10 Ways to Save Water in the Bathroom
Water is abundant and ever flowing. It makes up most of you and me and covers 71% of the Earth’s surface. In fact, there are 326 million trillion gallons of water that call this planet home (for perspective, in cubic gallons that’s equivalent to 1364 death stars worth of water.)
Say you do save water, how much of a difference can you really make all on your own anyway? Quite a lot in fact, and if it’s not for the sake of our environment’s health, there’s always the financial incentive to becoming a conscientious water saver.
By far, the bathroom is where you can make the largest impact on your water use. According to the Water Research Foundation, over 50% of the average U.S. households water is used in the bathroom, with 24% used by the toilet, 20% by the shower, and 3% used by the bath.
The bath figure might be surprisingly low, but don’t forget that everyone mostly takes showers now; on a per use basis, the bath uses more than double what is used in a 5-minute shower (70 gal vs 10 to 25 gal.) Every drip down the drain counts, and by implementing all 10 of the following tips, you’ll be saving gallons upon gallons!
1. Low Flow Showerheads
This is exactly what it sounds like, a shower head that produces less water.
To be a low flow shower head, the flow rate can’t be more than 2.5 GPM. It doesn’t sound like much, but the low flow shower head has a perfect balance between flow rate and water pressure, meaning your showers feel just as nice without any waste. Think of it as a guarantee that you are getting a shower that is efficient and effective. My personal favorite is the Kingston Brass Vilbosch Shower Head, but be sure to browse all of our low flow shower heads.
2. Single song shower time
It’s important that we don’t forget to have fun while trying to save the planet. Racing to finish your shower before your favorite 5-minute song ends is a great way to gamify your shower goals. Depending on how hard you plan to dance in there, it might not be a bad idea to install a grab bar in there too.
3. Race your Steaming cup of coffee
If music doesn’t motivate you, maybe the punishment of a luke-warm cup of coffee will set you straight. Make your brew, run to the shower, sing and scrub. Is your coffee still warm? Congratulations! You’re a water savior! Is it cold? Drink your shame and try to do better tomorrow.
4. Turn off the shower while lathering
I used to leave the water on while I lathered. I would turn the shower head away from me and step away from its spray while I scrubbed down. How could I? Think of all the needless water I wasted! Now I take just as much time and energy to shut the water off. Don’t forget to rinse your pits though, for some reason that was a learning curve for me.
5. Use a shower bucket to save water
I’m going to assume everyone leaves the shower running while they wait for it to warm up. That water that is too cold for our sensitive bodies can still be used though! Bring a bucket with you and save those first drops from the drain for watering your plants and animals, or manually flushing your toilet.
6. Fix your leaky faucet
Talk about a no-brainer! We have covered this one in depth in our article “How to Troubleshoot a Leaky Kitchen Faucet”. A leaky faucet can waste as much as 2082 gallons over a year.
7. Turn off the water while shaving or brushing
If you subtract the time that you are brushing or shaving from the total time the faucet is on, all of sudden you are left with a fraction of your normal water use. If you do decide to leave the faucet on, turn away from the mirror; this way you don’t have to bear your own looks of disappointment.
8. Use an aerator
Aerators constrict the water flow of faucets while also increasing the water pressure and mixing air into the stream. This gives you an enhanced hand washing experience while simultaneously using less water! Browse our diverse selection of aerators and make sure you find the one that best matches your sink.
9. Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket
I saved the nasty for lasty. These next two tips will force you to face your inner demons, but just think of the gains! A quarter of the water used in a household is by the toilet, so this is where you can make the largest impact on your total water use. Instead of flushing used tissues, toss them in the wastebasket. Every toilet flush is 1.6 gallons down the drain.
10. If it’s yellow, let it mellow…
Doesn’t the headline say enough? Do I really have to delve into how beneficial a toilet bowl full of urine is? I think I should because out of all the tips here, this will make the biggest difference in your water use. Don’t be weird though, flush your poo. You’re not impressing anyone.