Every few dollars you can save on your water bill helps your pocket, and the savings can add up big over time. Regardless of how much money you bring home every year, the sad fact is that the majority of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck with little opportunity to get ahead. Whatever the reasons are for this, sometimes you have to cut back where you can to scrape up those few extra dollars.
Your water bill is an easy place to start to net yourself an extra few hundred dollars every year. By engaging in just a few of these simple tasks, you can save enough money to go on a short vacation or buy yourself that extravagant gift you never thought you could afford before.
Not only does saving water help your budget, but it also has a great, far-reaching effect on the environment. Because of this, you have probably seen water-saving innovations in place in restaurants, businesses, and just about everywhere you go. The world is finally waking up to the fact that our water is not infinite, as we once thought, and every little action we take can help conserve the resources that we do have.
Why You Should Conserve Water
There is a common misconception out there that just because the Earth is made predominantly of water (71%, in fact) that our ability to have fresh drinking water is never-ending. The problem with that myth is that 97% of all of the Earth’s water is actually salt water. While we are in the process of trying to come up with ways to make salt water suitable for drinking, as of right now the vast majority of people do not have that ability.
This means that only 3% of the water we do have in the world is fresh water, and of that 3%, only 1% is readily available for use because the rest of it is frozen somewhere in the form of ice caps or glaciers.
With billions of people and exponentially more animals and plants on the planet all needing water for basic daily survival, the numbers make it clear that we need to work to conserve the resources that we do have.
When you do your part to help conserve water, it has globally reaching effects. Your efforts can:
- Minimize the impact of water shortages. Many areas have climates that experience regular droughts. When we work together to reduce wasted water, we can prepare for future droughts and water shortages.
- Help preserve the environment. To power water to homes and businesses requires the use of energy. This same energy usually comes in the form of fossil fuel use, which increases environmental pollution. Therefore, the less water you use, the fewer pollutants are released into the ecosystem.
- Help to ensure future water sources. When water is in limited quantities, it must be conserved for survival purposes only. This means that recreational use will become limited in the future. Water parks, swimming pools, and other means of enjoyment will begin disappearing. People will no longer be able to use water to improve their yards and gardens or wash their cars. Anything considered unnecessary for survival will eventually be banned.
- Deter conflicts in the future. When a resource necessary for survival becomes limited, conflict automatically arises and the prices of that resource – as per supply and demand – rise drastically. If an adequate water supply is not conserved today, this resource could become the reason for wars, global health epidemics, and decreased food supplies in the future.
So you see, the little things that we take for granted today can be luxuries in the future that no one enjoys. How can you help to conserve water and avoid these potential drastic – but realistic – scenarios?
How You Can Conserve Water
Conserving water has immediate and far-reaching benefits. You’ll see a fast reduction in your water and utility bills, helping your bank account, and you’ll also be doing your part to ensure that future generations have an adequate, sustainable water supply, too.
To lower your water bill and conserve this precious resource, try some of the following easy changes:
1. Trade in your old, inefficient appliances. Today’s washing machines, dishwashers, and other machines specifically tell you what the efficiency level it has is. Machines that are labeled “WaterSense” or have an Energy star seal use up to 50% less water and 50% less energy each use.
2. Use a WaterSense faucet. Most of us know the little ways to save water, like by turning the handle off while we are brushing our teeth, shutting the water off when we are shaving, and taking quick showers instead of long baths. But your water faucet itself can even save you money while it is running.
By using an aerator or a WaterSense faucet, you can increase your water efficiency by up to 30%, saving hundreds of gallons of water annually and compounded financial savings directly to your faucet.
For a reasonable price, your plumber can install these for you to ensure that they do not leak and are working at their optimal level, saving you the most money. If you are in the Long Beach, CA area, call us at GM Plumbing Corp. to help you out!
3. Make the most of your dishwashing capabilities. Dishwashers should only be run when they are fully loaded. Avoid pre-rinsing your dishes if you can help it because it simply uses extra water unnecessarily.
When you are washing dishes by hand, listen to your grandparents. They were probably taught – and tried to teach you – to put a plug in the sink, fill it with water, and use that water to wash the dishes, then use a second sink of clean water to rinse the soap off of each dish.
4. Don’t ignore the leaks! When you see a small leak, like little streams of water coming from your faucet or a prolonged running toilet, do not ignore them. The extra water that doesn’t look like much to you could mean hundreds of gallons of wasted water.
In addition to the excess water being used, these leaks can pile up and cause damage. Leaks underneath your sink can rot the wood away, and small leaks in a fixture can quickly turn into burst pipes. Instead, call your favorite plumber, like GM Plumbing Corp., to come fix your leak for you before it becomes a pricy emergency situation!
5. One person’s garbage is another person’s conservation technique. Instead of using a garbage disposal, which requires both water and energy to operate, consider learning how to compost at home to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
It is actually quite simple and has multiple benefits. There is less garbage, for one, and it’s very inexpensive. You simply need a bin for the compost, which you can build yourself or purchase for a small cost. If you have to pay for your garbage service, this conservation technique can even save you a lot of money.
When you create your own compost bin, you are also creating the best fertilizer, so you can use it in your garden and your yard. Gardens that are fed with compost fertilizer require less water to grow, too.
One more great benefit of compost bins: They help the environment in many ways. Composting reduces toxins and pollution, prevent erosion, and promote healthy growth of gardens and yards.
6. Use a rain barrel. For non-drinking water use, attach a rain barrel to the downspout of your home. This will capture the runoff from your roof before it turns into groundwater, and you can use it for everything from watering your garden to drinking and cooking if it is done right. However, check with your local government because this type of water conservation is off limits in some places, especially those with regular droughts.
7. Use used water smartly. Anything that you were going to dump down the sink can likely be used in other ways. You can reuse water that was used to rinse your vegetables and cook your next meal with it. You can use leftover water from your drink and water your plants with it. Before you dump it down the sink, think about how it could be better utilized.
For More Tips, Call Your Plumber
The best provider of smart ways to conserve your water and energy is your local plumber. He or she can give you tips and guidelines on how to stop leaks, replace appliances, and do other steps to cut costs. When you hire a plumber to come over to provide basic plumbing maintenance, the work they do to conserve your water and fix any potential problems can easily pay for itself.
When you have a leak, a clogged drain, or any other plumbing-related questions in the Long Beach area, call the experts at GM Plumbing Corp. to see how we can help you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.