Atlanta summers are well-known for being very hot and very humid. Along with protecting your family from the summer sun and hiding indoors with the air-conditioning turned up, you also have to remember to be conscious of the environment, especially your water consumption. The heat causes water to evaporate at hyper-speed, so we need to think about our water use and how to save water. And here’s the thing – saving water isn’t just good for the environment. It’s good for your bank account!
So, without further ado, here are our top tips for how to save water this summer – and how to lower your water bill.
1. Think about when you’re watering your lawn/plants.
Here’s the thing:
The sun is strongest in the middle of the day. Sunlight causes water to evaporate quickly. So, if you’re spraying water on your lawn at high noon, chances are your grass won’t be getting as much of that H2O as you were hoping. The water just disappears into the air so quickly, especially with the Atlanta sun.
The ideal time to water? The morning or the evening when the sun is a little weaker. Or, you could just not water your lawn. That’s the pro way to save money!
(Oh, and another tip – when you set up your sprinkler, make sure it’s actually angled at your lawn and plants and not the driveway. Concrete doesn’t need to be watered.)
2. Shower smarter.
Nothing feels better than a nice, refreshing shower in the summer. But there are a few things you can do to save water as part of your shower routine.
- Take a shorter shower. Shorter shower, less water.
- Turn off the water when you’re shampooing your hair or shaving.
- Get a big bucket and use it to collect the water as you wait for the shower to warm up. Then you can take this water and toss it on your plants to give them a drink. This is a super easy way to reuse water.
- If you want to save your soapy water, make sure you’re using an eco-friendly soap that’s safe for plants.
3. Check the toilets.
Your toilets could be wasting a lot of water if they’re broken. If the tank is leaking water into the toilet bowl, you’re practically flushing money down the drain.
Test your toilets for leakage by putting some food coloring into the tank. Wait a while. Then check and see if the water in the toilet bowl is the same color as the food coloring. If it is, you need to get your toilet fixed. It may be time to call in a professional.
(While you’re at it, you may as well go on the hunt for other leaks from pipes and faucets around the house. Get any leaks repaired – leaks can cause water damage to your home.)
4. Think about getting water-saving appliances.
There are a lot of new products nowadays that are designed to save water, and the other cool trick they do is save you money on your water bill. For example, showerheads, faucets, dishwashers, and washing machines can be switched for water-saving versions.
5. Don’t hand-wash your dishes or car.
So, here’s a surprising fact:
It actually takes less water to run your dishwasher than to wash all of your dishes by hand every day. The dishwasher exists for a reason. Just make sure to only run it when it’s completely full.
And it’s the same thing for your car. If you really must get your car washed (which, since we’re in Atlanta, might be a little silly in the summer with all the rain and pollen making it dirty two seconds after you get it washed anyways), go to a car wash instead of dragging out your hose, buckets, and sponges.
6. Get rain barrels to save the rain.
Collect rainwater by getting rain barrels. Set them up under your gutters and catch the rainwater that pours off your roof. Then you can take that water and use it to water plants or your lawn. May as well take advantage of the perfectly good – and perfectly free – water that falls from the sky!
7. Think about your drinking water.
Here’s a tip:
Instead of grabbing a glass and waiting for the tap water to get cold enough – and watching the water flow down the drain – fill up a pitcher of water from the tap and stick it in the fridge. It’ll be cold and ready to drink instantly, and you won’t have to waste water while you wait for the tap water to get cool.
Oh, and another thing. Rather than using disposable plastic water bottles, get a refillable bottle and use that instead. You’ll be saving energy and consuming less plastic. Consider getting a water filtration system so you don’t have to buy water bottles.
And since we’re on the topic of consuming less, be sure to recycle your paper. It takes a lot of water to make paper, so by recycling, you can help save water.
8. Wash your veggies in a bowl.
Summer is a great time to eat fruits and veggies. But, of course, these foods have to be rinsed before you eat them or cook them. Instead of running the water in your sink and rinsing all those carrots one by one, fill up a bowl and give your carrots a bath. It’s an easy way to get your veggies clean and save water at the same time.
Or, an alternative is to rinse the veggies and collect the water in a big bowl. Then you can use this water for your plants.
9. Wait to do your laundry.
A lot of our water consumption comes from doing laundry. If you wait to run the washer until you have a full load, you minimize the water you’re using to wash clothes.
10. Use native plants in your garden.
Plants native to the area where you live will actually need less water than a species or plant that is not. Plus, they require fewer chemicals and less attention to keep them alive.
We need to be especially conscious of saving water in the summer when it’s so hot outside. Try these simple tips to help the environment and conserve water. You’ll also be able to lower your water bill – a major plus! It’s quite easy to make a few quick changes around the house so you can do your part to save water.
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