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Saving Water Is Something You Can Do Everyday

Written By: Alexandra Kirsten, ESG Marketing Coordinator

NY Times Picture of Drought on Environmental Solutions Group Blog

Whether you are reading The New York Times, watching your local news, looking at a list on Buzzfeed, or scanning through your Facebook news feed, it is hard to miss the news about the drought that California is currently dealing with. A recent Yahoo! story said that 93 percent of California is in severe to exceptional drought as of the week ended April 14th. In the same story, nine other states were identified as having similar yet less widespread drought as well.

During times of drought or water shortage people are expected to do things to save water. Recently, California was forced to order mandatory water use reductions of 25 percent. For many, if not all, homeowners and businesses, this will be a major adjustment. 

Being based in North Carolina means that we are not among the 9 states listed in the Yahoo! article but ESG is an EPA WaterSense Partner which means we actively work with builders to develop homes that use less water. Here are some simple tips that you, as a homeowner, can use to do the same.

The number one tip would be to check for leaks in water fixtures around your home. Household leaks can waste 90 gallons of water or more per day. Once you know your fixtures are working properly you can take further steps to use even less water.

Your toilet has a reserve of water in the tank but it does not need all of that water to flush properly so you can put a full water bottle in the tank to reduce the water reserve. You can also simply flush less. While some people don't like the idea of not flushing after each use there are other things you can do to reduce how frequently you need to flush. When you blow your nose or use toilet paper to clean something up throw it in a trash can instead of the toilet so you don't have to flush it down. If you are in need of a replacement toilet make sure you buy low flow because this is made to use less water.

When you fill up a bath tub plug the drain before you run the water even as you are trying to get the right temperature. The water will not be wasted the the difference in temperature won't be noticeable once the tub is full. If you prefer a shower over a bath, simply take shorter showers. Reducing the time spent in the shower by even 2 minutes can help you save nearly 150 gallons of water per month, depending on your shower head. Out of the shower, turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth and you can save up to 4 gallons per year.

The laundry is an easy place to use a lot of water but also an easy place to save on water usage. When you wash your clothes only wash full loads because the same amount of water is used regardless of how much clothes is being washed. Unless you spill something on them or have messy children, most clothes can be worn more than once between washes. Less frequent loads mean less water used. When it is time to replace your washer and dryer, buy high efficiency as they use a fraction of the water of regular machines.

It was mentioned in a previous blog but it is worth mentioning again that watering a yard can account for up to 50 percent of total water usage in a home. This makes the yard a great area to reduce water usage. Don't water your lawn on a windy day because the wind will blow the water where you don't need it, forcing you to use more. If you have a garden make sure you use mulch as this helps the water soak into your plants and evaporate less. Pull weeds regularly to make sure they are not soaking up water that could be going to your plants. Lastly, adjust your sprinklers to ensure that they are not watering your driveway or the road.

If every home took small steps to reduce the amount of water it used we could save millions of gallons of water every year. Are you a builder or working with a builder on a home and would like to know ways to have a more water efficient home? Visit our WaterSense page to learn more about it and contact us today.

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