Earth Day is a great excuse to look for ways to conserve the planet's natural resources, including water. Your plumbing system is crucial for the health and sanitation of your family, but it can also send gallons of clean, fresh water down the drain. With droughts becoming an annual problem in many parts of North America, it's more important than ever to cut back on waste. Read on for some tips on how to reduce your home water consumption.

  • Fix that Leaky Faucet: If you've got a faucet that's drip, drip, dripping away, today's the day to put in a new seal or replace the fixture altogether. One little drip doesn't seem like much but over a year that's a lot of wasted water.
  • Go for Water-Efficient Fixtures: If you do replace the faucet, make the new model a low-flow version. You can also find low-flow shower heads and toilets to further reduce your consumption. Look for the “Water Sense” label so you know that you're getting the best in efficiency technology.
  • Spring for New Appliances: If you've got an outdated washing machine or dishwasher, you could be using a lot of excess water. Newer models have a variety of efficiency technologies that can cut down dramatically on water usage, not to mention save heating energy. Don't procrastinate any longer -- make the change today.
  • Scrape, Don't Rinse: Dishwashers use less water than washing by hand, but you lose some of the advantage if you rinse the dishes off in the sink first. Instead, scrape excess food into the garbage and leave the sink out of the operation entirely.
  • Implement Home Water Recycling: This is for the truly hardcore among you. There is a low-tech version of water recycling, which just means putting a bucket in the shower to catch extra water and then using it to flush the toilet or water the garden. You also have the option of installing a system that collects the used water from your shower, bathroom sink and washing machine, filters and treats it and sends it back to the toilet and outdoor hoses.
  • Save Water in Your Garden: If you live in a drought-stricken area, it's poor form to expend hundreds of gallons of hose water to keep the garden lush. Instead, try installing a rain barrel under your gutters to catch and reuse what precipitation does fall. You can also xeriscape the yard to minimize the amount of water your plants need to survive.
  • Enlist the Whole Family in the Effort: Your kids can be your biggest allies in conserving water if they know they are saving the planet at the same time. Encourage them to take shorter showers and turn off the water while brushing their teeth and washing the dishes. They can save gallons every day, which over time adds up in a big way.

If you need helping implementing any of these ideas or coming up with new ones, don't hesitate to call local Benjamin Franklin to come lend a helping hand. Happy Earth Day!

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