At least 36 states suffer local, regional or statewide water shortages annually. By adopting a few simple habits, you can dramatically decrease your household water usage. This will save you money on your water bill each month and help the environment. Win-win! Follow these steps to become more efficient with water.


1. In the kitchen: When washing fruits and vegetables, fill a pan with water. Dip your produce in the water instead of running it under the tap.

2. Only run your dishwasher when it’s completely full. For more dishwashing tricks and rules, read: The Three Laws of Dishwasher Loading.

3. Avoid defrosting your dinner under running water. Instead, fill your sink halfway and let the items soak until they're properly defrosted.

4. In the laundry room: Wait until you have a full hamper before doing a load of laundry. Tip: If that shirt you wore isn’t really dirty, don’t be afraid to wear it twice!

5. Check the water fixtures that connect to your washing machine. If you notice any moisture around the fixtures, you may have a leak that needs to be repaired. For more information on washer maintenance, read: Inspect and Maintain your Top-Loading Washing Machine or Inspect and Maintain your Front-Loading Washing Machine.

6. Consider purchasing an energy-efficient washing machine. These use almost half as much water as older, less-efficient models and wash your clothes just as well. To learn more, read: Shop Energy Star.

7. In the bathroom: Shut off the water while brushing your teeth or washing your face. You’ll save 4.5 gallons each time.

8. Fill a 20-ounce bottle with water. Add rocks so it's weighed down, and drop it in the tank. The bottle allows the tank to be refilled with less water, making your toilet more efficient.

9. Test your toilet for leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring into the tank. If the dye appears in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak. To learn how to fix this, read: Maintain your Toilets and Fix a Running Toilet.

10. Show some hustle in the shower and try to shorten each session by a minute or two. You’ll save up to 150 gallons per month. Tip: Make it a competitive game. Who can take the shortest shower?

Information provided by BrightNest.com.

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