LOS ANGELES, CA- We all like to save money on our utility bills says, Local Records Office. Whether or not you live in an area of the country that is currently experiencing a drought, adopting daily habits that save water can also help reduce your water bill and save you money. Here’s our list of ways to change many daily habits that help conserve water. Since most homes use the most water in the bathroom, we’ll start there. You can also save water in the kitchen, laundry room, and outside as well.
Saving Water in the Bathroom
Do not shower or bathe every day. Daily bathing is a relatively modern habit. Cleansing skin and hair too often also strips natural oils and beneficial micro flora. Shower or bathe once or twice a week. In-between, many people use a personal hygiene cloth and dry shampoo.
Shower instead of take a bath. Showering uses less water than the average bath. If you must bathe, fill the tub only 1/3 to 1/2 full.
Install shower heads with a reduced flow head and a single shutoff valve that can easily be turned off and on mid-shower.
Organize your supplies before you turn on the shower. Be sure you have everything you need: soap, shampoo, conditioner, a wash cloth, back brush, shaver, and shaving cream, etc.
Use the “Navy Shower” technique where you turn the water on only for rinsing and keep it off while off while washing. Here’s the basic process: turn on the water to get yourself completely wet. Then turn off the water while you soap up, shampoo, and scrub down. Turn the water on again to rinse off. Repeat the process as needed to condition your hair or shave. Using this technique, one person can shower in about two minutes and reduce water consumption during showering by up to 95%. Adopt this technique for most showers, but treat yourself to a longer hot shower on the weekend.
Turn off water while shaving or brushing teeth. Fill a cup with water to use for rinsing, rather than letting the tap run.
Do not use the toilet as a wastebasket to flush facial tissues; dispose of tissues in a wastebasket destined for the garbage can (no, you shouldn’t compost used tissues). Also, municipal systems can be clogged by too much tissue disposal.
Save water while flushing toilets. Install low-flush toilets (1.6 gallon per flush) or a dual-flush toilet. If you have a conventional toilet (over 3 gallons per flush), fill a half-gallon (or two 1-liter) plastic bottle with a few rocks for weight and then water, or buy a toilet dam. Place in the toilet tank to displace some water, saving water with each flush.
Saving water in the kitchen
Run your dishwasher efficiently. Run dishwasher only when it’ full, or choose the correct cycle for your load. Don’t pre-rinse dishes. When buying your next dishwasher, buy an energy efficient model.
Reduce wait time for hot water or plan to use the cold water. Consider adding an instant water tap or heating cold water on a gas range, instead of running the tap until you get hot water. If you run the tap while waiting for hot water, catch it in a pitcher, put it in the refrigerator, and use it for drinking or cooking.
Avoid letting water go down the drain. Put water in a basin when rinsing produce. After washing produce, use it to water potted plants or the vegetable garden, or strain and add biodegradable soap to use for cleaning. Use cleaning water to flush the toilet (pour it into the bowl, not the tank), or to water landscape plants and trees (but not the vegetable garden or potted plants).
Saving water while doing the laundry
Run full loads of laundry, rather than small ones, or at least choose a cycle that matches your load. Maximum capacity loads use water most efficiently.
How to save water outside
Collect rainwater and gutter water for use in watering the garden and washing the car.
Do not water lawns or wash cars during a drought. When water is scarce, stick to drinking, cooking, sanitation uses only, not “luxury” uses of water, including lawn and autos.
When you wash your car use a bucket of water with a one squirt of biodegradable soap, lather it up, and then rinse quickly in a couple of minutes using a hose in a location that drains to a landscape area, rather than sending it down the sewer. However, your best bet (if you want to save water) is to take your car to a self-serve wash. If you choose an automatic car wash, find one that recycles their water. If you live in a drought area, avoid washing your car at all.
Consider xeriscaping, landscaping that helps conserve water by planting a drought-tolerant, water-efficient home garden for your particular climate. Use native plants, and especially try to reduce or eliminate lawn areas, which require large volumes of water to maintain.
Enrich and mulch garden soil. Enrich garden soil with organic matter to help retain water. Cover planting areas heavily (6 inches or more) with mulch or use landscape fabric to reduce evaporation and conserve water.
Use garden watering tools and techniques that conserve water, such as soaker hoses, sprinkler timers, hand watering, and directional sprays
Water the garden, but not other structures. Be sure to position sprinklers so that they water only plants or lawn and not driveways, sidewalks, roofs, and other structures.
Other general water saving ideas
Reduce wait time for hot water. Consider adding a recirculating pump to the main bathroom to reduce wasted cold water while you wait for the hot water to make it to the spout. If you must run cold water while waiting for hot, collect potable water from the kitchen tap to use for drinking water, to fill ice cube trays, or to fill the pet dish. Collect shower water to use for cleaning or to water landscape plants.
Never run water without filling a container. Do not let faucets run for washing or rinsing (whether you are washing produce, brushing your teeth, showering, or any other activity). Fill a container with water or use the sink stopper. Read the other sections for suggestions on using every drop of water that comes out of your faucets.
So that’s 30+ ways to save water around the house and garden. Once you get started with water conservation, you and your family may make a game out of it to see just how low you can go. Even if you adopt only one of these methods for every room or task, you can expect to significantly save water and reduce your water and energy bills.
To learn more about Local Records Office and how to save money on your utilities go to http://www.Local-Records-Offices.org