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Despite the apparent abundance of water, it is actually a limited resource; less than 1% of the Earth's water is available for human use. An easy first step to conserving water is cutting down on water waste.
Conserving water also means you are using less energy to heat the water and pump the water up from our deep wells. It takes a lot of energy to do both. You can use less hot water and eliminate 350 pounds of CO2 per year by installing a low-flow shower head.
Washing your clothes in cold water will save 500 pounds of CO2 per year. Run the washing machine and dishwasher only when full. If you have to wash a partial load, adjust the water level settings accordingly and avoid the permanent press cycle, which uses an extra 5 gallons.
If you are buying a new appliance, consider a water-saving front load washer.
Repair leaky faucets. Just one drip per second wastes 20 gallons per day. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face. Faucets spout 2-3 gallons per minute. Toilet leaks could be costing you 200 gallons per day. Repair parts are cheap and easy to install.
Water your lawn only when it needs it. If the grass springs back up after you step on it, it doesn't need water. Try to water during the cool parts of the day and avoid watering when it is windy. Use recycled water for your houseplants.
Rain barrels are a great way to conserve water. The Sustain Dane RainReserve Rain Barrel Program is an initiative that addresses water quality issues through the distribution and installation of rain barrels. RainReserve rain barrel kits are available now, and rain barrel installation is a great do-it-yourself project that can be completed in a little over an hour. Go to rainfordane.org to order yours.
Take the Pledge!