Water Conservation

With the ringing of your 8 AM alarm your day begins. Shuffle downstairs, start the pancakes and eggs, and of course that morning cup of coffee you can’t seem to function without. After breakfast, you head upstairs, and start the daily morning routine of showering and getting ready. First you take a shower; really letting the hot water hit your face, and maybe even extra cleansing and conditioning of your hair and body. Then you brush your teeth, accidentally letting the water run while you make sure to brush and re-brush those back teeth. Flush. While sitting at work staring at the computer screen, you feel that morning coffee start to hit you, and you head to the bathroom during your mid-morning work break. Flush. A few hours later, after your lunch of a tuna sandwich and chips, you wash your hands, and again use the bathroom. Flush. End of the day, after that long commute home? Flush. You make dinner; boiling the water in food preparation and then run the dishwasher to clean up. One by one you head upstairs to begin your daily bedtime routine: washing your face, brushing your teeth, and using the bathroom one last time before bed. Flush. Then you fall asleep only to do it all again the next day. 

Throughout our day, we rarely consider the water usage involved in our daily routines. Everyday human necessities such as washing clothes, bathing, and cooking can easily add up when we think about usage and efficiency. How much water did we truly use in that one day? Well, for that morning shower we used about 20-30 gallons, if it was an evening bath, 40 gallons. Brushing your teeth twice a day with the tap off uses .25 gallons, leaving the tap running turns into 3 gallons/minute. And flushing the toilet? Count it all up, and we used 65 gallons of water in just that one day, and that’s on the low side. Conserving water is an easy way to protect the environment, save energy and money. Although about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, less than 1% is available for human use. Water supplies are limited, and we can all help protect this precious resource. What can we do as consumers to be more environmentally conscious and efficient in the homes we use every day? The answer is in design.

While there are many different products available on the market, certain fixtures can be deemed a “WaterSense Product” if it meets certain criteria for water conservation and efficiency. As a partner with the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, the WaterSense program aims to protect the future of our world’s water supply, domestic and abroad. By making water-efficient products, they provide consumers with easy ways to conserve water, save on their monthly water bills, and protect the environment without compromising performance. Remember that 20-30 gallons of water we used for our morning shower? Upgrading to a WaterSense labeled shower-head, versus a regular faucet without the label and certification, could save a household 2,900 gallons per year. On a national scale, if every homeowner selected a WaterSense shower-head for their bathroom we could save more than $2.2 billion in water utility bills and more than 260 billion gallons of water annually. And that’s just for shower-heads!

When undergoing your next remodel, ask your design team about the different ways you can incorporate water conservation fixtures, and other energy efficient products into your space!

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