Try a Top-Loading Washing Machine
Did you know that front-loading machines are more energy efficient and use less water than those you load from the top? Remember that when it’s time to find a replacement and look for the Energy Star logo, which signifies an EPA-backed level of energy efficiency in appliances. Also look for information on the machine’s “water factor,” or how much water it uses per cycle. Six gallons or less is recommended. Most of the energy used by a top-loading machine (about 90 percent) goes to heat the water, so use cold water whenever possible.
Dishwashers and Delayed Runs
Run only full loads in the washing machine and the dishwasher to be the most energy-efficient and use less water. If your dishwasher has a delay feature, program it to run after midnight; you’ll be using electricity during off-peak hours, which helps the planet and saves you money by working during lower- rate hours.
Cut Out Bottled Water
Municipalities treat tap water, so it’s always safe to drink. Keep a water bottle on hand and forego the $2 it costs for bottled water. For the cost of two bottles, you can use more than 700 gallons of water at home. You’ll be helping cut down on the number of plastic water bottles that don’t get recycled, which is about 80 percent, and end up in the landfill. It is estimated that the manufacturing process of making one bottle of water takes three times the amount of water that goes into in a single water bottle.
What You Can Do
In Southern California, the Cadiz Water Project is working to develop a reliable, sustainable water supply. Here are some quick and easy ways you can help save water and become more energy efficient at home:
- Turn down the temperature: Most water heaters are set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Turning the setting down to 120 degrees can save you up to 10 percent in overall water heating costs.
- Cover your swimming pool: This helps prevent evaporation and refills and helps to keep it clean. A cleaner pool means you don’t have to run pumps and filters as much, which all saves energy and money.
- Shorter Showers: Cutting daily shower times by just one minute can save close to a thousand gallons of water each year. Installing a low-flow shower head can also cut water use up to 60 percent.
- Turn off Tap Water: Don’t leave the water running while brushing your teeth or doing the dishes. It’s incredibly wasteful. Fix dripping faucets quickly, as they can use as much as 140 gallons of water weekly.
Your conservation efforts help to reduce greenhouse gasses, which bear the biggest responsibility for climate change. Taking small steps like these toward being less wasteful can make a big impact and hopefully save you some “green” in your wallet too.