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Green Apartment: Water Usage

written by: Laura Jean Karr•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 2/6/2010

Sometimes going green in an apartment can prove to be a challenge. Here we are going to take a look at specific ways that you can conserve your water usage while making your apartment living as green as possible.

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    The average apartment dweller uses a lot water in the course of the day. Washing dishes by hand can waste up to 50 gallons of water. Running the dishwasher more than once a day can waste up to 20 gallons of water per use. Leaking toilets and other faucets can waste on average up 300 gallons of water per day. All in all, we are looking at wasting a total between 370 and 400 gallons of water daily per apartment. And when you stop to consider how many people live in apartments across the country that can add up to wasting enough gallons of water to keep a few small villages running through a couple of years.

    The question is, then: What can we do when living in an apartment to lower the overall water usage?

    If you have a dishwasher, then stop washing your dishes by hand. This one has been hard for me because I was raised that to have super clean dishes you needed to wash them all by hand in the hottest water that your hands can stand. So, when I would wash dishes not only was I wasting a large amount of water but in my usage of only hot water, I was wasting more power through the water heater than the power it would take to just run the dish washer. Now, though I only run the dish washer once a day and only when it is full. Sometimes, I do end up with some glasses or a pot soaking in the sink over night but it’s a small price to pay in saving water and lowering both our water and gas bill.

    In succession here are the main tips for conserving water while living in an apartment:

    1. Use the dishwasher if you have one and only use it once a day

    2. If you have to wash your dishes by hand, fill one side of the sink with hot soapy water and fill

    the other side with rinse water. Don’t leave the faucet running.

    3. Use a tub in the sink to hold water for rinsing veggies and such. Don’t run the water down the

    drain.

    4. Any left over water in the sink tub at the end of the day, use to water your plants.

    5. If you have a clothes washer, only wash clothes when you have a full load.

    6. Use one glass of water for brushing teeth instead of running the faucet. This can save 4 gallons

    of water per minute.

    7. Time your showers to five minuets. In doing so you can save 1,000 gallons of water a month.

    8. When taking a bath, don’t fill up your tub and then hop in. Only fill the tub have way. Many people fill up the tub and then hop in, causing overflow and the need to drain water.

    9. When your bath water gets cold, get out of the tub. Don’t run more hot water.

    10. Stop using your garbage disposal and start composting instead. This saves on water usage and gives you a great way to fertilize your house plants.

    11. Check your water meter and water bills to help you track your usage.

    12. If you have fish, use the old water after you have cleaned the tank to water your plants. Old fish tank water is a great fertilizer.

    13. Don’t use running water to thaw food, instead take it out the night before and place in the refrigerator for thawing.

    14. Turn you water faucet handles tight, this can stop constant dripping. Plus, it can save over 150 gallons of water in a week.

    So, if you are one of our mondern day apartment dwellers give the above suggestions a try and see how they work for you.

Green Apartment

Want to live green in an apartment? Read on for ideas on how to live green and save money while renting.
  1. Five Simple Ways to Live Green in an Apartment
  2. Green Apartment: Water Usage





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