It almost feels like the world is coming apart. California is headed back into a drought and South Africa is nearly out of drinking water. Having spent a few years working for a company that specializing in plumbing in Las Vegas, Nevada, I learned a few tricks to save water and electricity.
If you’re like most people today, you want to live the best quality life you possibly can, while at the same time leaving the smallest carbon print possible. But these two goals seem totally impossible to reconcile. If we are going to save our planet, and leave a world we would like our children and our loved ones to live in, then we need to make the little changes that matter. And as you will see, these changes will both improve quality of life and save the planet.
Here are 5 tips that will dramatically improve your plumbing’s eco-friendliness.
Check Your Pipes for Leaks
Regularly check your pipes for leaks, because even relatively minor leaks could translate to a good amount of money and water wasted over a long period of time.
Make sure your pipes are of the right size, and made of durable materials like steel and PEX, to minimize the chances of leaking.
Insulate Your Pipes
Installing pipe insulators around your pipes prevents heat loss, and minimizes energy and water wastage.
Because they are usually installed in the basement, pipes and water heaters can get frozen during winter—and this results in more time and energy required to heat water. And afterwards, the water can still lose its heat on its way to various points in the home.
Install Low Flow Features in Your Water Appliances
Low flow features will reduce water usage by reducing the amount of water flow when using appliances. These features are inexpensive, easy to install, and can be retrofitted to household appliances like showerheads and faucets to make them more efficient and eco-friendly.
Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances
An alternative to retrofitting low flow features, is investing in devices designed to be eco-friendly from the onset. These are getting more cost-friendly by the day and include many examples like the eco-friendly toilet which is designed to use only 1.28 gallons of water per flush; tankless water heaters which require less electricity and gas than their regular counterparts; flow-optimized water heads that reduce water flow; and energy-efficient washers that use 25% less energy and 40% less water to run.
Invest in Eco-Friendly Outdoor Plumbing
Water doesn’t get used only in the home; outdoor plumbing could be a source of water wastage if left unchecked. You want to come up with a watering system that allows you to keep your plants and flowers healthy without wasting water in the process.
A drip watering system is usually a great way to go, but other methods exist like fitting timers over hose bibs to allow you have greater control over the water used for watering; and also placing rain barrels to catch some of the runoff from your roof so you can use the water for gardening.