Doing small things consistently over time—if enough people participate—can make a dent, even in a global problem. Here are a few suggestions:
- Check your sinks, indoor and outdoor faucets, pipes, toilets, even your meter for leaks.
- Run your high-efficiency (Energy Star) washing machine or dishwasher for full loads only.
- Purchase a front-loading washing machine—it uses significantly less water than a top-loading machine—and purchase a dryer with a moisture sensor.
- Install a dual-flush toilet (which uses less water for liquid waste) or a low-flow unit as well as a gray-water recycling system.
- Use a low-flow showerhead and capture bathwater to water plants. And take shorter showers.
- Water your lawn in the early morning or at night to avoid losses from evaporation and use mulch to trap moisture.
- Consider installing a rain barrel for capturing storm water and using it to water the garden.
- Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl of water rather than under a running faucet.
- Start a compost pile rather than using an in-sink garbage disposal unit.
- Use the refrigerator or microwave rather than hot water to thaw frozen food.
- Instead of washing your car by hand, go to a professional car wash.