Free And Easy Conservation Tips

Start in your bathrooms, where 75% of your indoor water is used:

  • Turn off the water while lathering up, shaving, or brushing teeth.
  • Trim a minute off the length of your showers. You’ll save on your water-heating bills, too.
  • Minimize baths and the amount of water you use for each.
  • Submerge a plastic bottle or two filled with sand inside each toilet tank in your house. (Be sure it doesn’t interfere with the flushing mechanism.) Every time you flush you’ll save the volume in those bottles.
  • Use a bucket to capture shower and bath water while you wait for it to warm up. Then use it in your toilet tank or to water plants.

Save even more by being water-wise in the kitchen:

  • Keep a container of drinking water in the refrigerator.
  • Wash full loads only in your dishwasher (ditto with your washing machine).
  • Hand-wash dishes in a pan, not under running water.
  • Keep a bowl by your kitchen sink to save water you’d otherwise let run down the drain – including pasta and other cooking water. Use this for your plants.
  • Steam vegetables instead of boiling then. It uses less water, and improves flavor and nutrition, too.
  • Keep vegetable scraps out of the garbage disposal, which uses a lot of water. Compost them for your garden.

Basement and elsewhere

  • Reuse dehumidifier water.

Outdoors (where most homes use 30% of their water):

  • Water lawns only when needed, not on a set schedule. If your grass springs back after you step on it, it doesn’t need watering.
  • Water by hand – automated systems use significantly more water, not all of which is actually needed.
  • Reduce the size of your lawn by planting shrubs, berry bushes or other low-maintenance ground covers – or just letting it go “native.”
  • Plant gardens to take advantage of rainwater running off other parts of your property.
  • Let your grass grow longer, which will encourage deeper roots and keep them cooler and moisture during dry spells.
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn to decompose, nourish the grass and reduce your need for fertilizers.
  • Water only on cloudy days or at night.
  • During dry spells, when water supplies are often at their lowest, water just once a month. The lawn will go brown and dormant, and then bounce back in the fall.
  • Sweep driveways, steps and sidewalks instead of hosing them.
  • If you can’t find a car wash that recycles water, wash your car on your lawn.
  • Cover swimming pools at night.
  • Avoid fountains and pools that don’t have recirculating pumps.