Creative Ways to Save Water in Your Home & Yard

From giving up plastic straws to remembering our reusable shopping bags when we head to the store, it’s more important now than ever that we all do our part to support the fragile environment we share. Sometimes, doing the right thing comes with benefits for our own bottom line. Saving water around the home is a great way to simultaneously lend Earth a hand and reduce our own expenses.

If you participate in even just a few of these water saving habits on a day-to-day basis, you’ll be amazed at how much you save, and proud of the good you’re doing for our planet.

Avoid Hand-Washing Dishes

Although it's low tech, washing dishes by hand is a huge waste of water. When you can, opt for the dishwasher rather than running your faucet and scrubbing by hand. If you have to hand wash, fill your sink with soapy water and turn the faucet off to cut down on wasted water, then rinse your dishes when they're lined up together on a rack.

woman using dishwasher

Reposition Sprinklers

This summer, examine where your sprinklers are positioned. These devices should be watering plants and grass rather than spraying pointlessly onto surfaces such as your driveway. If you notice water falling in spots it’s not needed, adjust the positions of your sprinklers to conserve H2O.

Water Plants in the Morning

Watering the plants and grass in and around your yard in the morning is a great way to use less water than you’d need for the same areas later in the day. This is because the temperature and humidity in the morning typically make this a better time for a soak. Water evaporates faster later in the day, and some gardeners think wet plants can actually get injured in the hot sun (the theory is that drops of water might magnify the rays, causing burns).

Reuse Cooking Water

When you cook something in water, you can reuse this water afterwards rather than simply pouring it down the drain. Strain the food out over another pot, and save the water you cooked in. When it cools down, use it to water plants.

Bathe Your Pet Outside

Instead of giving your pet a tub in your bathroom, use the hose to do it outdoors. This makes the cleanse a dual-purpose activity—freshening up your pet while simultaneously watering your lawn.

a dog takes an outdoor shower

Shorten Your Showers

It’s tempting to stand under warm running water during your showers to relax and unwind, but this is a huge waste of water! Instead of staying in the shower and daydreaming, challenge yourself to be more efficient by using a noisy timer to reminding you to wrap it up. If you can keep your showers to five minutes or less, you'll reap a huge water savings.

Use Pool Covers

Even during the summer when your pool is open, place a temporary cover on it when it’s not in use to reduce the evaporation of water. This simple act can cut down the need to add new water by a whopping 30 to 50 percent.

Reuse Dehumidifier Water

Water collected within your dehumidifier shouldn’t be just poured down the drain. This is another place to source water for watering plants.

Go to the Car Wash

Instead of choosing to wash your car on your own in your driveway, take it to the car wash instead. Many car washes recycle water, which is hard to do with your garden hose.

Drink Out of the Same Cup

Most of us drink multiple glasses of water each day, but that doesn’t mean we need to use multiple cups. Instead of getting a new cup for each drink, reuse the same one all day to cut down on dishwashing.

Rinse Your Razor the Smart Way

While you’re shaving in front of the mirror, plug your sink and let it fill with a couple inches of water. Instead of rinsing your razor under running water, shake it back and forth in this standing water.

Opt for a Broom

You don’t need to clean your driveway, porch, or deck with a running hose. Instead, use a broom to sweep it clean of debris.

It’s easy to save water if you make a few simple changes to your day-to-day routines. Use these tips as a start to conserving water and helping the planet.