Good Practices

  • Install water-saving devices: Aerators for kitchen and bath taps, flow regulators for shower heads and toilet tanks, and high-efficiency toilets to reduce the amount of water used in every flush.
  • Use automatic shutoff attachments on hoses, and don’t let the water run unnecessarily while washing the car or for other outdoor uses.
  • Use the most efficient settings for dishwashers and clothes washing machines. Full loads are often the most efficient. When it’s time to replace appliances, consider water efficiency in your choice.
  • Use nontoxic and biodegradable soaps and cleansers, or try environmentally friendly options: Baking soda provides abrasive nontoxic cleaning; vinegar’s acidity makes it a good cleaning option when mixed with water; borax is an effective laundry cleaning agent as well as abrasive.
  • Turn off the tap when not actively rinsing (toothbrush or razor as well as in the kitchen) or washing hands.
  • Think of practices and habits that might be changed to make a difference. Can showers be shorter? Sidewalk and driveway swept rather than hosed?
  • Electrical energy is needed to pump water from the well and send it to our homes and work places. Conserving energy and water is critical during electrical power shortages, and makes very good sense all of the time.
  • Activities that use significant amounts of water–both indoors and outdoors–can be timed to help manage periods of high demand for electricity.  
  • When it’s time to replace appliances, purchase more energy-efficient and water-efficient ones. Initial costs may take some time to be offset by water savings, but savings for electricity use are often very quick, rebates are sometimes offered, and there are often other features on the newer appliances that help compensate for the aggravation, expense, and use of resources involved with replacing the earlier model.
  • Household toxic wastes? Flushing or pouring toxic substances down the drain and into the sanitary sewer system isn’t a good practice for disposing of them. Toxic materials may end up in our water supply, or someone else’s.
  • How about that garbage disposal? Instead of grinding up food wastes and sending them into the sanitary sewer system, use them for making compost–or grind them up into pretty-near compost in the food processor or blender to speed things along.