120 Brilliant Ways to Conserve Water and Help the Environment

ways to conserve water

Conserving water matters. With droughts causing issues in more areas than ever, cutting back on water use is an excellent way to preserve a precious resource. We wanted to offer dozens of options for conserving water so that you can pick and choose your favorites. We came up with over 100 ideas and are posting them here for you.

Indoor Conservation Ideas

One of the most accessible places to start your water conservation journey is in your own home. We’ll look at different options for various rooms in your house. You can put the ones you like to use immediately! We’ll look at the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room and general indoor areas of the home for inspiration.

15 Water Conservation Tips for the Kitchen

Water running freely in the sink from faucet
  • 1. At the beginning of the day, take out one glass to use for your hydration needs. Refill it each time you need a fresh drink.
  • 2. Start leaving a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of using the running tap.
  • 3. Do you wash your dishes by hand? If so, don’t leave the water running the entire time. Fill the sink with wash water on one side and rinse water on the other. 
  • 4. When you have pots and pans to wash, let them soak rather than scrubbing at them under endless running water.
  • 5. Use the proper sized pot or pan when it’s cooking time. A larger pot might require more water to prepare than a smaller one. 
  • 6. If you use a dishwasher, you’ll usually use even less water than hand washing.
  • 7. For those with new dishwashers, skip or cut back on rinsing. Many modern dishwashers can clean better than ever before.
  • 8. When buying a dishwasher, do a quick search on energy efficiency websites to compare your options when it comes to water use.
  • 9. Stop using your garbage disposal so much. Think about starting compost with waste from vegetables.
  • 10. Utilize a pan or other dish to wash your fruit and vegetables, so none of it goes to waste.
  • 11. When you rinse your produce, keep the water. It can be used to water all your houseplants.
  • 12. Avoid using running water to defrost meat and other foods. Instead, defrost your meals in the refrigerator.
  • 13. Have leftover water from cooking veggies? Save it and use it to start a soup broth.
  • 14. Use less water when you cook. This not only conserves water but also leads to a higher intake of nutrients.
  • 15. Think about installing an instant water heater by your sink, so there’s no need to run the tap until it gets hot.

18 Water Conservation Tips in the Bathroom

Water freely flowing into the bathtub
  • 1. Do some quick math and find out if your shower can fill a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds. If it can, it might be time to choose a WaterSense model that conserves water.
  • 2. Choose urinals, toilets and faucets with WaterSense labels or other water-saving features.
  • 3. Pick a toilet that is dual-flush. You can use a half-flush for liquid waste and a full flush for solid waste.
  • 4. When showering, shorten the time by a minute or two to save hundreds of gallons of water a month.
  • 5. If you want a real challenge, drop your showers to five minutes or less. You could save thousands of gallons this way. Install a shower timer and make it a household competition.
  • 6. Turning off the water while you wash your hair can save over a hundred gallons of water a month alone.
  • 7. Prefer baths? Try to take more showers. Baths can use up to 70 gallons of water each time.
  • 8. Plug the tub before turning on the water to avoid wasting water. You can adjust the temperature as you go.
  • 9. When washing your hands, turn the tap off as you lather. You can turn it back on to rinse.
  • 10. While brushing your teeth, turning off the water can save four gallons of water in a single minute. That adds up!
  • 11. Install aerators on all your faucets to save water over time.
  • 12. When the water is running but not yet hot, collect the water for plant watering purposes.
  • 13. Fix leaks in your faucets and showerheads. One drip a second can mean up to five gallons a day.
  • 14. Toss your used tissues, cigarette butts or other refuse into the trash instead of the toilet. Recycle if possible!
  • 15. When shaving, plug the sink to rinse the razor rather than using running water.
  • 16. If your toilet flapper doesn’t work correctly, replace it. Choose an adjustable one so you can modify the flush rate.
  • 17. Test your toilet for leaks once a year to make sure you aren’t wasting water you don’t know about.
  • 18. Pop some food coloring in your toilet tank. If it reaches the bowl without flushing, you have leaks to fix.

5 Tips for Laundry Room Water Conservation

Laundry Room
  • 1. When you buy a new washer, make sure to check the energy efficiency and compare it against other options.
  • 2. Check the resource savings even when choosing an Energy Star model. Some of them can save dozens of gallons of water a load.
  • 3. Always be sure to match the water level to the number of clothes in a load to avoid using excess water.
  • 4. Wash your darks in cold water to save energy and water while also keeping the dark colors vibrant.
  • 5. Consider having your water line rerouted to greywater for plants and trees instead of going down the sewer.

15 Other Ways to Conserve Water Inside

  • 1. Calculate the amount of water you use in a day online and compete with others to get a lower score.
  • 2. Only run your dishwasher and washer when full to avoid wasting water.
  • 3. Look up the Home Water Audit calculator and find new ways to conserve water.
  • 4. Learn how to use your water meter to determine if you have any leaks.
  • 5. Check out Green Plumbers online and see how they can help you reduce water and energy use.
  • 6. At least once a year, check your faucets and hoses for leaks. More frequent checks are better, but anything helps.
  • 7. Remember to check the faucets and hoses outside, too.
  • 8. If you can’t fix a leak yourself, contact someone who can handle it for you.
  • 9. Teach your kids how to turn the faucets off tightly.
  • 10. When kids want the sprinkler, use it where the yard needs it most.
  • 11. Talk to your local government and schools about water conservation efforts.
  • 12. Make up games the whole family can play related to conserving water.
  • 13. Give rewards to the little ones for following water-saving tips.
  • 14. Avoid the purchase of water toys that need constant replenishment.
  • 15. Offer ideas for your workplace to conserve water and save money at the same time.

Outdoor Conservation Ideas

Girls drinking water from a fountain

 Of course, water conservation matters in the outdoors too. We’re going to take a look at options for conserving water in your pool, saving water while landscaping, and much more. Some of these ideas are easy to pick up and go while others might take a bit more planning to put into effect.

10 Pool Water Conservation Ideas

Pool
  • 1. Make sure to use a pool cover to prevent water from evaporating or getting dirty.
  • 2. If you have automatic refilling, check the pool for leaks on occasion to avoid wasting water.
  • 3. Backwashing the pool? Use the water on plants in your yard that are tolerant of salt.
  • 4. Avoid sprays and waterfalls as aeration leads to evaporation. At the very least, only have one or two of these features.
  • 5. If you want fountains, consider cascading or trickling over spraying options.
  • 6. Keep the water level underfilled to reduce water loss from splashing. Overfilling can be a significant waste of water.
  • 7. Consider joining a local pool rather than building a new one.
  • 8. Use recirculating pumps for your pool, ponds, or fountains.
  • 9. Teach children to keep the water in the pool when playing.
  • 10. Use a grease pencil to do a bucket test for leaks. If you see a drastic water level drop, that probably means you have a leak.

13 Easy Tips for Lawncare Water Conservation

Dog playing with the garden hose
  • 1. Catch water in an empty can to see how much the sprinkler outputs. An inch of water is enough for irrigation.
  • 2. Be sure your irrigation system is installed by a qualified professional.
  • 3. Install a rain sensor, which will turn the watering system off if it rains or the unit malfunctions.
  • 4. Cut your lawn at 1.5 or 2 inches. Taller grass helps keep the soil moist more than short grass does.
  • 5. Don’t pick up lawn clippings; they can cool the ground and add moisture.
  • 6. Occasionally, aerate the lawn. Punching holes every few inches helps water reach the roots rather than moving away.
  • 7. Water your lawn when walking across it leaves footprints. Avoid watering on days where it is overly windy.
  • 8. In the winter, let the lawn go brown. It only needs to be watered about once a month.
  • 9. Don’t go crazy with winter grass. While Dormant Bermuda may need to be watered monthly, some options need water every few days.
  • 10. Weed your garden and lawn on a regular basis, so water goes to the plants that genuinely need it.
  • 11. Use the minimum amount of fertilizer needed as it can promote water consumption.
  • 12. Water your lawn once every week in winter and twice a week in the summer.
  • 13. When installing a lawn, choose an option that matches your site and climate conditions.

15 Tips for General Outdoor Water Conservation

  • 1. Insulate hot water pipes for faster hot water and additional energy savings.
  • 2. Winterize outside faucets when the temperature goes below freezing to prevent bursting.
  • 3. Choose a commercial car wash that uses recycled water, or you can wash the car on your lawn and water the grass at the same time.
  • 4. Use a hose with a nozzle or turn off the water when washing the car.
  • 5. Have pets? Bathe them outside where the lawn needs extra water.
  • 6. If you have fish, use the wastewater to promote growth in non-edible plants.
  • 7. When changing a pet’s water, use the old water to water trees.
  • 8. Switch to a broom instead of a hose when cleaning off driveways, sidewalks, and patios.
  • 9. If you have an evaporative cooler, it should be inspected seasonally.
  • 10. Direct your evaporative cooler to send water to plants in your yard.
  • 11. Install a recirculating pump for your evaporative cooler.
  • 12. Purchase a thermostat and timer for your evaporative cooler, so it operates as little as needed.
  • 13. Save on water and chemicals by setting water softeners for the lowest number of refills.
  • 14. Make sure to report broken pipes and leaky hydrants to the property owner or the local water provider.
  • 15. Find out where your water shut off valve is and know how to use it in an emergency.

Water Conservation at Work

Office work

Even if you work in an office all day long, there are countless ways to conserve water in innovative and meaningful ways. If you are one of the managers or CEOs at the company, you may have special influence where it matters. However, everyone can implement some of these ideas to prevent water waste while at work.

  • 1. Use leftover ice from drinks to water your office plants.
  • 2. Support any projects that use reclaimed wastewater for industrial and irrigation needs.
  • 3. Choose appliances that offer load size adjustments for better efficiency.
  • 4. Wash company vehicles at a commercial car wash that recycles water.
  • 5. Only wash company vehicles when needed rather than on a schedule.
  • 6. Put timers on decorative fountains or turn them off after the work day is complete.
  • 7. Avoid turf and use xeriscape principles to cut your water use in half.
  • 8. Make sure your landscape has proper irrigation installed and water only as needed.
  • 9. Consider a monthly water budget for landscape based on your plant’s needs.
  • 10. Install an instant water heater at the kitchen sink, so water doesn’t need to run to heat up.
  • 11. Upgrade any old toilets with WaterSense models that use less water.
  • 12. Consider WaterSense faucets, showerheads, and urinals, as well.
  • 13. Make a hotline for reporting leaks and water waste and post a bulletin about it in the bathroom or break room.
  • 14. Check with your water utility company to see if there are rebates for buying water-efficient equipment and fixtures.
  • 15. Do a facility water use inventory and determine goals to reach for.
  • 16. Consider all the hidden water costs like heating and cooling, sewer, and pumping expenses.
  • 17. Build a policy statement showing your dedication to water conservation and commit staff and resources toward the effort.
  • 18. Check your company irrigation system for leaks on a regular basis.
  • 19. Be sure the irrigation system isn’t hitting areas that don’t require the water.
  • 20. When cleaning sidewalks, consider a pressurized hose or broom that uses less water than a traditional hose.
  • 21. Incorporate ice makers that are energy efficient and water conserving.
  • 22. Find out where your local water conservation office is and investigate programs for your workplace.
  • 23. Turn water off in unused areas of the facility to avoid waste from leaks or unmonitored use.
  • 24. Rather than rinsing dishes, scrape them after using and before washing.
  • 25. Switch from high-maintenance water fountains to low-maintenance planters or art features.
  • 26. If you use cooling towers, make sure efficient water treatment is used to maximize cycles of concentration.
  • 27. Set a goal for water usage and plan a celebration for everyone at the company once you reach it.
  • 28. Send the person in charge of your landscape and irrigation to an irrigation workshop to learn more about saving water.
  • 29. Support education and water conservation events in your local area or even nationally.

Putting It Together

As you can see, there are countless ways to drop your level of water consumption, and many of them don’t take much time or effort. Making any change, whether cutting the length of your shower or only running the dishwasher when full, can make a difference. There’s no reason to worry about doing everything on this list. Implement the tips that make sense to you and your lifestyle. Even making one or two small changes is an improvement.

We provided 120 water conservation ideas here, but we are sure there are many more out there. Conserving water is essential for many reasons. It can help you save money on utilities, prevent greenhouse emissions used while treating water and can extend the life of your septic system. There’s no one answer for why to conserve water, just as there is no single answer for how to do it. Make the process your own and have fun with it!

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