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Simple Ways to Save Water in the Shower

Ways to Save Water
Ways to Save Water

Sometimes a bubble bath just can’t compare to a steady stream of water, but getting caught up in a shower could be wasteful in more ways than you realize. Thankfully, there are many ways to save water in the shower that are simple, cheap, and beneficial environmentally as well as monetarily.

Install low flow showerheads

Get the best out of your shower (instead of it getting money out of you) by installing low flow showerheads. Earth showerheads:

  • release 1.5 gallons of water per minute, compared to 2.5 GPM released by modern showerheads
  • save as much as much as 30% in water usage
  • come with the same (or even better) options for comfort, like massage settings and consistent water pressure

Have an older shower arm that doesn’t accept earth showerheads? Installing a showerhead adapter solves that problem.

Check for leaks

H2O conservation can be as simple as making sure your shower is free of leaks. On average, leaks can waste as much as 10,000 gallons of water per year! There can be many sources of a leak, but if the culprit is your showerhead then prevention is better than a cure. Wrapping teflon tape around the shower arm will help keep it secure and go a long way towards preventing the showerhead from leaking.

Limit shower time

One of the easiest ways to save water is to limit how much of it you use. Showering accounts for 17% of water usage in the average home, and that could be around 40 gallons of water each day! Installing a shower timer is a quick and easy way to start saving right away. The main types of shower timers out there are:

  • Sand Timers – These have an hour glass shape. All you have to do is watch the sand fall. This lets you know when your 5 minutes in the shower are up. Each time you rotate the timer, just add another 5 minutes to get the total amount of time spent in the shower.
  • Digital Timers – A digital shower timer takes it a step further and not only alerts you when 5 minutes are up, but it will also display how much water has been used during the shower.

Both timers can be installed by simply attaching the suction cup to the shower wall. Now we all cannot survive on 5-minute showers, but even just cutting your usual showering time in half will bring significant results on your energy and water bills.

Shower “The Navy Way”

Navy men and women only run water when it’s absolutely needed. The water is off while lathering, shampooing/conditioning, shaving. This is the most basic to conserve water that doesn’t include any added installation.

While the options listed are not the only choices, they are by far some of the most simple, energy efficient and cost-effective ways to save water.

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Simple Ways to Save Water for Toilets

If you’re not mindful, that large bowl of water waiting to be flushed will take your money with it. 30% of the water used in your home is dedicated to the toilet alone. To make matters worse, as much as 5-7 gallons of water could be wasted with just one flush! Take the foolishness out of flushing by following at least one of these many ways to save water with your toilet.

Ways to Save Water for Toilets
Ways to Save Water for Toilets

Save water by installing…

Dual flush converters
Dual flush converters allow you to determine whether to flush a little or a lot, giving you much more control over how much water your toilet uses per flush. Basically the converters give you the option to use a little bit of water to flush liquids or a lot of water to flush solids. There are different types of dual flush converters, but you can expect to save at least 40% of the water you typically use for flushing on a daily basis. Not bad at all!

Toilet fill cycle diverters
Installed on the end of the toilet tank’s fill tube, fill cycle diverters redirect the water that normally goes to fill up the toilet and instead switch it to the tank. This process reduced how much water is used per flush by half a gallon.

Toilet tank banks
One of the simplest ways to save water is by installing a toilet tank bank. It’s cheap, easy to install, doesn’t require any/much maintenance at all, and it even helps to prevent odors. Just add water to the tank and hang it on the inside of the toilet tank. That alone will save you 0.8 gallons of water every flush.

Check for toilet leaks

Toilet Leak Tablets
Toilet Leak Tablets

Toilet leaks are more damaging to your water bill than is apparent. A leaky toilet could waste as much as 500 gallons of water in one day! Simply insert toilet leak tablets into your toilet tank to quickly identify leaks.

Don’t use the toilet for trash!

One of the least difficult ways save water by far is to just avoid unnecessary flushing. Using the toilet as an alternative trash can will waster anywhere from 400-600 gallons of water.

Whether through installing toilet water savers or just making sure you fix leaky toilets, saving water can be a hassle free, cost-effective change in your home.

Save

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Simple Ways to Save Water in the Kitchen

Ways to Save Water
Ways to Save Water

Though the kitchen can sometimes double as a family room – with all the laughter and delicious smells mingling together – , having family-sized water waste is no one’s idea of a good time. Luckily, from the faucet to the dishwasher, there are many simple ways to save water in the kitchen.

The Faucet: Why Aerators are Important

Have you ever turned on the outside faucet without a hose attached? See how freely the water flowed? Aerators keep the kitchen faucet from acting like the outside tap by reducing the flow of water. Some aerators go even further by using an off/pause valve that temporarily stops the water stream.

How it Works

An aerator is like a ring with a small mesh screen in the middle. Installed on the tip of a faucet, aerators reduce water flow by adding air to the water (for a visual of how this works, pour water through a strainer with very little openings). Even though less water is being used, aerators allow the water pressure to stay pretty much the same.

Savings

Installing faucet (or tap) aerators is one of the cheapest ways to save water. For your investment of as little as $1.15, you could reduce water usage by 30-50%!

Installing

Can you open and close a bottle of water? Then you can install an aerator.

  • First off, make sure that you need to change the aerator you have (or install one for the first time). To determine if you need a new aerator, check the sides to see what the GPM (gallons per minute) is. If it’s more than 2.5, than you need a new aerator. Ideally, you want an aerator that dispenses 0.5-1.5 gallons of water per minute.
  • Now find out which threading, or type of aerator for your spout, is needed. If the faucet tip is male, or has edges that go around the outside of the tip, than you need female threading. It the faucet is female, or has edges on the inside of the tip, than you need male threading.
  • Simply twist it on and you’re done!

Dishwasher: An Upgrade is in Order

Dishwashers are a must in every household, which is why getting an energy and water efficient model is one of the best ways to save water. If the dishwasher in your home has been in use since 2003 or earlier, it’s time for a change. Dishwashers that are 10+ years old waste as much as 50% more water and energy than newer models.

Keep it Simple – Just use less water!

The opportunities to save water in the kitchen are endless. A few tips to get you started include:

Don’t run the faucet

  • Rinsing off vegetables for a dinner? Instead of letting the water run, fill up a bowl with water and rinse your veggies in the bowl.
  • Washing your hands in a double-sink? Fill one sink with soap water for washing and the other for rinsing.
  • We always tell kids to turn off the water while brushing: we should do the same. Up to 8 gallons of water can be saved from that one act alone.

Reuse Water

  • Draining water from pasta? Use that leftover water to cook a broth or soup.
  • If you have a glass of water or two lying around that you neglected to finish off, why not use it to water your plants?

Mind the Dishwasher

Though newer models are more energy and water efficient, all of that is thrown away if the dishwasher is run 3+ times throughout the day. Only run the dishwasher when it’s full.

Putting these tips to use will immediately impact your home’s water and energy bills and (better yet) make family-sized water waste is a problem of the past.

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4 Easy Ways to Start Saving Water at Home

Saving Water
Saving Water

The slow, annoyingly loud drip of water edging itself out of the faucet isn’t the only cause of water-waste in the home. Showerheads, the toilet, and even the water hose are playing a lead role in the drama of H2O misuse. Thankfully, with a few DIY projects and the will to conserve, there are four easy ways to start saving water at home.

Showerheads

That new showerhead – the one with different massage levels and an FM radio attached – seemed like a good idea at the time, until you realized the water going down the drain was carrying your money with it. Modern showerheads dispense as much as 2.5 gallons of water (GPM) per minute. Earth showerheads use only 1.5 GPM, saving you a whole gallon of water per minute. With energy efficient showerheads, you:

  • Use less water
  • Use less energy
  • Won’t have to sacrifice comfort

Many earth showerheads come with massage settings, Flow Control Technology (enables consistent water pressure), and non-aerating consistency which allows water to flow fast and long.

Installing earth showerheads can increase your water savings by as much as 30%.

Faucet Aerators

Faucet aerators are like the nozzle on a hose, they control the evenness and consistency of water flow and how much of it comes out the faucet. Aerators are a great investment because they are super cheap (as little as $1.15 per unit), and installing them along with energy efficient showerheads can reduce water waste by as much as 50%.

Toilet

Saving water through the toilet seems odd, but one flush could take with it 5-7 gallons of water! According to The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 30% of the water used in your home is dedicated to the toilet alone; if they leak, that could be anywhere from 30-500 gallons of water daily.

Solution? Install a tank bank. Just fill it up with water then hang it on the inside of the tank. This simple install could save 10 or more gallons per flush each day.

Outdoor Watering Tools

Gardening enthusiasts especially will see the benefits in a low-flow hose nozzle, rain gauge, and soil moisture meter. These items allow you to control and measure how much water is used outside the home.

Low-flow Nozzle
Just like earth showerheads, low-flow nozzles control the water flow coming out of the hose. Many offer multiple spray settings and they are an inexpensive way to control outdoor water use.

Rain Gauge
A rain gauge is a way to measure how much rain has fallen. It’s like a measuring cup for rain; the rain falls through it and the measurements are labeled on the outside, allowing you to see exactly how much rain has met your garden/lawn/soil for the day.

Soil Moisture Meter
A soil moisture meter does just that: it measures how much moisture is in the soil. This is especially useful for gardening and lawn care, as it allows you to know whether or not watering is needed.

 

Saving water doesn’t have to be time consuming, overly technical, and impossible to install by yourself. These four simple water conservation tools are easy to install, take little time out of your day, and you’ll see the difference on your energy and water bills by the next billing or two.

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5 Simple Home Water Saving Products

Home Water Saving Products
Home Water Saving Products

Sometimes it’s the simplest changes that can have the biggest effect on water consumption in the home. Water saving products are low-cost but have a long-lasting effect on home energy usage and the utility bill. To make this easy change, here are 5 simple home water saving products that you can install today.

Showerheads
If your showerhead can fill a bucket with 1-gallon of water in under 20 seconds, it’s time to change to an earth-friendly model.

Savings
For under $10, you could purchase a Niagara Earth showerhead that saves up to 5,475 gallons of water annually. Low-flow showerheads also decrease energy usage, so showerheads that release 1.5 gpm (gallons per minute) save around $70 – $105 per year on the electric and gas bill.

Features
Niagara Earth Showerheads have many varying features:

  • Massage – settings range from a soft spray to an intense massage
  • “Pause” option – slows or stops the water from flowing and is especially handy when you don’t need the water to run, like while soaping up or shaving
  • Flow Control Technology – gives you consistent, even water pressure regardless of the pressure from your water system

Faucet Aerators
Faucet aerators are like caps on the tip of faucets. However, unlike caps, faucet aerators help water flow out evenly and consistently while cutting down on water and energy usage.

Savings
Faucet aerators are one of the cheapest home water saving products on the market. For an investment as low as $2, faucet aerators and earth showerheads can reduce hot water usage by up to 50%.

Kitchen
It’s recommended that kitchen faucets use aerators with a flow rate of no less than 1.5 gpm, since kitchen faucets usually need high flow rates.

Bathroom
Bathroom faucets don’t need a high flow rate and will still maintain water pressure with a .5 – 1 gpm aerator.

Toilet Tank Bank
Fill the toilet tank bank with water and hang it on the inside of the tank wall. With just that simple install you’ll save 0.8 gallons of water per flush. There is nothing to maintain, it never needs re-filling, and it even prevents odors. The product doesn’t change how your toilet functions in any way; it just saves water.

Shower Timer
As much as 25 gallons of water can be used on a 15-minute shower. Curtail the water waste with shower timers. These home water saving products are a fun, smart, and cheap way to keep everyone in the household in line with water usage.

Types
There are different types of shower timers, ranging in price from super cheap to super expensive.

  • Sand Timer – These timers can be attached to the shower wall. Some are like a hourglass and some are digital. They’re usually made to keep track of 5-10 minutes and cost as little as $3.
  • Digital Shower Timer – An digital timer measures shower time in five-minute intervals. It is installed either with a suction cup or adhesive backing. At the beginning of a shower, a blue LED light appears, and at the 4.5 minute mark, the LED light changes to red. For the last 30 seconds, the red light on the LED shower timer flashes red as a reminder. The cost of this timer is approximately $7.
  •  Digital Shower Timer with Water Consumption Calculator – Costing about $15, a digital shower timer and water calculator displays the amount of time spent as well as the amount of water consumed during the shower. It allows you to set the target amount of water to be used, and an alarm sounds once that target has been reached. This timer also can be installed with a suction cup, or hung with a lanyard.

Soil Moisture Meter
For aspiring and expert gardeners alike, the name is self-explanatory; the meters measure soil for adequate moisture. Soil moisture meters are analog-style, and read the moisture levels in the soil to prevent over-watering, a leading cause in plant death.

Most of these water saving products pay for themselves in under a year, but save you money and decrease energy usage for much longer.

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What You Need to Know About Faucet Aerators

Faucet Aerators
Faucet Aerators

There are many ways to conserve water around the home, besides cutting back on shower time. You could shave as much as 50% off your water bill by installing low-flow showerheads and aerators. But before making this simple but effective change in your home, here are a few details you need to know about faucet aerators.

What is an aerator?
Named because of their ability to mix air with water, aerators are fixtures on the end of faucets with a mesh screen attached to the bottom. The mesh screen stops water from coming out as a full stream and instead splits it into smaller streams mixed with air to create an even, consistent flow of water coming out of the faucet.

Spray/Stream Type
There are two common types of low-flow aerators to consider: bubble spray and needle spray. Both types provide high water pressure while using lower energy and water but come with a few differences.

Bubble Spray
The bubble spray model releases water as small bubbles that are then passed though the flowing water.

Needle Spray
Needle spray aerators have 18 individual streams but still provide a high level of water pressure.
Tamper-proof or not?
Tamper-proof faucet aerators are made so that they cannot be easily taken out, played with, etc. These types of aerators are especially helpful in commercial settings, such as restaurants or hotels.
Threading
Threading refers to how you will install the aerator to the outset of the faucet, or more specifically, the sprout. To determine which threading you need, the male or female, look at the edges (threading) that go around or on the inside of the aerator. The threads on the outside mean the aerator is a male and will install on the inside of a sprout, while the female aerator has threads on the inside and will install on the outside of a sprout.
Savings
Money
Low-flow faucet aerators are a very inexpensive investment, costing as little as $0.99 per unit, and can pay for themselves in under a week.

Water
To get the maximum savings from low-flow aerators, make sure you purchase one that uses 0.5-1.5 GPM, or gallons per minute. Older, non-aerated faucets can use as much as 2.5-3.0 gallons of water, causing an average use of 15% more water than necessary.

Sometimes it takes a shockingly high water bill to wake us up to the benefits and ease of water conservation. Fortunately in just a few minutes, and minimal investment, you can add or change out old aerators and reduce your energy and water consumption and monthly bill.

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The Benefits of Using an Earth Showerhead

Earth Showerhead
Earth Showerhead

This time of the year brings the water enthusiast out in all of us. Sticky summer days call for long, refreshing showers without homeowners being aware of how much water and money is being wasted by their showerhead alone. Beat the summer heat and water waste by installing an earth showerhead; this is one of the most cost-saving and earth-friendly changes to make in your home

Water Waste vs. Savings

Pay attention to the gallons of water your showerhead dispenses per minute; this little number can translate to increased costs in utilities.

2.5 GMP vs. 1.5 GPM

Modern showerheads release 2.5 gallons of water per minute, or GPM. By comparison, an energy efficient showerheads use only 1.5 gallons, saving you an entire gallon of water per minute.

Use less energy, save more money

Simply put, with earth showerheads you use less water and less heat. So by making the switch to an energy efficient showerhead, you can gain up to 30% in water savings while decreasing the cost of utilities.

The Technology

Against a modern showerhead, its earth equivalent boosts technology that is just at impressive. Features include:

Flow Control Technology

Regardless of the low force in your water system, Flow Control Technology gives you a consistent flow of even water pressure.

Super Massages

There’s no need to sacrifice comfort for energy efficiency. The adjustable 9-jet turbo massages in an earth showerhead give you soft soothing sprays to an intense, therapeutic massage.

Non-aerating consistency

It sucks the air out of your water stream, not literally, but you get air-free water as you shower. This means your showerhead delivers hotter water sooner and longer than modern models.

 

Whether hosing down after a sticky summer day or relaxing during the cold winter months, making the change to more energy and water efficient, cost-effective showerhead will bring you comfort in your home and your wallet.

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Many Degrees of Thirst

How often do you stop to consider the many ways that you use water in your home and daily life? Water is used not only for drinking, but in bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoors as well. Understanding the way water is being consumed and what many people have to go through to get water around the world helps you understand how important it is to conserve wherever possible. The infographic below illustrates the many degrees of thirst.

Degrees of Thirst
Degrees of Thirst

Photo Credit: www.OnlineAssociatesDegree.com

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Choosing a Shower Timer for Saving Water at Home

It can be very easy to hop into the shower and lose all track of time. As relaxing as a shower is, it also contributes significantly to both water and water heating costs. Being aware of how much time is being spent in the shower just may motivate you to spend less time in there. Choosing a shower timer can help you do just this, ultimately reducing utility bills as well.

showertimersSand Timer

A five-minute sand shower timer is both water-proof (that would be a good thing) and simple to install. The suction cup should be placed on the shower wall, and that’s it. At the beginning of your shower, rotate the timer so that the sand begins to flow downward. Once the sand has stopped, you know that five minutes have passed. With every rotation, you know that another five minutes have passed.

LED Timer

This next timer measures five-minute intervals as well, but is a bit more technical than the first. It can be installed using either an adhesive backing or with the suction cup that it comes with to the wall of the shower. When your shower starts, press the bottom of the shower timer, lighting up a blue LED. At the four-and-a-half minute mark, the color of the LED will change to red. The red LED light flashes for 30 seconds, acting as a reminder of how much time has passed.

Digital Timer

A digital shower timer allows you to set a target shower time, and the measuring bag included provides knowledge of how much water is being used. The recommended time for usage is 9.25 gallons of water, the equivalent of four minutes. It can hang onto the showerhead with a lanyard, or installed with, you guessed it, a suction cup. Turn the digital timer on at the start of each shower and watch the progress on the screen. Once the target water volume has been reached, an alarm will sound. In the average home, shower water usage accounts for 17 percent of residential indoor water costs, 66 percent of all hot water expenses. Installing any of these timers will help set you on the right track to saving not only water, but the amount of money spent on both water and water heating.

Shop for shower timers>>>

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Quickly Save Water Using a Toilet Tank Bank

Tank Bank
Toilet Tank Bank

The bathroom accounts for the majority of indoor water use in the average home. Of all the water-consuming fixtures in the bathroom, the toilet wastes the most water. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the toilet contributes to approximately 27 percent of all residential water consumption. Installing a toilet tank bank is a fast way to limit the amount of water used by this source.

The toilet tank bank is a cost-effective tool that reduces the amount of water by 0.8 gallons per flush, and can increase savings over time. The device is incredibly simple to install, and can be completed in a few steps:

  1. Fill the tank bank with water.
  2. Close the valve.
  3. Hang the bag inside the toilet tank.

This water saver is durable, as it is produced using non-corrosive materials that resist both fungal growth and microbes. The tank bank has an anti-evaporation snap that locks air in, which curbs odors and makes it unnecessary to refill the bag. In addition, it is placed in a way as to not interfere with flush mechanics. The toilet tank bank is a simple device that can be installed in a few minutes, and will save water through the toilet as long as it is installed. Also keep in mind that once you’ve lowered the amount of water used by the most consuming fixture in the bathroom, a reduction in water and sewer costs is not far behind.