• Only use your washing machine
when it’s completely full.
• If you're in the market for a new
washer, choose an ENERGY STAR
certified model - it will save you
gallons of water per load.
• If you can, dry your clothes on a
drying rack or a clothes line.
• Don’t over-water your plants! Many plants
die from over-watering. When you water
your plants, poke at the soil with your finger.
If the soil is dry and hard, give your plants
some water, but if the soil is damp, leave
your poor plant alone!
• Keep a bucket or pitcher in your kitchen for
disposing of leftover drinking water, water
used for rinsing vegetables, and water that
was used for boiling food. When it’s time to
water your plants, you can
• If you're building a new house, or re-doing
the plumbing in your old house, consider
setting up a greywater system. These
systems allow you to re-use the water
from your sinks, laundry machine and
dishwasher for watering plants and
• When buying any new appliances or
fixtures, take their water consumption into
account. There are a host of water-saving
Lawns and Gardens
• To reduce evaporation, water your lawn during the cool
parts of the day, like in the early morning or late
evening, and don’t water the lawn on windy days.
• Set up your sprinklers so they're not spraying the
sidewalk or driveway make sure to turn them off on days
when rain is expected, and get a rain sensor if you have
• Use a drip irrigation system instead of a hose or
sprinkler to water your garden, and hand-water your
lawn or garden instead of using sprinklers when possible
- you'll cut your water use in half.
• Set lawn mower blades one notch higher. Longer grass
means less evaporation.
• Direct the water drain line from your air conditioner to a
flower bed, tree base or onto your lawn.
• Better yet, use a rainwater collector (rain barrel) to
collect precipitation. You could save, on average, 4
gallons each day and you can use that water on your
garden or houseplants.
Swimming Pools and Summer
• Use a pool cover - you'll save a
thousand gallons of water from
evaporating each month.
• Keep your pool water cool to reduce
evaporation, and keep the water
level low to reduce the amount of
water lost to splashing.
• Check your pool for leaks often,
and if you find a leak get it fixed
as soon as possible.
Washing Your Car
• Only give your business to car wash
establishments that conserve and recycle
their wash water.
• Don’t leave the hose running when you
wash your vehicle. Purchase a squeeze
(pistol grip) nozzle for your hose so you
don’t have to turn the tap to start and
stop the flow.
• Drive your car onto your lawn when you
wash it by hand - you'll irrigate your
lawn and get two jobs done at once!
• Install a low-flow faucet on your sink.
Conventional faucets flow at around 5
gallons per minutes, whereas low-flow
faucets flow at 1.5 gallons per minute.
• Wash vegetables and fruits in a large bowl
or tub of water and scrub them with a
vegetable brush – your faucet is not a
• Think ahead! Don’t use water to defrost
frozen foods. Instead, leave them in the
• Boil food in as little water as possible to save
water and cooking fuel. You just need
enough to submerge your pasta and
potatoes, and with less water you keep more
flavor and nutrients in your veggies.
• Use the water left over from boiling to water
your plants (just let it cool down first!).
• If you're planning on steaming veggies to go
along with rice, potatoes or pasta, put your
vegetable steamer right on top of the starchy
foods you're boiling. You'll save water, dishes
and space on your stove.
• Dishwashers almost always use less water
than washing by hand, especially if they're
energy-efficient models. Handwashing one
load of dishes can use 20 gallons of water,
whereas an energy-efficient dishwater uses
as little as 4.5 gallons. That's a big difference
if you use a lot of dishes. Just make sure to
run the dishwasher only when it’s completely
• When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave
the water running the whole time. Just use a
little water to get your sponge soapy and
wet, then turn off the faucet until you're
ready to rinse a bunch of dishes all at once.
Better yet, get a tub to wash dishes in so you
• Scrape dishes into the trash rather than
down the sink.
• Newer dishwashers don’t even require
• Use the garbage disposal less and the
garbage more (or even better, start
• When washing dishes by hand, use the
least amount of detergent possible - this
minimizes the water needed for rinsing.
• Keep a bottle or pitcher of drinking water
in the refrigerator instead of running the
tap to cool it each time you want a drink.
• Always choose tap water over bottled - it
takes about 1.5 gallons of water to
manufacture a single plastic bottle.
At The Sink
• Turn off the water while brushing your teeth
and shaving. When you consider how many
minutes it takes to brush your teeth and
shave, if you let the faucet run, you're letting
a lot of water go down the drain.
• Install low-flow faucet aerators in your sinks -
you'll save gallons of water each time you
use the tap. Conventional faucets flow at
around 5 gallons per minute, whereas low-
flow faucets flow at 1.5 gallons per minute.
• Fix those leaky faucets. You may
think that a constant drip is just
annoying, but it’s also a huge waste
of water (you can lose more than
20 gallons of water per day from a
In The Shower
• Put a bucket in the shower while you're
waiting for the water to warm up, and use
the water you catch for watering plants or
• Install a low-flow shower head. It may
cost you some money up front, but your
water conservation efforts
will save you money down the road.
Conventional shower heads flow at 5
gallons per minute or more, whereas
low-flow showerheads typically flow
• Spend less time in the shower. If you lose
track of time in the shower, bring a radio
into the bathroom and time yourself by
how many songs play while you're in
there. Try to get your shower time down
to one song (or less).
• Showers generally use less water than
average bath uses 40 to 50
gallons of water, whereas
a 10-minute (or less)
shower with a low-flow
showerhead only uses
• Get a low-flow toilet, or put a plastic bottle
filled with water in your toilet tank to
reduce the amount of water used per
flush. Older, conventional toilets can use 5
gallons per flush or more, whereas low-
flow models use as little as 1.6 gallons per
flush. When you consider that the average
person flushes 5 times per day, the gallons
can really add up.
• To check for a toilet leak, put dye or food
coloring into the tank. If color appears in
the bowl without flushing,
there’s a leak that should be repaired.
By Begüm ÖZAÇAR