Go Green With Eco-Friendly Plumbing Practices Go Green With Eco-Friendly Plumbing Practices

Going green with plumbing practices is not difficult to do.  There are a few simple things that we can do to improve our pocketbook and standard of living. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American household spends as much as $500 per year on its water and sewer bill. With implementation of a few eco-friendly changes to use water more efficiently, consumers can save about $170 per year.

Eco-Friendly Toilets Reduce Water Consumption

In the home, consumers can reduce water consumption with low gallon per flush (GPF) toilets, or newer green technology dual-flush toilets. Toilets with a 1.28-gallon water-efficient flush use 20 percent less water than a 1.6 GPF toilet and use 60 percent less water than a 3.5 GPF model. Dual-flush toilets have buttons or levers that allow the user to choose either a long or a short flush. Pressure-assisted toilets utilize compressed air to push water from tank to bowl. Both types of toilets use less water than traditional gravity-fed models. Cost for dual-flush toilets is about $250 each, while pressure-assisted toilets can range from $200 to $1,000. The newer toilet systems are not expensive and can be found at local home stores.

Upgrade to Water-Efficient Fixtures

An average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water every day. Faucets account for more than 15 percent of all indoor water usage. WaterSense-labeled products help reduce a sink’s flow rate by 30 percent and do not compromise performance. The EPA estimates that if every U.S. household installed water-efficient aerators on faucets it could save more than 60 billion gallons of water a year. Aerators cost only a few dollars and can be found at local home stores.

Water-efficient plumbing fixtures that incorporate the go green concept include restrictors on faucets, using low-flow and adjustable-stream showerheads. Showering, for example, accounts for about 17 percent of residential indoor water usage, or more than 1.2-trillion gallons per day. Easy-to-install showerheads use 1.6 gallons of water per minute, or 36 percent less water than more inefficient models. Also, downsizing tubs and buying more water-efficient models helps contribute to eco-friendly living.

Buy Water-Efficient Appliances

Go green with water-efficient and EnergyStar appliances when it comes time to replace older and less water-efficient models. These include washers, dishwashers, hot water heaters on demand or tankless water heaters, and refrigerators. Energy star appliances both provide cost savings to the consumer and also produce less emissions that are harmful to the environment.

Go Green Outside

Use of eco-friendly plumbing practices can be extended to the outdoors. Use drip irrigation for plants and shrubs to cut water usage by up to 70 percent. There are also weather- or sensor-based irrigation control technologies. These systems use advanced irrigation controllers to allow irrigation to more closely match plants’ water requirements.

Consumers should water plants deeply but infrequently, as plants do better if the soil is allowed to dry out between waterings. For homes with large number of plantings, this could amount to a savings of 750 to 1,500 gallons of water each month.

As technology develops, look for alternative energy sources to help with "go green eco-friendly efforts."  Plumbing needs; both inside and outside the home can benefit greatly.

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