Water is one of our most precious resources on Earth. Humans, animals, and plants cannot live without it. It is crucial that we all learn how to save water!
Freshwater is essential to life and agriculture, and it promotes economic development. Yet, in recent years, many countries have suffered from severe droughts.
Those have affected crops and food prices. In short, they have increased the number of starving people by millions.
That is why it is important to find ways to conserve water and save this essential resource.
Economic and demographic growths have multiplied water consumption by 5 since 1900.
Unfortunately, we can explain part of this by how much water is being wasted throughout the world. It is our mission to take action to help save water as much as possible.
If you want to do your part and learn how to save water, here are 20 ways to conserve water in your everyday life.
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How to save water: 20 ways to conserve water in your everyday life
1 – Fix leaks around your home
A straightforward way to conserve water at home is to check if there are any leaks around your home. In your pipes, toilets, showers, and faucets.
Leaks that we aren’t aware of in our homes can waste up to 3,000 gallons (11,000 liters) of water per year. This is HUGE!
So, find leaks and fix them as soon as possible to save water and limit the amount of your water bill.
2 – Invest in high-efficiency appliances
Having efficient household appliances is key to saving water in our homes. Washing machines and dishwashers can use so much water!
For instance, an old washing machine uses around 40 gallons of water for a full load. Whereas, newer models can consume as little as 27 gallons.
Look for high-efficiency labels such as Energy Star before buying any of them. You’ll save a lot of water as well as electricity!
3 – Install faucet aerators around your home
Faucet aerators are great for saving water in everyday life! They add air to the water flow, resulting in less water going out of the faucet.
This is an easy way to save water at home, without changing our daily habits.
You can buy aerators for around $5 and it’s very easy to install on your faucets. Some aerators can help you save up to 80% water compared to normal faucets.
4 – Install a water-saving showerhead
You can have a similar system as faucet aerators in your shower. I recommend that you install a water-saving showerhead, which restricts the water flow.
Again, you’ll only need to buy it once, and then you’re good to go. No need to change your habits and how you live.
Most showerheads use between 2.5 to 5 gallons (9.5 to 19 liters) of water per minute.
Having a low-flow showerhead will save thousands of gallons of water each year, so it’s worth making the swap.
5 – Take shorter showers / don’t fill your bathtub completely
Let’s stay in the bathroom! Consider taking shorter showers if you want to save water. Showers represent around 17% of all indoor water use, which is quite important.
Reducing the time you spend in the shower by one minute will still make a big difference in the long term. And your water bill will be smaller each year.
If you have a bathtub, try to not fill it up completely. You don’t need to have a full tub to clean yourself and enjoy a good bath, do you?
6 – Turn off the tap when you can
When brushing your teeth, turn off the tap when you don’t need water. Similarly, don’t let the water run in the shower when you’re applying soap or shampoo.
You may not think that these two actions are having a huge impact, but each gallon of water you save adds up.
This is a small habit that you can easily change and that doesn’t require a lot of effort on your part.
7 – Put a bottle in your toilet tank
This way of saving water is not widely known but can make a big difference!
Putting a plastic bottle filled with water in your water tank will make you flush a lot less water. Make sure to put it away from the toilet mechanism and you’re good to go.
Putting a bottle in your toilet tank is very easy and it can save you at least 5 gallons (19 liters) of water each day! Don’t worry, your toilet will still be flushing efficiently.
8 – Make the switch to a dual-flush valve on your toilets
If you want to save even more water in your toilets, reconsider your old flushing system.
Installing a dual-flush valve on your toilets will allow you to choose how much water you want to flush.
For instance, you will want to use more water to flush solid waste and less for liquid waste. You only need to press the correct button. Easy, right?
9 – Reconsider how often you do laundry
Do you need to wash your jeans after every use? Probably not! I find that many people wash all their clothes after every use when it is not necessary.
I recommend that you wash your clothes when they are dirty or smelly, and if you can, not after each use.
Of course, this tip doesn’t apply to underwear and socks, only to regular clothes.
It will save water and energy as you’ll be doing laundry less often.
10 – Run your washing machine and dishwasher on full load
Another water-saving tip for your washing machine is to try to only run it when you can do a full load of laundry.
Running your washing machine to only wash a few clothes can be very wasteful.
You can save up to 3,400 gallons (12,870 liters) of water each year if you run full loads instead of half loads of laundry.
That is because two half-loads of laundry will use more water and electricity than one full load. This tip also applies to your dishwasher: try to only use it when it is full.
But don’t overload these appliances either. They might need more water to work properly and you risk damaging them as well.
11 – Use two sinks if you wash your dishes by hand
If you don’t have a dishwasher at home, chances are you need to wash your dishes by hand.
In this case, and if you have two sinks in your kitchen, use both of them to save water.
You can use one to remove any food residue or sauce and give the dishes a good wash. While you can use the second sink to rinse them with clean water.
You should be saving a lot of water because you’re reusing the same water for all your dishes instead of letting the water run.
12 – Use a bowl to clean your vegetables
When you need to clean your vegetables, avoid using the faucet for a long time to rinse them. It can waste a lot of water unnecessarily!
Instead, I suggest that you use a bowl filled with water. You can put your vegetables in it and directly clean them in the water.
When the water is dirty, you can also reuse it to water your plants or your garden.
13 – Get a rainwater collection system for your garden
If you have a garden, I recommend that you install a rainwater collection system.
Stop using tap water for watering your plants and garden. Rainwater is free, so why don’t we take advantage of it?
Water butts can make you save up to 1,320 gallons (5,000 liters) of water each year if you have a garden that needs watering regularly.
And rainwater is actually better for your plants than treated tap water!
14 – Water your garden in the evening or early morning
During the day, especially if you live in a hot location, a lot of water evaporation happens due to the sun.
If you are used to watering your garden during the day, chances are the water is evaporating before your plants can absorb it.
This is a waste of water, time, and money!
Instead, choose to water your garden in the evening or early in the morning. It will save so much water!
And you can also reduce your water consumption by 33% if you water your garden manually.
15 – Eat more plant-based food
We may not immediately think about it when we look for ways to save water.
But we can help conserve water by changing our eating habits and choosing to eat more plant-based food.
Producing meat and dairy is very water-intensive. Animals, especially beef, need a huge quantity of water to be raised.
A lot of water is also used later during the rest of the production process.
So if you want to save water, try to cut down on meat and dairy, even if it’s only having one vegetarian day per week. That’s still making a difference.
16 – Avoid wasting food
As I wrote in the previous tip, raising animals to eat them requires a lot of water. But more generally, all food needs a lot of water to grow.
So try to stop wasting food as much as you can. Wasting food indirectly involves wasting the water that is used to produce that food.
Check the expiration dates in your cupboards and fridge, and don’t buy any food that you’re not sure that you’ll eat.
Also, don’t forget to give away the food that you don’t like and already have. Give it to your friends or family, or food banks in your area.
It will greatly reduce your waste in the kitchen!
17 – Drink water
You might be thinking “what?”. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but think about it.
To have 1 gallon of water, you need 1 gallon of water, right? But if you take other beverages, like tea, coffee, juices, alcohol, or soda, you need even more water to produce them.
You need to grow crops, trees, beans, fruits, sugar… It all depends on the beverage, but they all have a bigger water “footprint” than water.
I’m not saying to only drink water because I’d never give up drinking tea. But keep that in mind, and maybe try to choose water a bit more often in the future.
18 – Choose (natural) alternatives to cotton
Cotton has the benefit of being a natural fabric and it’s not releasing microplastics in water streams, unlike synthetics.
But cotton production is very water-intensive. Not to mention all the pesticides and fertilizers that humans use to grow it.
We need 713 gallons (2,700 liters) of water to produce a single cotton t-shirt. This is huge!
If you want to save water, finding natural alternatives to cotton is one of the best things to do.
Some natural fabrics that are a lot less water-intensive are hemp, bamboo, Tencel, and linen.
19 – If you still use cotton, choose organic
Cotton is very water-intensive, whether it is organic or not. But growing organic cotton doesn’t involve using pesticides or fertilizers.
In short, producing organic cotton doesn’t contribute to the pollution of water systems, whereas the production of conventional cotton does.
To conserve water, we need to make sure that water streams aren’t polluted, so choose organic when you can.
20 – Buy things second-hand instead of new
We use water in the production process of many material items, like clothes.
But books also have a water “footprint” as we need 86 gallons (324 liters) of water to create 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of paper.
And clothes and books aren’t the only things that need a lot of water to be produced!
So a big step to indirectly save water is to buy things second-hand, for instance at thrift stores, instead of new.
That way, you’re not increasing the demand to create new items, you’re reusing what is already out there.
It helps conserve water, as well as many other precious resources. Buying things second-hand has so many environmental benefits!
Bonus tip: Pick up trash in the environment
If you want to go further and help conserve water, this bonus tip is for you!
Try picking up trash in the environment whenever you can, especially near a body of water, like a lake, a river, or the ocean.
Litter that you can find in nature often ends up in the ocean or other water streams. It is polluting the water and it’s very harmful to marine animals.
Make a massive difference by picking up litter when you walk in nature. It will help water conservation a lot!
There you have it! Those were 20 ways to conserve water and learn how to save this precious resource!
Saving water as much as possible is a crucial challenge and we should all do our best to conserve water in our lives.
Even if you only implement one of these tips, the impact it will have over the long run will be huge!
Let me know in the comments: what are you doing in your everyday life to help save water?
Let’s share our best tips so that we can all learn how to make a bigger impact!