20 tips can help us all make the best use of water in summer.

Laura Gaskill
Houzz Contributor.

With warmer temperatures and less rainfall in many regions, summer is a great time to get serious about conserving water. Whether your goal is to help your community during a time of drought, keep pollution out of waterways, or save money on your home water bill, there are many simple, effective changes you can make around the house. These 20 ways to save water and protect our waterways are a good place to begin.

1. Upgrade appliances. When you next go shopping for new appliances, choose a fridge, freezer, and dishwasher rated by Energy Star and you could save hundreds of gallons of water each year.

2. Use the garbage disposal less. Drop that food in a compost pile instead! Not only will you save water by not turning on the faucet every time you clear off a plate, you will be creating nutrient-rich food for your garden.

3. Use a rain barrel to catch water for use in the garden. This simple addition to your home can save you many gallons of water each year, depending on how much rainfall you get in your region.

4. Seek out drought-tolerant and native plants. Especially important in the southwest and western U.S., and anywhere drought is a problem, choosing the native plants can reduce the need for frequent watering.

5. Turn off the faucet — or try a sink with a foot pedal. Make a habit of turning off that faucet rather than letting it run while you soap up dishes or hands. The new pedal sinks make remembering to turn off the faucet automatic, and are especially great for homes with kids.

6. Fix leaks promptly. Save on your water bill by making sure to stop leaks as soon as you notice them.

7. Adjust your sprinklers. Sprinklers that mist driveways, walkways, and other non-planted areas are wasteful. Take the time to test yours and be sure the water is reaching only the needed spots. Mark the position with a rock or plant marker so you will remember where to put it next time.

8. Avoid using lawn chemicals. Chemical fertilizers and weed killers run off lawns and contaminate waterways. If you do choose to use them, be sure to use the minimal amount necessary to do the job.

9. Try a lawn alternative. Why deal with constant watering and mowing, when you can enjoy a lawn-free yard just as much? There are many creative alternatives to grass, from native plant and edible gardens, to patios, play spaces, and more.

10. Upgrade or retrofit older toilets. Older toilets can be major water hogs. Upgrade to a newer efficient model, or place a water bottle in the upper tank of your current toilet to displace water and use less per flush.

11. Check for toilet leaks the easy way. Place a few drops of food coloring in the upper tank of your toilet, and do not flush for at least 30 minutes. When the time is up, check the bowl — clear water means no leak; colored water means you have a problem.

12. Save water while you shower. Shortening your shower by even one minute can add up to big water savings over the course of a year. Also try shutting off the shower briefly while washing hair.

13. Install low-flow shower heads. If you don’t have them already, making the switch to low-flow shower heads is an easy and effective way to save water daily.

14. Insulate hot water pipes. Getting hot water faster means less water is wasted running down the drain while you wait. Want to go the extra mile? Keep a pitcher in the bathroom and use it to catch the would-be wasted water as you wait for it to heat.

15. Only run full loads. Saving up your laundry until you have a full load is a great way to save gallons of water. If your machine has a setting for a smaller load, do use that when you need to — but remember that doing fewer loads will save even more water.

16. Choose natural cleaning products. Bleach, detergents, toilet bowl cleaner, and other products we use daily that get washed down the drain ultimately end up in our water system — and it is not easy to remove them. Choose natural products whenever possible, and never flush medications down the toilet.

17. Sweep, don’t hose down driveway and paths. Get out that old push broom and give your steps a sweep rather than getting out the hose. It saves water, and gives you a workout!

18. Water less often, but more deeply. Plants love getting water all the way to their roots — it makes for stronger, healthier plants. Planning fewer, but deeper, watering sessions each week will save water and result in a healthier garden.

19. Water in the evening or early morning. Watering in the heat of the day means much of your precious water will be lost to evaporation. Water in the cool evening or early morning instead.

20. Get in the habit of saving leftover water and dropped ice cubes for houseplants. Even small acts, like plunking dropped ice cubes and half-drunk glasses of water into a watering can rather than down the sink can add up to water savings.

But even more than the water you will save, it’s the habit that is important — this small act will serve as a reminder to be more mindful of water, our most precious resource.

Team Pendley
with RE/MAX Integrity
We Go The Extra Mile, It’s Less Crowded!


Pat Pendley, Principal Broker
(541) 990-2530

Christie Pendley, Broker
Certified Distressed Property Expert
(541) 619-3640

Doug Hall, Broker
(541) 979-0571

**Pat Pendley, Christie Pendley ,and Doug Hall, are licensed Real Estate Brokers in the State of Oregon with RE/MAX Integrity

Team Pendley is a proud sponsor of
The Springhill North Albany Car show to benefit CASA of Linn County

Team Pendley is a proud sponsor of
Sublimity School Annual Auction


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