It seems as though every day brings with it a new report about the grim future of our dwindling water supply. Though you might feel as though the issue is out of your hands, there are actually plenty of ways you can make a difference. With the help of an environmentally conscious contractor, you can dramatically decrease your water footprint and upgrade your home for the better.
Whether you’re looking to get the most out of a remodel or setting out to make your home more green, here are some things you can do.
Dripping faucets, leaky pipes and running toilets really add up. Make sure all the water and water-using appliances in your home are turned off and check the meter for the tell-tale low flow indicator to detect leaks.
Water Efficient Appliances.
High efficiency dish washers and washing machines use less energy and less water to do the same work as your old appliances. By making sure to only run full loads, you’re on the road to saving thousands of gallons of water a year. A contractor can help you find the right models for your space at the right price.
Between the shower and the toilet, it’s no surprise that most of our household water consumption is centered around the bathroom. Older toilets use anywhere from 3 to 7 gallons to flush while newer ones use 1.28 gallons or less. Your standard showerhead uses 2.5 gallons per minute, but by changing just one showerhead in your home you can cut your water usage by about 2,900 gallons a year.
Cut back on watering.
The easiest solution to over-watering and water waste is simple: stop watering your grass every day! If your turf is springy, it can skip a day or two of watering. When it needs watering, make sure you do it either early in the morning or later at night to keep it from evaporating.
Smart Irrigation Control.
The installation of a smart irrigation control system can decrease your water usage by 9,000 gallons a year. Smart Irrigation systems regulate your watering schedule according to local weather conditions. No more watering your lawn in a rainstorm!
High Efficiency Sprinkler Nozzles.
High efficiency nozzles provide better coverage with less run-off and lower water flow to prevent over-watering. These newer nozzles have been developed to have more precise radii that target your lawn more effectively without watering the side of your house or the sidewalk.
With the help of an amazing landscaping contractor, you can create a beautiful yard that will be sure to make your neighbors jealous all while keeping your water bill low. Your contractor will have extensive knowledge of plants native to your region and the best way to plant and care for them. Native plants don’t need much help from you to stay healthy and beautiful because the rainfall your climate is accustomed to is enough. In times of low-rainfall and drought, native plants still won’t impact your water usage as heavily as non-native plants would.
And if you can bear it, downsize your turf! Between all the chemicals used to keep lawns free of weeds and pests and the trillions of gallons of water used to keep them green, Americans spend billions of dollars on our beloved Kentucky Blue Grass ground cover. Instead, plant ornate native plants in parts of your yard that don’t see foot-traffic, choose a different ground cover or get creative with hardscape features like decks, brick paths, or rock gardens.
Last, but not least…
Change Your Habits.
Once you’ve upgraded your home, why stop there? There are a lot of tiny, personal things your household can do to save water. Small changes like taking shorter showers, turning off the water while you brush your teeth, taking your car to the car wash, and sweeping your driveway instead of hosing it down all add up in the long run.
Hiring a contractor to improve your home’s water efficiency will ensure that your home is fitted with the best possible options for your space and your family’s needs. If you’re worried about the cost of upgrading your home, look no further than your local water and power companies. Many companies provide rebates and incentives for new water efficient appliances and outdoor irrigation systems to offset the cost. Between these programs and the amount you’ll be saving on your future water bills, the work put into upgrading your home will more than pay for itself in no time.