Being friendly to the environment and to your pocketbook can go hand-in-hand. Consider water usage. The average American uses 100 gallons of water each day, and the typical family spends as much as $500 a year for its water and sewer service. By using water more efficiently, a family not only can save about $170 a year but also reduce the energy needed to heat their household's water and to provide and treat public water supplies.
Here are some ways to conserve water and energy at home:
- Repair leaky toilets, faucets and appliances.
- Add an easy-to-install aerator to kitchen and bathroom faucets to restrict water flow.
- Take showers instead of baths and replace old showerheads with low-flow models.
- Turn off the faucet while brushing teeth or shaving.
- Keep drinking water in the refrigerator, so there's no need to let the faucet run until the water cools.
- Replace an old toilet with a low-flow model.
- Wash clothes in cold water.
- Instead of rinsing dirty dishes before loading them into the dishwasher, scrape them. Wash only a full load.
- Set the water heater's temperature as low as you find comfortable, but not less than 120 degrees.
- When purchasing products and services that use water, look for the WaterSense label. Replace old appliances with water- and energy-efficient models that have the Energy Star label.
Visit www.epa.gov/watersense for more information.