One of the outcomes of staying home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus is leaning on your home's utilities more than before. Fortunately, your tap water is clean and safe to use, including for handwashing, which is even more important these days.
Eating more meals at home likely means using more dishes. You're probably showering at home more often since you can’t use the shower at the gym. And, hopefully, you're washing your hands more often. All of this means you're most likely using more water than ever before.
Below are some tips provided in an article from CNET to help keep your water bill under control:
- Use your dishwasher often - Water-efficient dishwashers use about three gallons of water per load, while older models can use as much as 10 gallons per load. Your kitchen faucet probably dispenses about two gallons per minute. So, unless you're a dishwashing ninja (in which case, share your number please!), you'd probably save water by using just your dishwasher. Please note: It is best to run your dishwasher when it is full.
- Soak off gunky dishes - There are times when some things are stuck on your dishes and the dishwasher won't do the trick. In those cases, it’s best to plug your sink, run hot water over them and allow them to soak. And then go back to them when you're ready to rinse them thoroughly with soap and water.
- Scrape your scraps - In-sink disposals are an easy way to get rid of stuff, but you need to run your water to use them safely. Instead, try scraping your food scraps into the garbage. You save water and you don't have to keep track of which items can and can't be disposed of safely.
DrinkTap’s Water Conservation page, offers several tips, including:
- When cooking, peel and clean vegetables in a large bowl of water instead of under running water
- Only run the dishwasher when it’s full
- Take short showers instead of baths
- Turn off the water to brush teeth, shave and soap up in the shower. Fill the sink to shave.
- Run full loads of laundry
- When mowing your lawn, set the mower blades to 2-3 inches high. Longer grass shades the soil improving moisture retention, has more leaf surface to take in sunlight, allowing it to grow thicker and develop a deeper root system. This helps grass survive drought, tolerate insect damage and fend off disease.
- Collect rainfall for irrigation (if legal in your community) in a screened container (to prevent mosquito larvae growth).
- Always use a broom to clean walkways, driveways, decks and porches, rather than hosing off these areas.