It is the subject no one wants to bring up: bathroom habits. Not what you might think, we are talking about how you use energy and water in the bathroom! It turns out, what you do in the bathroom makes a huge difference not only on your water and energy consumption, but also on the size of your utility bills.
2 minutes in the bathroom twice a day:
We’ve all been caught leaving the water running while brushing our teeth, but besides that little guilty feeling, does that add up to much? It turns out that turning the faucet off while you brush those pearly whites saves 3-5 gallons per brush. For a family of four, that’s about $85 of water over the course of a year at the US average water cost, but if you live in drought stricken California, it could cost you a lot more, up to $200/year.
A simple tip: if no amount of threats will make your kids turn the water off while brushing their teeth: install a faucet aerator. This small piece of hardware hardly costs a dollar. You screw it onto the faucet and it cuts the flow of water by half, thus paying for itself in less than a week.
You groggily wake up, turn the shower on to warm up the water, brush your teeth, and try to figure out what you’re going to wear that day and before you know it: the water has been running for five minutes! This pre-shower habit is like throwing money down the drain. Old-school showers run about 5 gallons minute, though modern “low-flow” ones only use half as much water. The five-minute mind-lapse, if repeated daily, would cost you about $65/year with that old shower, half as much with the lower flow model.
A simple tip: Install a low flow showerhead and shorten the pre-shower habit by preparing what you are going to wear the night before.
Depending on the size of your toilet, each flush can use anywhere from 3.5 to 7 gallons of water. Now multiply that by the number of times you flush per day, per week, per month, per year, and you have gone through thousands of gallons on water without even giving it a second thought.
A simple tip: Besides flushing less, replacing your standard toilets with low flow options can reduce the amount of water your households consume dramatically. Low flow toilets use 1.6 gallons of water or less per flush. That takes the average toilet water usage from about 12,775 gallons per year down to only 2,920 – a huge reduction of over 75% worth $70/year … per toilet.