On World Water Day 2018, the United Nations reminds us that water is not just an essential building block of life, but also a vital resource for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development. While large-scale changes in 'green' infrastructure and nature-based solutions are vital to meeting the UN's goal of ensuring that everyone has access to safe water by 2030, small changes you can make at home can also make a difference in conserving our most precious resource.
Green your laundry.
Wash and dry only full loads. If you must wash a smaller load, be sure to adjust to the appropriate water-level setting to avoid water waste. Washing full loads can save you more than 3,400 gallons of water each year.
Save time and water with ENERGY STAR.
New clothes washer models are much more efficient than those manufactured 10 or more years ago. Upgrade to an ENERGY STAR certified clothes washer to reduce energy use by about 30%, and water consumption by over 50%! You could even be eligible for up to $75 in rebates from the DCSEU.
Let your dishwasher do the work.
Dishwashers require less than one-third the water it would take to hand-wash dishes. Pre-rinsing your dishes before a full load can also waste up to 20 gallons! Scrape remaining food off plates and dishes instead. Upgrade to an ENERGY STAR qualified dishwasher to help you save even more — they use only 5.8 gallons of water or less per cycle, reducing your costs by about $40 per year.
Stop the leaks.
A leaky faucet isn't just annoying — it can waste gallons of water. Hot water leaking at a rate of 1 drip per second can waste up to 1,661 gallons of water over the course of a year, and waste up to $35 in energy costs. Fixing drips is a cost-effective and easy way to save.
Go with the flow.
With a low-flow showerhead using 2.5 gallons-per-minute or less, you could reduce your average water use by 25%–60%! A new showerhead will also lower energy costs — up to $145 each year on electricity — beating out both the bath and an old-fashioned showerhead for energy and water savings.