Money Saving Tips

20 handy tips to conserve water and save money this summer

It’s estimated that up to 50% of the water we use outdoors in the
summer is not needed to maintain a healthy landscape, according to New York
American Water.

Across the tri-state area, water suppliers have instituted conservation rate structures as a means to
encourage customers to adjust their consumption habits, and reduce water usage
for the sake of long-term environmental protection and clean drinking water.

You can
implement the small changes below to help conserve water and lower the cost of
your water bill:

1. Water use
calculator

This online
water calculator from Alliance for Water Efficiency allows you to input water
use information specific to your household and offers tips on where you can
save water and energy based on that data.

2. Plants

No need to water
every day. Instead, only water as needed. Depending on the weather or type of
plants/turf, you may find that you only need to water once or twice per week.

3. Lawn

Lawn watering
uses a lot of water. Water your lawn only when it needs it. An easy way to tell
if your lawn needs water is to simply walk across the grass. If you leave
footprints, your lawn may be thirsty! Generally, lawns only need an inch or so
of water per week during the summer months. Set your lawn mower one notch
higher to make your lawn more drought-tolerant.

4. Drip
irrigation

Use drip
irrigation hoses to water plants, and water in the early morning or evening.

5. Porous
pavement

Consider using
porous pavement (gravel is a good example) instead of asphalt for driveways and
walkways, the rain will soak into the soil instead of running off and
contributing to erosion.

6. Broom

Use a broom
instead of a hose to clean your sidewalk, driveway, or patio.

7. Local plants

Plant
appropriately for your local climate. Check with local nurseries for
non-invasive, drought-tolerant plants. Choose drought-resistant plants or
native plants. Plants native to the local conditions have the benefit of being
able to thrive within them. And, they often require less maintenance and water.

8. Control the
flow

Use a hose
nozzle on your hose to better control the flow you are using. Place hoses
carefully to avoid watering unnecessary areas like sidewalks.

9. Sprinklers

If you use a
sprinkler, check sprinkler heads to make sure they’re not watering paved or
unwanted areas. Be sure to turn them off when it rains.

10. Mulch

Mulch plant beds
to reduce weeds and preserve moisture. Over mulching can stress plants – only
two to three inches are needed.

11. Car wash

Use a bucket of
soapy water rather than leaving the hose running when washing your car or take
your car to a car wash that recycles the water.

12. Pets

Bathe pets
outdoors in areas that need water.

13. Showers

Install
water-saving showerheads and shorten your shower time to five minutes.

14. Washers

Run dishwashers
and clothes washers only when they are full. If you have a water-saver cycle,
use it. Adjust the water level of your clothes washer so it matches your load
size. If you wash dishes by hand, use two basins: one for washing and one for
rinsing. Don’t let the water run. Before washing dishes by hand or in the
dishwasher, scrape them; don’t rinse first.

15. Leaks

Regularly check
your toilet, faucets, and pipes for leaks. If you find a leak, have it fixed as
soon as possible. Check your water meter before and after a one-hour period
when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a
leak. Check water bills for any instances of high water use, as this may be an
indication of a leak.

16.
Water-efficient

Consider water and
energy-efficient appliances. Products and services that have earned the
WaterSense label have been certified to be at least 20% more efficient without
sacrificing performance. The USEPA reports that EPA-certified Energy Star
washing machines may use 35% less water per load. Water-saving showerheads,
toilets and faucet aerators can also help cut your water usage.

17. Insulation

Insulate exposed
water pipes with pre-slit foam insulation. You’ll enjoy hot water faster and
avoid wasting water while it heats up.

18. Turn it off

Turn off the
water while you are brushing your teeth.

19. Running the
tap

Keep a pitcher
of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap for a cold
glass.

20. Rinsing

Rinse vegetables
and fruit in a basin rather than under running water. Defrost frozen foods
without running water over the packages. Plan ahead and place frozen items in
the refrigerator overnight or defrost them in the microwave.