When you think of natural disasters, you may think of hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes… but what about droughts? Droughts are just as serious as other natural disaster and affect more people than you may realize. For example, a drought in 2012 left 81% of the United States in abnormally dry conditions. As the Earth continues to heat up, more and more people will be affected by droughts. What should you know if you find yourself in the midst of a dry season? Prepare yourself by following these tips to learn how to save water in these conditions:
Cut back on the amount of water you need to keep your plants alive by putting down a layer of mulch. The mulch will prevent water in the soil from evaporating, so you won’t need to turn on the sprinklers as often. This trick can be used on any type of plant, even potted plants or those that you keep inside your house.
Full loads only.
You can’t stop washing your dishes or doing laundry to save water during a drought, but you can make one change to make these chores more efficient. What is it? Only wash your clothes or dishes when you have a full load. Many dishwashers and clothes washers will use the same amount of water regardless of how big the load is, which means if you wash a load that is half full, you will be wasting a lot of water. To combat this problem, it’s recommended you wait to press “start” until you have a full load of clothes or dishes.
Install low flow fixtures.
Switch your showerheads and faucets in your bathroom and kitchen to low flow models to instantly start saving water. Low flow fixtures care designed to release a maximum of 2.5 gallons per minute, which will help you cut your water usage by between 25-60%. The best part? These fixtures retail for around $10-20, so you won’t have to break the bank in order to conserve water.
Stop these bad habits.
Pay close attention to how you get ready in the morning to see if you have any bad habits that could be a waste of water. For example, do you find yourself spending 10-20 minutes zoning out in the shower? Cut your showers in half during a drought to save water. Do you leave the faucet on as you brush your teeth? Turn it off until you’re ready to rinse. Do you rinse dishes by hand in the sink before putting them in the dishwasher? Pick one method or the other instead of doing both. The water wasted by these bad habits quickly adds up, so make an effort to use water more wisely in your daily routine.
Water in the morning.
It’s important to choose the right time of day to water your lawn if you want to save water. How does the time affect the amount of water you use? If you turn on the sprinklers in the middle of the day when temperatures are the highest, a lot of water will evaporate before your lawn absorbs it. Turn your sprinklers on in the morning when temperatures are cool, and you won’t need to use as much water than you would at other times of the day.
Remember, you don’t have to wait for a drought to start saving water. Implement some of these changes now and you will be able to conserve water while also saving money on utility bills!