You know you can save water by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth, “letting it mellow” and taking care not to waste it while cooking and cleaning. But did you know this direct water use only makes up a small portion of all the water you use? There is way more water – also known as virtual water – in the food, goods and services you consume.
Read on to learn how to save water in areas around your house (be sure to check out our tips for the kitchen and bathroom), and take our Water Footprint Calculator to find out how much water you use directly and indirectly each day.
- Use your washing machine only when it’s full.
- In the market for a new washer? Choose an ENERGY STAR water- and energy-efficient model if you're in the market for a new washer. It will save you gallons of water each load (and save energy too).
- Wash your jeans less – washing them a lot will wear them out more quickly. Consider airing them out or even putting them in the freezer to freshen them up.
- Dry your clothes on a drying rack or a clothes line. When you save energy, you also save water because it takes a lot of water to produce conventional electricity.
- Building a new house or re-doing the plumbing in an existing house? Consider installing a greywater system. These systems allow you to re-use the water from your sinks, washing machine and dishwasher for flushing toilets and watering plants outside.
- Learn more about greywater systems.
Around the House
- Keep a bucket or pitcher in your kitchen to collect leftover drinking water, water used to rinse vegetables and to boil food. When it’s time to water your plants or garden, use this “recycled” water before you fill up your watering can from the tap.
- Fix those leaks. Even small leaks can add up to big water bills and they can damage your home.
Did You Know?
All of the water that flows into our homes is good enough to drink. That’s right – the water in your toilet, washing machine, hose and faucet all comes from the same place, and it’s all been treated and tested to be clean and safe for human consumption. The next time you turn on the tap, flush the toilet or run a household appliance, remember that all the water you use is precious. Do your best to use it sparingly.