Kitchen Water Conservation
Here are a few tips to assist you in using less water in the kitchen.
Run your dishwasher only when it is full.
Use the most efficient setting on your diswasher and air dry instead of using the heat setting. Tests by the Consumers Union show that pre-rinsing dishes before you load the dishwasher is unnecessary and wastes up to 20 gallons of water per load. Automatic dishwashing detergents can contain phosphates that promote algae growth that threatens aquatic life, when released into local waterways. Many detergents also release chlorine into the dishwasher’s steam and indoor air. Look for detergents that do not contain these ingredients.
Minimize the use of kitchen sink disposals
Sink disposals require a lot of water to operate properly. Start a compost pile or worm bin as an alternate method of disposing of food waste.
Store drinking water in the refrigerator
rather than letting the tap run to get a cool drink of water. If you don’t like the taste of your tap water, purchase a filter pitcher or add a filter to your tap. You will save money over buying bottled water, and the energy used, and the pollution created to produce, ship, and dispose of all those plastic bottles.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, approximately 1.5 million barrels of oil-enough to run 100,000 cars for a whole year-are used to make plastic water bottles. Transporting these bottles burns thousands more gallons of oil. In addition, the burning of oil and other fossil fuels (which are also used to generate the energy that powers the manufacturing process) emits global warming pollution into the atmosphere. Only about 10% of water bottles are recycled, leaving the rest in landfills where it takes thousands of years for the plastic to decompose. Besides, tap water is actually held to more stringent standards than bottled water.
Control the aerator of your faucet
The screw-on tip of the faucet, called the aerator, ultimately determines the maximum flow rate of a faucet. Aerators are inexpensive to replace and they can be one of the most cost-effective water conservation measures.
For maximum efficiency purchase aerators that have flow rates of no more than 1.0 gallon per minute. When replacing an aerator, bring the one you’re replacing with you to the store to ensure a proper fit. You can find quality aerators at hardware stores and home centers for $10.00 -$20.00 a piece and achieve water savings of 25-60%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.