How to conserve water at home

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Most of us use far more water at home than we realize. Here are some good home water conservation tips from Patty Kim, of National Geographic's Green Guide. Patty has numerous tips on how to cut back on water use, from the bathroom to the driveway.

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  • Patty Kim

    Patty Kim Correspondent, National Geographic's The Green Guide Patty Kim is an award-winning filmmaker and journalist. She is served as a host and anchor for National Geographic as well as reporting for the PBS television program “Nova Science Now.” more about this expert »

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How to conserve water at home

There are lots of simple solutions to green your home. A big problem that’s sending our good intentions down the drain is how we use water at home every day.

  • About 60% of our home use of water takes place in the bathroom.
  • An easy way to save water and energy is to install a low flow showerhead. It will not only cut your water usage by up to 20 thousand gallons per year, but it will save you at least 10 percent on the cost of heating your water.
  • Low flow toilets are also a great way to save water at home since they use only a third of the water older toilets use.
  • Place an aerator on your faucet to cut down on water use. It mixes air bubbles into the stream so you get just as much pressure with a lot less water.
  • About 30% of the water we consume at home is used outdoors watering lawns and gardens.
  • One way to cut back on home water use outside is to have your car washed at an actual carwash.
  • The average professional car wash uses 37 gallons of water for each car, but if you do it yourself at home, odds are you’ll use much more. Most garden hoses spray about 10 gallons per minute, so you’ll use up to 140 gallons of water.
  • You could even use a waterless car wash, such as EcoTouch and Lucky Earth. They use as little as a few ounces of water and sometimes no water at all.

 

There are many simple no-cost ways to practice water conservation in the home. Here are seven ways to save water without spending a dime:

  1. Turn the water off while brushing your teeth.
  2. Fill your sink with a little hot water and turn the faucet off while shaving.
  3. Fill a milk jug with stones and place it in your toilet tank to displace water.
  4. Fix toilet and faucet leaks immediately.
  5. Don't use your toilet as a trash can.
  6. Reduce the time you spend showering by two minutes.
  7. As you're waiting for your bath water to warm up to the right temperature, save the water to irrigate your lawn and flowerbeds.

 

Transcript Hi, I’m Patty Kim from The Green Guide for howdini.com.
We’re looking for simple solutions to green our homes, and we’ve found a big problem that’s sending our good intentions down the drain. I’m talking about how much water we waste every day.

A lot of that waste happens here in the bathroom. There’s a reason Europeans call them water closets. From our toilets to our tubs, roughly 60 percent of the all the water we use in the home is used here.
So, here’s what you can do to cut that consumption in a meaningful way…

First, an easy way to get big savings in water and energy is to install a low flow shower head, which will not only cut your water usage by up to 20 thousand gallons per year, but it will save you at least 10 percent on the cost of heating your water.

Another great idea -- Low flow toilets. They're required for most new construction, use only a third of the water older toilets use.
And if you put an aerator on your faucet, you’ll cut down on water use because the aerator mixes air bubbles into the stream so you get just as much pressure with a lot less water.

But let's say you don’t want to spend any money on new fixtures… here are 7 ways you can use less water without spending a dime.
Number 1. Turn the water off while brushing your teeth.
Number 2. Fill your sink with a little hot water and turn the faucet off while shaving.
Number 3. Fill a milk jug with stones and place it in your toilet tank to displace water.
Number 4. Fix toilet and faucet leaks immediately.
Number 5. Don't use your toilet as a trash can.
Number 6. Reduce the time you spend showering by two minutes

Number 7. As you're waiting for your bath water to warm up to the right temperature, you can save it to irrigate your lawn and flowerbeds.

About 30% of the water we consume is used outdoors.. watering lawns and gardens is the biggest part of that, but here’s a significant water drain you can cut out altogether… I’m talking about the weekly car wash…

The average professional car wash uses 37 gallons of water for each car, but if you do it yourself at home, odds are you’ll use much more. Most garden hoses spray about 10 gallons per minute, so you’ll use up to 140 gallons of water. And you’ll be sending oil, detergent and other pollutants down the storm drain.

How about using a waterless car wash that can be sprayed on and wiped off without even a rinse? Eco Touch’s waterless car wash uses just a few ounces of water per wash. And Lucky Earth waterless car wash uses no water at all and will get between 7 and 10 washes per bottle.

There you go.. clean and green. I’m Patty Kim from the Green Guide for howdini.com.

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