Do you turn on your faucet and let it run or take a longer shower, not really giving much thought to how much water you’re actually wasting?
This year, many U.S. residents don’t have this option. Almost 50 percent of the Western states are in a “severe drought,” and over 75 percent of California is in an “extreme drought.”
Regardless of whether you’re in a drought emergency or not, it’s always important to be mindful of how much water you’re using. CityLab provided some good ideas for how to curb your water-wasting habits:
Actually reuse your water: If you’re boiling pasta or emptying out your pet bowl, don’t just head straight for your kitchen sink. Leftover water can be used for watering house plants or outdoor vegetation.
Order your water wisely: When eating out, tap water is often served before ordering your actual meal. Only ask for water if you plan on drinking it. Also, be mindful about your refills. Only accept them if you plan to consume the additional fluid. And remember: it takes extra water to clean those used glasses.
Don’t let it all go down the drain: We’ve all heard this one, but it’s important to turn off the faucet in the middle of brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving. Remember that if you let the water flow while cleaning your smile for the recommended two minutes, you’re actually wasting three gallons of water.
Take care of your food scraps: Running the waste disposal in your sink uses, on average, a gallon of water per person per day. So be mindful of these options. Dispose your food scraps in the garbage, or if you’re feeling really green, start a backyard compost. And if you don’t have a yard, there are indoor composting options. After all, if NYC apartment residents are doing it, why can’t you?
To read CityLab’s additional H2O-saving ideas, click here. And if you’re feeling ambitious, check out this comprehensive guide from the California Urban Water Conservation Council.
Just remember, using less water is for the greater good and better for your wallet, too.
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