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  • The Editorial Team

Reduce Your Water Footprint: 5 Easy Home Improvements

Do you know how much water you use daily? Your water footprint might surprise you. If you're still curious about water conservation after reading, The Alliance for the Great Lakes is a 'nonpartisan nonprofit working across the region to protect our most precious resource: the fresh, clean, and natural waters of the Great Lakes.' There are ways to get involved or if you'd like to support them you can donate on their website or attend their annual Great Blue Benefit which is next Thursday June 13th from 6-9 PM at the Columbia Yacht Club. 

Here are five home improvements and lifestyle changes that can help you save water, protect the environment, and reduce your utility bills.

1. Repair Leaks Promptly

Leaky faucets and pipes can waste up to 9,400 gallons of water annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is equivalent to over 300 loads of laundry. Regularly inspect and fix leaks, even minor ones, and watch for sudden spikes in your water bill, which can signal hidden leaks.

2. Install a Low-Flush Toilet

Modern low-flush toilets use up to 60% less water compared to older models. If replacing your toilet isn't feasible, try placing a water-filled plastic bottle in the tank for a quick DIY solution. Avoid using bricks, as they can break down and cause sediment buildup.

3. Plant a Drought-Resistant Garden

Consider replacing water-intensive lawns with drought-resistant plants like lavender, purple sage, and cacti. Nearly a third of the country's water is used on lawns, so switching to xeriscaping can significantly reduce water usage and the need for harmful herbicides.

4. Add Aerators to Faucets

Faucet aerators mix air into the water stream, reducing flow without affecting performance. This simple, cost-effective addition can save your household around 700 gallons of water each year.

5. Full Loads Only!

Always run your clothes washer and dishwasher with full loads. These appliances are more water-efficient when fully loaded, and your clothes and dishes will come out cleaner. Skip pre-rinsing dishes—scrape food into a compost bin or disposal instead.

With a little effort, you can make a big impact on your water usage. These home improvements not only conserve water but also provide long-term savings and environmental benefits. Start making changes today for a more sustainable and cost-effective home.


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