Purchase aerating faucets for your bathroom and kitchen sinks, you can even get aerating shower heads. It’s a small metal device that screws onto modern faucets and mixes air with the water flow, conserving water and energy in the process.
Switch to low-flow toilets. Older standard toilets use up 7 gallons of fresh drinking water per flush! So unless you’re using gray water in your toilet system, switching to a low flow toilet is key for water conservation! (Did you know Los Angeles almost completely dried up Mono Lake, hundreds of miles away, by their overuse of water? A brave group of Berkeley students sued the city…. AND WON!!!! Regulations were implemented and by simply switching to low flush toilets, Los Angeles reversed the effects and now Mono Lake is at a sustainable level, read more about Mono Lake and its controversial history here!)
Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or lathering your hands with soap. It seems pretty obvious, but most of us are in the habit of letting the tap run. Be mindful, and do your best to remember that this is a huge waste of clean drinking water.
Own a dog? You probably find that as the water bowl gets dingy when its about half gone. Previously, I would’ve dumped the water down the sink, rinsed the bowl, and refilled it. Now, I use that extra water for my plants. Bacteria in the saliva you say? Well, my succulents LOVE it. So I don’t know what to tell ya.
If you want a garden but live in a drought, or you’re conscious enough to know that even if you’re not in a drought, the world is, get succulents. You don’t need to buy them in plastic pots, just take a few cuttings from a friend. Succulents only need to be watered twice a month, and I can easily use fairly clean water not suitable for drinking to hydrate them. See above.
Collect your faucet water in a bucket or recycled container while waiting for the temperature to heat up. Store this water and use it as needed for pet water bowls, plants, or to flush toilets. **If you live an earth quake zone or other area with natural disasters, use the water obtained in the method mentioned above (clean, drinkable water – collected while waiting for the water temperature to heat up) and keep some gallons of this water on hand for emergencies. Old milk gallon jugs, orange juice jugs, whatever works. If you’re using it to water plants or fill pet bowls, you’ll be refilling it regularly so it should be fresh if needed in emergent situations.
Fix your leaks! Again, this seems like an obvious one, but a small drip adds up quickly! Get your leaks repaired ASAP!
Use water from cooking pasta, chickpeas, etc, to water plants. If boiling chickpeas, learn how to make aquafaba, a great egg alternative!
Get rid of that lawn! I know, the ideal used to be a nice green lawn with a white picket fence. That dream is over. Stop wasting water on grass when children are thirsty in developing nations. Get a zen pebble garden, they’re beautiful! Because you know what’s worse than having no lawn? Global warming.
If using a washing machine, only wash full loads. This will also save electricity too! Make sure to use detergent that is environmentally safe, like Seventh Generation.
If using a dishwasher, only run a load when it’s completely full. Also, make sure to be using environmentally friendly dish soap, like Seventh Generation.
Stop using your garbage disposal!!!! In the bay area, tax payers spend millions every year removing solids from waste water. These materials just end up being landfilled! Getting rid of your food by disposing it down the sink is NOT ZERO WASTE or sustainable! Collect the food and other solids in a sink strainer and add them to the compost bin!
Collect rain water for your plants, many communities will provide free rain collection buckets. Check online to see what’s available where you live!
Make sure ALL your appliances are high-efficiency and Energy Star approved
Take quick, cool showers The average shower flow rate wastes 2.1 gallons of water per minute!!! Time yourself! I can shower, including hair washing, in less than 2 New Kids on the Block songs. What’s your record?