How to Conserve Water Outdoors

Canadians make up one of the largest per capita users of fresh water in the world. According to Environment Canada, those households with water meters use 73 percent less water than those households without meters.

This just goes to show that when money-saving is directly evident by the use of a meter, Canadians care about doing what they can to save a couple dollars. In addition to saving money on water costs within the home, there are a few tricks to conserving water outdoors as well.

Saving money around the yard

Your yard, and specifically your lawn, is likely to be one of the biggest water consumption culprits outside of your home. To save money here, try some of the following:

  • Water your lawn early in the morning to reduce the amount of water lost from evaporation.
  • Manually turn off your sprinklers when the forecast calls for rain or install rain/moisture sensors that automatically turn off your sprinklers when they are unneeded.
  • If it doesn’t affect the aesthetics of your lawn too much, try raising the blades on your lawn mower up a notch. Longer grass equates to less evaporation and further money savings.
  • Install squeeze nozzles on each of your hoses so that no water is wasted when you turn on the tap.

Landscaping and money-savings

As much as 50 percent of your freshwater bill is used up watering plants and gardens. Rather than letting this money go to waste in these areas, check out these water-saving landscaping ideas that could reduce the amount of water you use by 20 to 50 percent:

Choose plants that thrive in your native environment: A lot of homeowners like to spruce up their yards by introducing wild or exotic plants. Because these plants are not already established in the area, they will likely require a lot more water and attention. Instead, focus on selecting plants that are native to the area and won’t require a lot of watering, require less fertilizer, and are resistant to pests and diseases.

Make mulch your friend: Mulch is a landscaper’s go-to money-saving item because of the way it reduces evaporation and helps to keep the soil cool. Look for the organic kind that provides added nutrients to your plants, and be sure to replace it when it begins to look dry.

Group thirsty plants together: When selecting your water-saving plants, there will still likely be varying degrees of water needed for each type. A smart method of saving money is to group plants that have similar water requirements together.

Bonus tip: Put the thirstiest plants near the house to capture some of the rainfall that naturally comes off the roof.

Saving water around the pool

If you have a swimming pool, you can help to save yourself from the hassles – and costs – of throwing the hose in there to refill it during those hot summer months. A pool with a cover can help to save 1,000s of gallons of evaporated water each month and can help to save even more money if your pool is heated.

Saving money while washing the car

Use the following tips to save money on water when washing your car(s) this weekend:

Wash your cars on the grass: Instead of washing your car in the driveway, wash your car in the grass. Washing in the grass means that you’ll be killing two birds with one stone in that you’ll be giving the grass the moisture it needs, and you’ll be allowing the natural filtration of the ground to prevent the soapy water from running off into a storm drain and contaminating the water that runs into lakes, rivers or oceans.

Install a squeeze nozzle on your hose: Worth mentioning again, the installation of a squeeze nozzle on your hose will help to conserve water when you aren’t using it.

Wash your car with a bucket of soapy water: After rinsing your car, turn off the hose (not needed if you have an automatic shutoff nozzle) and take the sponge to it. When you’re done, turn the hose back on and rinse off the soap and quickly turn the hose back off again.

Start saving water, start saving money!

Saving water outdoors is actually pretty easy if you consider how to implement a few tricks to minimize waste. Some of these water-saving tips require small investments (ex., mulch, pool covers, hose nozzles, etc.), but if you consider the long-term savings, it is likely you’ll come out on top.

We challenge you to take a look at last month’s water bill and to try these outdoor water conservation tips as well as our indoor water-saving tips to see how much you saved. Share your savings and anything else you learned in the comments below.

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