! See you next week!
This is so important! Thanks for sharing your tips. I pinned this article.
Appreciate it so much.
Kim Hilbert says
We do a lot of these already. We don’t have the rain barrel but we do have a creek that we often use for the little things outside.
That is wonderful that you have a creek nearby! Thanks for hopping over and sending some Pinterest love back your way.
Debbie Rodrigues says
Such great tips, Sarah! Saving water is good for the pocket and for the planet. It is never too much to inform people about it.
Thanks so much. By the way, love your How to Get Ready for a Smooth Blogging Release article. Wish I had known those tips when I started because definitely would have had a less rocky time.
They are excellent water saving tips. We went through a severe water shortage in a major city a few years back. We used most of those tips along with other restrictions like not using hoses, not washing the car etc. It was such a relief when the rain came. Of course as often happens after a drought you get floods.
Your tips are great for every day common sense use of water.
Fridays Blog Booster Party
I believe that in coming years we all will be needing to do all we can to conserve water. So glad to find the Blog Booster Party.
Lou Lou Girls says
Great tips. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you on Monday at 7, we can’t wait to party with you! Lou Lou Girls
I’ve been wanting to add a rain barrel to our yard and hope to soon. Thanks for sharing at the This Is How We Roll Link Party on Organized 31.
Amazing how much runoff rain barrel can collect from even small rainstorm.
These are great tips, Sarah! This would be perfect for the Summer Series I’m doing in June “30 Days of Summer”. I’d love for you to consider joining us for the series! You could submit this post or even write a new one. The rules are simple:
* Select a Date in June
* Select a Topic related to Summer
* Have the post written in html with pictures and emailed to Megin by due date (5 days prior to post date)
* Link back to your own Blog
It’s that simple! Please let me know if you’d like to join us and I’ll let you know what dates I have open.
~ Megin of VMG206