Even though most people take water for granted, it's a limited resource the planet needs. It may feel like there's an infinite amount available because of the faucet in your home or the water bottles at your grocery store, but water waste affects the whole world.
As more people become aware of how their actions influence the planet, they're making changes to go green and conserve resources. One of the easiest ways to do this is to limit how much water you use every day.
Read on to learn how to conserve water at home without disrupting your routine. These are simple tips anyone can use to take care of themselves and their loved ones without wasting water:
1. Scrape Your Plates
After you eat a meal and take your dishes to the sink, you might pre-rinse them. Most people learn that rinsing your plates or letting them soak removes the dried food so you don't have to scrub them clean. Although this is true, it's also a waste of water when you can scrape your plates before washing them.
Use your napkin or fork to clean all the leftover food and sauce off your plates and bowls. You won't need to keep the water running to clean them off, and you'll never deal with clogged drains because there won't be food in your pipes.
2. Shorten Your Showers
A hot shower is a great way to wake up in the morning or relax at night, but how long do you spend washing yourself off? The average person showers for at least eight minutes, which utilizes more than 17 gallons of water with a standard shower-head.
Cut your shower time down to five minutes, and you'll slice that water usage in half. As a bonus, you'll also get more time to add to your morning or evening routine.
3. Load Dishes Correctly
Family members, roommates and married couples all occasionally have arguments about how to load a dishwasher. While there's always a matter of personal preference, the way you load your dishes could add to your water waste.
Make sure not to overload your dishwasher by piling on bowls or stuffing the silverware basket. When it's too full, the water can't reach all the dishes, and you'll need more water to wash them a second time after you unload.
4. Save Boiling Water
Think about how often you boil water. Do you make tea, pasta or even steam cook your veggies on the stove? Most Americans use 110 gallons of water per day, but you can get by on a lot less.
Boil the water you need to cook your dinner and save it in a container after you drain the food. After it cools, you can reuse it to water your plants or wash spring pollen off your porch instead of turning on the garden hose.
5. Use the Shortest Cycle
Most countries struggle with water conservation. However, the United States comes in second because it wastes 216 trillion gallons each year, even with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) educating the public. Do your part to eliminate water waste by using the shortest cycles on your washing machine and dishwasher. You'll most likely find that they clean as well as lengthier cycles, so you're not compromising cleanliness for a shorter wash time.
6. Fix Any Leaks
The next time you have a few free minutes, check your faucets for any leaks. Even a slow leak adds up to unintended water waste. Look for tutorial videos online to fix it yourself or call a professional plumber to get control over your water usage.
Consider Your Routine
Everyone's routine looks a little different, so think about when you use water during your day. You may not do laundry very often, but enjoy taking 30-minute showers. Other people might water their lawn every day or ignore leaks. Re-think your routine and use these tips to conserve water at home.
Emily Folk is passionate about environmental sustainability and more of her work can be found on her site, Conservation Folks, or follow her on Twitter for her latest updates.