Water. We all seem to take it for granted, seeing how it is so easily accessible all over North America. We get water bills every month and may scoff at the costs but often do little to take action to reduce our consumption. Rather than take a stance about water usage that sees that we desire to use less, perhaps it makes more sense to break down how much water we are really using in our day-to-day lives.
Let’s take a look at how much water we use and what we can do to minimize our waste and our bills.
- Brushing Teeth: Dentists recommend that we brush our teeth at least twice a day for at least one minute per cleaning. If you are the type of person who brushes their teeth with the water turned off, hats off to you! You only use about .25 gallons per brush. If you brush your teeth and leave the water on, however, you are using nearly eight times as much at about two gallons.
- Taking a Shower: Taking a shower with full water power uses twice as much water if you go light. A five-minute high-pressure shower uses about 20 gallons of water, and a light-pressure shower uses about half of that.
- Toilet Flush: Toilets can use as much as eight gallons per flush; however, newer toilets generally only use about three. Toilets are responsible for the bulk of water usage in a home – about 25 percent – and can leak, which will cause additional waste.
- Washing Machine: Washing machines use the most water per usage than any other appliance or fixture in the home. In one month, the washing machine can account for nearly 20 percent of our water consumption. Older models use about 27 to 54 gallons of water per use, and the newer, more energy-efficient models use less than 27 gallons per use.
- Dishwasher: The dishwasher can use as much as 10 gallons of water per load. However, it is considered to be better practice to use a dishwasher than it is to wash dishes by hand.
- Watering the Lawn with a Hose: Watering the lawn with a hose instead of using a sprinkler system can use up to 140 gallons per hour.
Ways to Conserve Water at Home
It can be surprising to see how much water we use in our day-to-day lives. Some of these areas may be easier to change than others, such as turning off the water while brushing and reducing the pressure of our showers. In addition to these cost-saving options, consider saving water in the following ways:
- Replace old model toilets with water-saving models that use three gallons per flush or less.
- Swap out older shower heads with modern fixtures that only use about two to three gallons per minute.
- Invest in a high-efficiency washing machine that uses less energy and less water.
- Don’t rinse dishes off before placing them in the dishwasher.
- Keep a water filter in the refrigerator, so you don’t have to wait for the tap to get cold to prevent excess water waste.
Water can be saved in almost every fixture or appliance in the home by either reducing our waste or investing in newer, more efficient fixtures or appliances. Using the information above as a reference, how much water do you think your family uses each day, and are there ways you can cut down on your water usage?
Water Conservation in the Home
Learning how to recycle water at home helps to save money and valuable resources. Recycling water in Toronto, in particular, is a wise decision due to the fact that the city hiked the cost of water nine percent just this past year, and the average home pays about $887 annually. The increase in water costs appears to be inevitable but continuing to waste money doesn’t always have to be the case.
Check out these ways to save water around the home so that you can put a little extra coin in your pocket.
Save Water Used to Cook Veggies
The water you use to cook vegetables contains lots of valuable vitamins and nutrients. Rather than tossing this into the kitchen sink, consider pouring the water into a storage container to use later for soups, sauces, or a future gravy. Be sure to keep the vegetable water refrigerated to help maintain the nutrient content.
Collect Rain Water for Gardening
If you have a garden and are looking to keep it hydrated, why use water from the hose when you can just recycle water from Mother Nature? Look into installing a water barrel that connects to your gutter’s downspout so you can collect a pure supply of water absolutely free.
Install a Grey Water System
A grey water system helps homeowners collect and reuse the water that goes down the drains of bathroom sinks, showers, and laundry machines. These systems help Torontonians recycle water that doesn’t contain sewage, such as water that is diverted from the shower to the toilet (but not vice versa). The systems require some initial costs, but after that, they are fairly simple to maintain. Ask your plumber about greywater systems and learn more about how these systems can help you save lots of money this year.
Purchase a High-Efficiency Washing Machine
As we have mentioned in previous posts, washing machines are one of the main sources of water consumption in the home. It is estimated that a typical Toronto family does somewhere around 400 loads of laundry per year, consuming anywhere between 12,000 to 16,000 gallons of water annually. Obviously, these costs can add up, and the minor investment of $400 to $1,200 dollars for a high-efficiency washing machine can make sense. When you consider that these machines only consume about one-quarter or one-half as much water as conventional machines, this means you can make money back you put into your new washer in a few short years.
Start Saving Today
Saving money on the water around the home is pretty easy if you know what to look for. Try to implement a few of these tricks to combat the high increases in water bills that seemingly occur every year.