How Can We Save Water & Electricity?
Energy conservation will help you save money on your utility bills and help the environment. Whether you go all out and purchase new energy-efficient appliances or take small steps such as taking shorter showers, every little bit of conservation counts.
Keep some basic steps in mind as you make plans to conserve water and electricity in your home.
Seemingly minor water leaks in pipes and faucets can lead to hundreds of gallons of water wasted over time. Make sure that the washers in faucets and pipes are not worn. Starting in the bathroom, follow some easy steps to save water every day. Install water-saving or low-flow showerheads. Take shorter showers, or turn off the water while you’re lathering and then turn it back on to rinse. Don’t use the toilet as a trashcan for cigarette butts, paper tissue or other trash. Flushing the toilet unnecessarily will waste water. Don’t let the water run continuously while you are brushing your teeth.
Similarly in the kitchen, don’t leave the tap running if you are washing dishes by hand. Fill a separate basin or a dual sink with water for rinsing. If you use a dishwasher, run it only when it is full. Also, with the efficiency of today’s dishwashers, you likely don’t need to rinse off your dishes before putting them in the washer.
In your yard, plant shrubs, grasses and plants that are drought-resistant. Make sure your sprinklers are aimed at the plants and not the sidewalks or driveway. Don’t water during the hottest part of the day, because a lot of the water will evaporate before it effectively seeps into the ground. Instead, water during cooler parts of the day, such as evening or early morning. Cleaning off the driveway or sidewalks with a hose is unnecessary and wastes water. Use a broom instead.
If it’s in your budget, buy energy-efficient appliances such as refrigerators, water heaters and dishwashers. Today, the Appliance Labeling Rule established by the Federal Trade Commission requires appliance manufacturers to provide an EnergyGuide label. This label will give an estimate of the appliance’s energy efficiency.
Don’t leave lights on for extended periods of time if you don’t need them. Unplug electronic devices such as televisions and computers when not in use. If you are going out of town, unplug all electronic devices.
If you have swimming pool, consider using a high-efficiency heater or one that is solar-powered. Use a pool cover to hold in heat and also to keep water from evaporating. Install the smallest size pump for your size pool, and reduce the amount of time it runs. A pole skimmer can get rid of a lot of debris, and will reduce electric pump use.
Jennifer Malloy has been a writer, editor, and copy editor since 2000. She graduated with honors from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and creative writing. She currently works as a magazine editor for an international children's magazine.