Whether you’ve got a big lawn to keep green or just a few house plants around your apartment, opening your water bill is no fun. While it’s usually not a fortune, there are ways to reduce it. The average water bill is $40–$60 a month. If you practice all the techniques below, you could see your bill reduced to as little as $15–$20 a month—that’s almost $200 a year in savings. The key to keep your money in the piggy bank is spending less and saving more. So read on to learn ways to lower your water costs as well as conserve water which, of course, is good for the planet.
Water Saving Tip 1: Brushing Your Teeth
The average person brushes his teeth twice a day for approximately two minutes. While running the water for those two minutes hardly seems wasteful, it is. Instead of running the water the whole time, wet your toothbrush and then turn off the water. Turn the water back on when it’s time to rinse and you’ll save. This is one of those situations where every little bit counts.
Water Saving Tip 2: Shaving
Just like brushing your teeth, there’s no reason to keep the water running while you shave. If you need to rinse your razor during the process, fill the sink with a small amount of water and use that to clean your razor between strokes. Don’t forget to rinse the sink basin with clean water when you’re done as a courtesy to the next person.
Water Saving Tip 3: Shower
Consider taking what’s called a “sailor’s shower.” This involves getting wet, turning off the water and then soaping up. Turn the water back on to rinse off. This technique also works for shampooing and conditioning your hair. When you consider that the average shower head puts out almost 5 gallons of water a minute, this practice will save you a lot.
Water Saving 4: Laundry
Save water by making sure you run only full loads of laundry in your washing machine. It’s important not to overfill your washer or your machine will have to work that much harder to get your items clean. What you save in water usage you’ll increase in energy costs.
Water Saving Tip 5: Dishwashers
Again, this is a case of not running anything other than a full load. Another way to save on water and energy is to wash pots and pans by hand. These take up a lot of room in your dishwasher. Instead, load any excess space with plates and glasses. And turn off the “heat dry” setting on your dishwasher. While this won’t help you save water, you will save on energy costs.
Water Saving Tip 6: Toilets
Considering that traditional toilets use 3.5 gallons of water with every flush while high-efficiency toilets use just 1.1 gallons, a move to high-efficiency should be in everyone’s plans. What’s more, according to the Southern Nevada Water Authority, traditional toilets that use 3.5 gallons cannot consistently flush 250 grams of waste. New high-efficiency toilets can reliably flush 1,000 grams of waste with just 1.1 gallons of water. While replacing your toilets does mean a cash outlay, saving 20 percent a year on your water may make the expense worth it.
Water Saving Tip 7: Lawns
If you live in the Southwest, consider converting your lawn to desert-scape. This rock and cactus design is attractive and popular in these areas as it requires no watering and almost no upkeep. If you don’t happen to live in a desert climate, restrict watering your lawn to just a few days a week for a short period of time. A timer with built in sprinklers will help you keep your water usage down.
Learn to Watch Your Water Closely
While many of these water saving ideas take a concerted effort, they can be done. Consider placing notes in key water usage spots as reminders to keep an eye on your water use. If you run the water when it’s not necessary, you’re essentially throwing money down the drain and no one wants to do that. Saving money on your water bill is a step in the right direction in order to save $5,000 a year.