Smart Ideas for Saving Money While Helping the Environment
Have you considered how you're using water in your home? There are plenty of ways to reduce your consumption of this precious resource, but it's also important to be mindful of how the wastewater that your home produces affect the environment through the contamination of rivers and springs. Make a few changes to conserve water and try a few DIY recipes to avoid contaminating local sources while also ridding your home of harmful chemicals.
Start your water conservation efforts by adding water aerators and low-flow shower heads to your home. These simple changes can cut your water consumption in half. You can also upgrade old appliances to better use this resource.
Aerators are part of a home water treatment system that helps the purification process and limit water use. The systems work by increasing the oxygen saturation of water, thus reducing your consumption and the amount of heat energy needed to warm up the water.
Low Flow Shower Heads
Low-flow showerheads limit the flow rate to use water more efficiently. Showers alone account for almost a quarter of individual water use, so this change can make a major impact on your home’s water conservation. Shower misters are another popular alternative to traditional shower heads that use a fraction of the amount of water of their now dated counterparts.
Other Appliances and Conservation Tips
Your refrigerator, washing machine, and dishwasher are three appliances that can use a significant amount of water if you aren’t careful. If you have old appliances, consider an upgrade. Look for ENERGY STAR systems — these can save you a significant amount of water and will eventually offset the cost of purchasing new appliances.
Low flow toilets can also massively reduce the amount of water you use. Look for high-efficiency models with a “Water Sense” label. This is given to efficient appliances that provide measurable water savings results.
Regardless of whether you can upgrade your appliances, re-evaluate your usage habits to reduce your consumption. For example, if your refrigerator has an ice maker, only keep it running when you need ice. An ice maker doesn’t need to run 24/7 for most people. You should also only use your washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load.
Avoid Contaminating the Water
Reducing water use is essential, but you also need to be aware of the chemicals you're pouring down the drain. Detergents and disinfectants can harm the environment when they run through your system and enter streams and rivers. In 2002, 69 percent of streams in the United States contained persistent detergent metabolites, and 66 percent contained disinfectants.
The problem of contaminating local water sources is due to people pouring conventional household cleaners down their drains. This is associated with numerous environmental consequences, such as the eutrophication of rivers and the contamination of groundwater.
You can avoid this by preparing your own DIY cleaners at home with natural ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, and lemon oil. These are affordable and easy to make, and you'll keep toxins out of the water while also ridding your indoor air of harmful aerosols. Mix these recipes in a spray bottle for affordable, natural alternatives for home cleaners:
Grout cleaner: Three parts baking soda with one part water.
All-purpose cleaner: Nine parts water with one part vinegar.
Dusting solution: 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 10 drops of lemon oil, and 2-3 drops of olive oil.
Though you’ll need to make an initial investment of time and money, you’ll greatly reduce your footprint and lower your monthly utility bills by making these changes.
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