Saving Water

Put a plastic bottle in your toilet tank. Did you know each time your toilet is flushed, it uses five to seven gallons of water? In five minutes, you can save one or two gallons per flush! A small plastic juice bottle or laundry soap bottle works well. Soak off the label, fill the bottle with water, put on the cap, and place it in the tank. Be careful that the bottle doesn't interfere with the flushing mechanism.

The availability of clean water is one of the central issues of our time, and we all need to do our part to use this resource wisely. Saving water is simple. Try:

  • Turning the water off while brushing your teeth, washing your hands, and washing dishes
  • Taking shorter showers (you will save water and energy to heat it, reducing your carbon dioxide emissions)
  • Getting a low-flow shower head
  • Doing only full loads of laundry and dishes
  • If your washing machine has a setting for the amount of clothing you're washing (small to extra-large load), choose a low setting—you'll use less water and your clothes will get just as clean
  • If your dishwasher has an option to run a "full" or "short" cycle, choose the short cycle
  • Watering your lawn only in the morning or evening. (Water evaporates four to eight times faster during the heat of the day.)
  • If you really want to reduce the water needed to maintain your yard, consider xeriscaping—a landscaping technique that uses native, drought-tolerant plants in favor of ever-thirsty grass
  • Install a rain barrel to capture rain from your downspout
  • Washing your car less often
  • Fixing all of the leaks in your home
  • Avoiding bottled water and instead using a reusable water bottle. It takes millions of gallons of water to produce the plastic for single-use water bottles, and millions more to purify the water that goes into them
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