How to Reduce Water Waste: 15 Great Ideas to Save Water Easily

Reducing water waste doesn't have to be as painful as you think. Here are more than a dozen simple ways to consider about how to save water.

Looking for ways to save water? Reducing water waste doesn’t have to be as painful as you think.

Here, we share more than a dozen simple ways to save water. But first, let’s take a brief look at why water conservation is so important.

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Why Is Reducing Water Waste Important?

If you’ve made it here, you’re likely looking for ways to decrease your water consumption and help the planet.

The truth is saving water has endless personal and global benefits. From helping local wildlife populations to lowering energy costs, learning how to save water is something, we can all do.

Here are three reasons you should implement water-saving methods into your daily routine:

Saving Water Reduces Energy Demand and Air Pollution

Water and wastewater treatments are part of city plans and procedures. After all, we need water to shower, cook, clean, go to the bathroom, sterilize medical instruments, etc.

These systems all require energy output to keep them running. So, that means taking steps to save water can actually reduce the overall energy demand and decrease air pollution.

Conserving Water Protects Natural Bodies of Water

The water we use in our homes has to come from somewhere. Whether it’s pumped from a reservoir or funneled in from a river, lake, or ocean, reducing water waste can help preserve these bodies of water.

Water Conservation Saves Money

We get it. You’re on a budget! Learning how to reduce water waste can actually save you money along the way because you won’t be paying for extra gallons of water you don’t need.

We’ll cover more on this in the next section, but your wallet will be thanking you if you follow these tips!

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15 Ways to Save Water

Now that you have a better understanding of why saving water is so beneficial, let’s turn to those tips we promised for easy and pain-free ways to do so:

1. Avoid Bottled Water

Yes, bottled water is convenient. But it doesn’t do you or the planet any favors.

Not only does the packaging process require a lot of energy output, but the plastic itself can end up in natural bodies of water if not recycled properly.

Just say “no” to bottled water and find reusable water bottles or cups you love instead. Most campuses, gyms, and even modern offices have water bottle refill stations that make it easier than ever to save water — and plastic!

2. Use Soaps, Not Gels

When it comes time to lather up in the shower, choose some good old-fashioned soap instead of gels. While soap products likely contain fewer toxic chemicals than gels, they are also easier to rinse off, thereby conserving water consumption in the process.

3. Take Showers, Not Baths

We love a good soak in the tub every now and then, but taking shorter showers instead of long baths can also help save water.

The average bathtub can hold anywhere from 30-45 gallons of water. That’s a lot! So, taking frequent baths can waste a significant amount of water.

Taking a 10-minute shower, on the other hand, uses about 20 gallons of water, or two gallons per minute. And if you can shorten your shower time to just five minutes, you cut those 20 gallons in half again.

That’s a huge saving in water usage, especially when you factor in how many times you shower a week.

In addition, another way you can save water while showering is to turn the water off while you’re lathering up and then turn it back on when rinsing. You’ll only be chilly for a second, and you’ll save even more water in the process.

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4. Don’t Let the Water Run While Shaving or Brushing Your Teeth

The same on-off technique applies when it comes to shaving or brushing your teeth. Don’t let the water simply run while you’re performing these daily hygiene tasks.

5. Compost What You Can and Run the Garbage Disposal Sparingly

Composting breaks down organic material, like food scraps or lawn trimmings, into nutrient-rich soil. What does this have to do with how to save water? A lot, actually.

When you compost everything you can and use your garbage disposal sparingly, you avoid running water unnecessarily. You’re also reducing methane gas emissions into the environment. (More on that another day.)

6. Use Extra Noodle Water Around the House

Pasta can be a cheap and easy meal! But don’t dump your water from boiling noodles down the drain.

Instead, water plants around the house with this water waste. The starchiness can actually help them grow.

Related Read: How Does Pollution Affect the Environment? Air, Water, Waste & More

7. Don’t Defrost Using Running Water

While you can defrost meat by running it under cold water, it takes a lot of time to do so. The best and most earth-friendly way to thaw meat is to put it in the refrigerator overnight.

Try to get into this habit whenever you can. You can even set a reminder on your phone if you have tomorrow’s meal plan ready to go. You’ll save gallons of water in the process.

8. Sweep Your Sidewalks and Driveways Instead of Rinsing Them Off

This one is a little self-explanatory, but sweeping dirty sidewalks and driveways off can save a lot of water compared to rinsing them off with a hose or pressure washer.

You can still make your house look beautiful without literally dumping water down the drain.

9. Scrape Dirty Dishes Instead of Rinsing Them Off Before the Dishwasher

Nowadays, you don’t really need to do much plate rinsing before you put your dishes in the dishwater. However, if necessary, scrape any leftover food into your compost bin or trashcan instead of running water over your plates.

Related Read: Point Source Pollution & Nonpoint Source Pollution (Definition, Examples)

10. Use the Right Load Selection on Your Washing Machine

Most washing machines today have load-sensing technology to help you conserve water. But selecting the right setting on your machine is always a good idea.

For example, if you’re just washing a small load of regular darks, you don’t need to select heavily-soiled, extra rinse settings.

And if you’re handwashing items, don’t just let the water run. Fill a small sink with a few inches of water before scrubbing, and then squeeze your items out before any necessary rinsing.

11. Wash Cars with Buckets of Water

You may be sensing a theme here, but running water for extended periods of time can be wasteful. This is especially true when it comes to washing cars or other vehicles.

Thankfully, there’s a quick fix to this dilemma: prefill buckets with soap and water and use sponges and rags to clean them.

12. Control Hose Flow with Automatic Shut-off Valves

This tip goes hand-in-hand with our previous one, but installing automatic shut-off valves on hoses prevents them from running continuously while you’re working on something.

They’re super simple to add to any hose and don’t require any special skills to operate. Simply turn them in the same direction as your length of hose to have water flowing and turn them perpendicular to stop the spray.

Related Read: 5 Best Universities for Climate Action & Justice Around the World

13. Install Low-Flow Toilets

Simple swaps when you move into a new home can help a ton! Installing low-flow toilets can save water each time you go to the bathroom. When you add up how many times you go during the day, this can be a huge saving as well.

14. Raise your Lawnmower Cutting Height

If you have a lawn, raising your cutting height to 1.5 to 2 inches can help save water since it helps keep natural moisture in the soil beneath each blade. This means you won’t have to water as frequently, if ever.

15. Fix leaks quickly

10% of water waste is due to leaks around your home. If you notice a higher-than-usual water bill or any leaky faucets or spigots, try to identify and fix the problem immediately.

Some leaks can be quick fixes, while others may require a professional’s expertise. Either way, your wallet and the environment will thank you.

Related Read: How Does Acid Rain Affect The Environment? Here Are the Harmful Effects

How to Save Water: One Little Change at a Time

When it comes to how to reduce water waste, these 15 tips can help you make a difference, one simple choice at a time.

Whether it’s changing up how you wash your hair, your car, or your dishes, or making a conscious effort to bring a reusable water bottle or keep the grass a little taller, there are ways to save water each step of the way.

Also, remember that water conservation is more than just not using as much water. It’s about keeping toxic chemicals out of bodies of water, preventing plastics from leeching into our water resources, and making water conservation a part of your overall lifestyle.

For more ways to positively impact the environment and reach your full potential personally and professionally, check out the rest of the Goodwall blog. Here, you’ll discover even more tips for reducing food waste and finding ways to sustainably travel.

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Goodwall Team
Written By Goodwall Team
This article was written by the Goodwall team or by a contributor for publication on Goodwall. Goodwall is dedicated to helping students, entrepreneurs, and young professionals reach their full potential. We'll share thought-provoking and supportive articles on career advice, self-improvement, navigating the college landscape, climate action, social impact, and more. On the business side, we'll talk about SMB subjects related to community, diversity, talent acquisition, case studies, and enterprise.

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