Saving water is a major issue, whether you're an ecologically minded environmentalist conserving for the good of the planet, or your average Los Angeles resident concerned about how your water bill may go up during a drought. It's the little things that we rarely think about that make the biggest difference. Here are some tips--many beyond the city's requirements--to help you weather mandatory water conservation. If you get through all of them, you may even save money in the process.
- Do an inspection of all the water sources in your house and check for leaks. It may cost money to hire a plumber now but it will save money in the long run.
- Baths are lovely, and we can all relate to wanting to have Calgon take us away. However, if you can help it--especially during warmer months--take (quick) showers instead.
- The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power says that even a one or two minute reduction in your shower time can end up saving you up to 375 gallons of water per month.
- Use old water from your tea kettle and leftover bottled water to water your house plants.
- Think about investing in an energy-efficient dishwasher and/or washing machine.
- If you don't have an eco-friendly dishwasher, consider washing your dishes the Europeans way. Fill up a clean sink with hot water and a touch of dishwashing liquid, and let dishes soak in there. Dry off with minimal water in the other sink (or using a drying cloth).
- You may laugh, but if you're home alone consider the old two-flush rule.
- Don't wash your car with your hose on your driveway. The hottest thing in LA nowadays is the mobile waterless car wash (also known as the dry wash). Believe it or not, they're not half bad at detailing.
- If you have a swimming pool consider covering it to prevent water evaporation.
- When you are washing your face or brushing your teeth do not leave the water running. Plug the sink and fill it up halfway with water when washing your face.
- If you have an old water heater, consider investing in a new one. Often these antiquated heaters take forever to warm up, causing people to run (and waste) water waiting for it to get hot.
- If you have a sink or shower leak and you can't afford, or can't be bothered to get, a plumber, consider putting a bucket beneath the drip. Then use the collected water to water plants.
- If you are seriously interested in green living think about setting up a rainwater collection system. You'll certainly make Ed Begley and Al Gore proud.
We can all make it through LA's water crisis by staying conscious and sharing information. If you have any more tips that have worked for you, we would love to hear from you.