10 ways to save water

There are a variety of reasons why a family would want to reduce their water consumption

There are a variety of reasons why a family would want to reduce their water consumption — save money, avoid taxes, lower energy use, minimize the carbon footprint — but sometimes it’s hard to break old habits.

Here are a few helpful suggestions from the Canadian government and from bathroom and kitchen manufacturer American Standard.

Half of domestic water consumption takes place in the bathroom.

1. If a tap leaks, fix it. Just a small drip can waste seven buckets of water a day.

2. A low-flow shower head reduces consumption by 25 per cent or more without spoiling your shower experience.

3. The biggest single source of water use in the home is the toilet. Switching to a high efficiency model will cut the total flush by 40 or 50 per cent. Many municipalities will cover part of the cost.

Most of the rest is used in the kitchen.

4. Turn the tap off when the water is running to waste. When hand-washing dishes use a partly filled sink. When washing fruits and vegetables use a sink or bowl. A spray attachment is an economical way of rinsing.

5. Save your dishwasher for full loads. The same applies to your clothes washer. You’ll be saving energy as well as water if you do.

6. Drinking lots of water is good for you. Letting the tap run until the water is cold is bad for everyone. For drinking, keep a container of water cold in your fridge.

If you have a garden

7. During warm weather, lawns and gardens need the equivalent of 5 mm of rainfall — no more. Much less is required when it’s cool.

8. Brooms sweep driveways better than hoses — it prevents soil, grit and debris that has accumulated and that often contains contaminants from entering our water system.

How green is your laundry?

9. After a long day at work, tossing your clothes straight into the dirty pile can be tempting. But are those clothes really dirty? Consider wearing the garments one more time before washing them.

10. Front-loading high-efficiency washing machines use much less energy and water than conventional top-loading machines. While the initial purchase price higher, the extra cost can be partially offset by the money you save from using less energy. You can save up to 50 per cent of energy in every load just by switching to cold.

• Find more water conservation advice at www.americanstandard.ca, including a water use calculator.

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