Go green in your bathroom with plumbing
If you’re dedicated to going green, one of the best places to start is your own bathroom.
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average household spends more than $700 annually on water and sewer bills. To reduce your water bill, by as much as $200 annually, there are some simple changes you can make.
By reducing your water usage, you also can reduce your environmental footprint. A recent Government Accounting Office report has predicted that 36 states will face water shortages by the year 2013. Some communities already have water-rationing programs in place to help stem the severity of drought.
Green Plumbers USA, a trade group that offers water conservation training and accreditation to plumbers, offers the following advice for improving your home's water conservation:
- Turning down the spigot on water use also reduces natural gas and electricity consumption. The EPA reports one-third of the average household electric bill is spent on heating water.
- Turn off water when brushing your teeth or shaving.
- If you shorten your shower by a couple of minutes a day, you can save up to five gallons of water each day.
- Fixing leaky faucets can save as much as 20 gallons a day.
- Wash only full loads of dishes and laundry.
- Replace toilets with dual-flush models.
- Replace appliances with Energy Star models.
- Replace shower heads with water-saving models, and faucets with low-flow faucet aerators.
- If you must water your lawn, do it before 8 a.m. This minimizes evaporation.
- Check your sprinkler heads for leaks.
- Set up a rainwater barrel to collect water, and use it to water your yard and flowerbeds.
- Landscape with native trees, flowers and plants. They will require less watering than exotics and non-native greenery.
- Don’t run warm water to defrost food. Instead, fill a bowl with water and let the item soak.
Small changes and modest investments in green plumbing also can add up to a big energy savings for you and your surrounding community. Furthermore, you can receive rebates on energy-efficient products and save money in the long run.
Similar to its Energy Star program, the EPA operates a WaterSense program. As with Energy Star appliances, manufacturers can earn a WaterSense label on their products, allowing consumers to recognize items that will help them reduce their water consumption.
The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials reports that sustainable plumbing products are only about 2 percent more expensive compared to their non-green counterparts. Many states offer rebates for residential water conservation projects.
Check with your Boston plumber to ensure your home is using water as efficiently as possible and that you're saving the most money on your water bill.