Although the following 30-point list may seem like duck soup to many — especially those of you in drought-prone areas like Southern California — as the warmer months approach, it’s not a bad idea to remind yourself of water-saving practices, some easy habit adjustments and some more advanced home improvement fixes, to observe around the house and in the garden.
And it isn’t even really summer that prompted this post, it’s the historic flooding in Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky. Right now, much of Nashville is underwater and one of the city’s two water treatment plants has been rendered inoperable (inmates saved the day when it came to keeping floodwaters out of the plant that’s still up and running) prompting the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation to issue mandatory water conservation orders for Nashville and surrounding communities.
Nashville residents are being urged to use water only for essential purposes and to not wash cars or water lawns and plants for the time being. While this is only a temporary situation, it doesn’t hurt to study up on water-saving techniques that apply to everyone no matter what the circumstance, no matter where you live, no matter what time of year. Here’s a quick refresher course on 30 ways you can conserve water at home:
- Turn off the tap while shaving, washing your face, or brushing your teeth.
- Take shorter showers, timing them if necessary.
- Study your water bill on a regular basis.
- Run full loads when using a dishwasher or washing machine.
- Don't let the water run while washing dishes by hand.
- Install a rain barrel.
- Insulate your pipes.
- Don't overwater your lawn and garden.
- Practice drought-resistant landscaping.
- Don't use the toilet as an ashtray.
- Install a greywater recycling system.
- Water your lawn and garden in the morning to minimize evaporation.
- Don't hose down your driveway or sidewalk. Use a broom instead.
- Install low-flow showerheads.
- Install a duel-flush toilet.
- Reuse cooking water to water houseplants.
- Use a commercial car wash instead of washing a car in your driveway.
- Be vigilant about fixing leaky faucets and pipes.
- Place plastic water bottles filled with pebbles or sand in your toilet tank.
- Cut back on using the garbage disposal.
- Use mulch in your garden.
- Keep a pitcher or bottle of cold drinking water in the fridge.
- Don't water your lawn when it's windy.
- Purchase water-saving home appliances.
- Don't use running water to thaw meats or other frozen foods.
- Replace sticky toilet flush handles.
- Install aerator faucets.
- Don't take baths.
- If it's yellow, consider letting it mellow.
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