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16 Lesser Known Ways to Save Water

Want to save water? Waterless has ideas -- 16 of what it calls little-known ways to save water.

One of the biggest ways to save water is to install one of the company’s waterless urinals. Waterless No-Flush™ urinals resemble and easily replace conventional fixtures. Depending on what the fixture being replaced is, the no-flush urinal saves between 1,000 and 4,500 gallons of potable water per 1,500 flushes.

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Waterless urinals do not need flush valves and have no moving parts. Waterless says that urine is 95 percent liquid and that urinal cleaning is the same as it is with traditional flush urinals.

But Waterless has more water-saving suggestions, some of which Green Builder has already shared with you.

  1. Turn off the water while shaving saves as much as 10 gallons of water per shave.
  2. Store drinking water in the refrigerator. We use more water when we turn on the tap and let it run every time we are thirsty.
  3. Thaw food in the refrigerator or in a bowl of water. Do not use running water.
  4. Insulate pipes. Hot water gets hot sooner with insulated pipes and less water is wasted. Keeping a bucket handy to collect water that is not yet hot, allows it to be recycled as irrigation water.
  5. Typically, lawns only need to be watered every five to seven days in the summer; every 10 to 14 days in the winter. One heavy rain can eliminate watering for as long as two weeks. Of course, saying goodbye to grass in the desert is better.
  6. Raise the lawn mower blade by at least three inches; a lawn cut higher stays cooler and needs less irrigation.
  7. Avoid over fertilizing vegetation as it increases water needs. On the other hand, mulch helps soil retain water.
  8. If you have a newer dishwasher, reduce the number of wash/rinse cycles; in recent years manufacturers have added more rinse/wash cycles, usually one is enough. But check the owner’s manual to be sure. Modern dishwashers use significantly less water than older ones, as much as 2,000 gallons a year less. And some have water-saver cycles. Only run the dishwasher when it is full.
  9. Keep your water bill pinned to the refrigerator-a reminder that water costs money. Also check your meter between readings to make sure you are complying with water reduction restrictions.
  10. Used ice cubes are perfect for watering plants.
  11. Use the garbage disposal sparingly; we tend to waste water when using the disposal. And much of what is typically put down the disposer can be composted and used to mulch plants, a win, win.
  12. Each minute you can shorten your shower will save 900 gallons of water a year. Some people get wet, turn the water off, lather themselves and rinse to save even more water. A bucket in the shower captures excess water that can be used in the garden.
  13. Be careful of what you eat and where it comes from. Waterless suggests eating less meat/ more vegetables (see the Green Builder feature about how much water is in our food). To produce one pound of beef requires 1,799 gallons of water; one pound of pork takes 576 gallons. However, soybeans only require 216 gallons and corn only 108 gallons.
  14. Wash your car at a professional car wash; they use far less water than washing the car in the driveway and often recycle it.
  15. If you have a swimming pool, invest in quality pool covers (these prevent significant evaporation) and maintain pool water quality; this helps eliminate the need to empty and refill the pool  Read the Green Biulder feature about turning swimming pools into cisterns.)
  16. Don't throw old pet water down the drain: use it to irrigate plants.

"And try to do something every day to save water," says Klaus Reichardt, CEO at Waterless Co. "Once we get more 'water conscious' we find more and more ways to reduce consumption."

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Learn more about Waterless.