The New Year is a great time for re-evaluating your home water usage as the garden and outside water use is quiet and you can focus on inside home water savings! The United States Environmental Protection Agency has a symbol, namely Water Sense that they recommend to point consumers to products that use little water. New appliances typically are more miserly in their water use but be sure to check as some new washing machines are huge and may not weigh the laundry and scale back on water flowing into the tub. Look for the Water Sense symbol whenever you buy a water-using appliance.
If you are considering investing in a dual flush toilet, I can recommend the American Standard Boulevard. The name is hilarious but this slick throne model comes highly recommended. What appeals to me is the full 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) for the excrement and the wee 1.1 gpf for the pee. Any plumber who has had to unclog other dual flush toilets for lack of water flow will complain that the manufacturers have done little to improve the flow in the dual flush toilets. After interviewing three different plumbers and consulting my local plumbing fixture store, I decided to install the Boulevard in my master bathroom. It works great like it should for the high price tag but it has not clogged in two years. And I figure I have saved roughly $150 in water costs for my purchase.
Besides buying Water Sense approved appliances and installing dual flush toilets, you can just change your behavior in the kitchen, laundry and bathroom to save lots of water. In the kitchen, only use the dishwasher when it is full and if hand-washing dishes, be sure to fill the sink, wash the dishes with minimal soap and water and rinse before the soap dries. If you have a garbage disposal, use it sparingly or better yet, compost your vegetable waste. For the laundry, first make sure your clothes are truly dirty and need washing. Then only run full loads and try to minimize your number of loads per week. My laundry goal for 2019 is four loads per week: one for towels, one for sheets, and two for clothes. If you are going to try to minimize your laundry water use, it helps to have a lot of clothes. For showering, simply rinse, then shut off the water, soap up, turn the water back on and rinse again. You could end up with a two-gallon shower if you are careful. In the bathroom, simply use the old hippie adage. “If it is brown, flush it down. If it is yellow, let it mellow.”
I wish everyone a happy New Year and whatever your resolutions may be, good luck!