During the summer, you might go the extra mile to conserve water. Droughts and high temperatures have a visible effect on your environment, turning the grass and leaves brown and dry.
But during the winter, you might not feel as concerned about water. After all, you can see the water around you covering the world in layer after layer of snow and ice.
However, water conservation remains just as important in winter as it does in summer. What you do in the colder months can establish good habits for the rest of the year.
Not sure where to start? Try these simple tips and tricks to save water.
1. Limit Your Bath Time
On a cold day, few things feel better than soaking in a warm bath or standing under a steamy shower. However, the average bath uses as much as 40 gallons of water, and a 10-minute shower could use as much as 20 gallons of water (more if you have a high-powered shower head).
To limit your water usage, make the swap to showers rather than baths, and set a timer on your showers. A quick five-minute shower will give you enough time to wash off without wasting water.
If you want to take your conservation efforts further, rinse yourself briefly and then turn the water off. Lather your entire body with soap, and then use the water to rinse off the suds.
2. Scrape Dishes Rather Than Rinsing
During the holidays, you and your family members likely gather together to enjoy large meals. From Thanksgiving dinner to Christmas breakfast, these feasts provide plenty of opportunity to socialize and catch up on each other’s lives.
But after you’ve finished the last of the pie or turkey, you may find a large number of dishes waiting near the sink. Instead of rinsing each dish before you run it through the dishwasher, take the time to scrape leftover food into the garbage bin.
Don’t have a dishwasher? Consider installing an Energy Star appliance. But if you can’t afford a new dishwasher right now, fill the sink or a plastic tub with washing water instead of running the faucet.
3. Leave Your Faucets Dripping at Night
You know that a dripping sink can waste hundreds of gallons over the summer. You may have even heard that a leaky tap can lose as much as 3,000 gallons in a year. So, understandably, letting your faucets drip at night might sound counterproductive.
But when the temperatures drop, any standing water left in your pipes is likely to freeze. And when water freezes, it expands and cracks your pipes. If your pipes burst, you may soon have thousands of gallons of water rushing into your home.
If you let your faucets drip at night, the flowing water won’t have a chance to freeze. And to take your water conservation to the next level, you can simply place a plastic bin or bucket in the sink to catch the leftover drips. Use the drip bucket to water your indoor plants or perform a few household chores.
4. Hire a Plumber to Check for Leaks
Do you ever hear your toilet running by itself? If so, it likely has a leak. If your toilet continues to run after flushing, it could easily waste as much as 15 gallons per day. And if you have any other leaks throughout the house, you can bet that your utility bills will soon increase to match the extra usage.
This winter, hire a plumber to check your toilets, shower heads, faucets, and pipes for leaks and make repairs as necessary. During his or her visit, ask your plumber to perform a water analysis and evaluation on your plumbing. Your plumber may recommend upgrading your plumbing for greener alternatives.
When you follow these simple tips, you can do your part to protect the environment this winter.