In order to live an eco-friendly, or an ecozoi, lifestyle, learning how to limit your water consumption is a must. The only way we’ll meet society’s growing water needs is to make big changes to our everyday habits, and we all need to adopt social responsibility around water use.
Stats show that the average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water a week — and that’s before we all started spending more time at home as a result of COVID-19. Using less water also saves energy and money on both your water and electric bills each month.
Below, our room-by-room guides show you how to limit consumption in a number of creative ways.
While cooking at home is a great way to limit plastic waste, it’s important to be mindful of all the water you’re using during food prep and cleanup.
Skip handwashing and run full dishwasher loads: Most modern dishwashers don’t require pre-washing so skip the rinse and put your dirty dishes in the machine. If you’re having guests over for dinner, consider swapping out traditional dinnerware for our disposable palm leaf plates to limit dishwasher runs.
The majority of home water use comes from the bathroom. Here’s how to cut down that waste.
Replace a bath with a quick shower: A full bath can use 70 gallons of water or more! Replace this soak with a quick 10 minute shower to save 315 gallons of water per week.
Turn off the faucet as you brush your teeth: Rather than letting the water run as you brush your teeth, turn the faucet off during brushing to save water and encourage other family members to do the same.
Check pipes and appliances for leaks: Over 900 billion gallons of water is lost to household leaks in the U.S. annually (yes that’s billions with a b!) Make sure your pipes and appliances aren’t leaking water.
Install a high-efficiency toilet: Older toilet models require more water to run. Upgrading to a new one.
Only flush the toilet when necessary: Americans use the most water each day by flushing the toilet, so limiting flushes is the best way to cut down on water use. Some experts recommend only flushing number two, but if you aren’t comfortable with that just don’t flush any random items down the toilet.
Small changes in the laundry room can make a big impact on your water usage. These new habits will save you time, water and money.
Use cold water to run loads: Did you know that 90% of the energy used during laundry is to heat the water? Running colder loads when you can will limit the energy consumption.
Upgrade your appliances: A common theme throughout our guide is updating to more recent appliances, and this is because new machines with Energy Star approval have gotten better at reducing both electricity and water waste.
Run full laundry loads: Similar to the dishwasher, running full loads rather than smaller ones helps limit appliance use therefore saving water. If you do run a smaller load, make sure to use the corresponding button on the washer so it uses less water to fill.
Hang clothes on a drying rack: Has the heat from your dryer ever shrunk your favorite shirt or pants? You can eradicate this risk and save tons of energy by using a clothing rack instead.
Reuse items like towels before you wash: While your underwear should be washed after every use, not every item of clothing or fabric needs to be. Towels are an example of an item that can be reused 2-3 times before requiring a wash. Blue jeans will actually last longer if you wash them less.
Water is an essential ingredient to keep our lawns fruitful and lush, but there’s a reason why many cities limit water use on the lawn during droughts. Unchecked irrigation systems and bad water habits can result in excessive water waste — but here are some ways to prevent it.
Add mulch to your lawn: Mulch will catch and conserve water in your yard, helping to reduce evaporation. Some popular yard mulches for moisture retention include compost, wood chips, and straw.
Collect rainwater in a barrel: Harvesting rainwater lets you catch and reuse the water naturally falling from the sky. Know your local laws, though: While some states offer a tax incentive to install rainwater barrels, others prohibit their use.
Plant drought-resistant plants: Be proactive about your outdoor water use with drought-resistant plants. These plants require less water to survive. Some great examples include aloe and geranium. Native plants, or those local to your area, also tend to require less upkeep because they’re accustomed to the natural water cycle of the surrounding environment.
Sweep driveways: Hosing off the driveway multiple times a week can waste a lot of water, so change up your home maintenance habit by sweeping instead. This sweeping method is so effective that some cities, such as Los Angeles, require you to sweep your driveway during droughts.
Maintain your irrigation system monthly: Various seasons and weather patterns require different water usage. For example, you don’t need to water your lawn as much in the winter as you do in the summer. Check in on your irrigation system monthly to see how many times you need to run the sprinkler system, and consider skipping a day after a heavy rainstorm.