As I was perusing the City of West Palm Beach’s Office of Sustainability (because that’s what I do at 6am on Saturday mornings), I stumbled onto this list of things that everyone can do to save water.

Since water plays a big role in our West Palm Beach lifestyle, I thought it was appropriate to share! Enjoy.

In the bathroom:

  • Shorten your shower. A one or two minute reduction can save up to 700 gallons of water each month. If possible take a shallow bath instead of a shower for even greater water savings.
  • Replace your showerhead with low-flow showerheads or install flow restrictors.
  • Put trash in the wastebasket – don’t flush! Each time you flush a small bit of trash you waste up to five to seven gallons of water.
  • Check for leaks in your toilets. Drop a dye tablet in your toilet tank or add a few drops of food coloring and let stand for at least three hours. If the color begins to appear in the bowl without flushing, your toilet has a leak and could be wasting thousands of gallons of water each year. Repair those leaks!
  • When brushing your teeth, wet your toothbrush, then, turn off the water.
  • Rinse your razor in a partially filled sink instead of under a running tap.
  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks. Replace worn washers. Small drips from worn washers can waster 20 or more gallons a day. Large leaks can waste hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water.
  • Put a plastic bottle in your toilet. Fill the bottle with water and a small amount of pebbles (to weigh it down) and place it in your tank, away from operating mechanisms. Your plastic bottle works like a displacement bag.
  • While waiting for your bath water to get warm, place a bucket under the faucet to catch the cold water and then use it to water your plants.
  • Building or remodeling your home? Ensure only ultra-low flush (U.L.F.) toilets and faucets are installed.

In the kitchen and laundry:

  • Keep a bottle of water in the refrigerator for drinking. Don’t run the tap waiting for cold water.
  • Rinse vegetables in a pan of water – not under a running tap.
  • Use your dishwasher and washing machine for full loads only.
  • Never leave the water running if you wash dishes by hand. Fill one sink with soapy water and one with clear water. If you have only one sink use a dish rack and rinse with hot water.
  • Use the smallest amount of detergent possible when washing dishes by hand. This reduces the amount of water needed.
  • Check your kitchen/bath pipes and faucets for leaks and replace worn washers immediately.
  • Use the garbage disposal less and the garbage can more often. Better yet, compost!
  • Defrost frozen foods in the microwave or refrigerator, instead of under running water.

Outdoors:

  • Water your lawn in the early morning based upon current water restrictions when there is less evaporation.
  • Plant drought-resistant native trees and plants. There are many beautiful plants and trees that thrive on small amounts of water.
  • Don’t let your children play with the hose and sprinklers.
  • Place a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Mulch slows evaporation of moisture and discourages weed growth.
  • Don’t water your lawn on a windy day to prevent excessive evaporation.
  • Set lawn mower blades on notch higher since longer grass means less evaporation.
  • If you have a pool, use a pool cover to cut down on evaporation.
  • Don’t water the sidewalk. Adjust sprinklers so they miss the sidewalks, driveway, and street.
  • Water only when your lawn really needs it. If the grass springs back after you step on it, there is no need to water it.
  • Check for leaks in hoses, faucets, pipes and couplings. Outside leaks can waste just as much as those inside.
  • Sweep sidewalks and driveways. Don’t hose them down.
  • Wash your car with a pail of soapy water, not a running hose. Use the hose for rinsing only.

Learn more at the City of West Palm Beach’s Sustainability Office site.