8 Easy Ways to Conserve Water

The state of California is in a dire water emergency. Drought conditions mean that we all need to start thinking about ways that we can do our part to conserve water. Governor Jerry Brown has asked that everyone look for ways that we can reduce water usage by just 20%.

Here at Green Girl Maid Service, we aim to help the earth as much as we can. But we know how hard it is to make changes in your busy routine. That’s why we’ve put together this list of simple things you can do to do your part and conserve water.

1. Give your yard a makeover.

One of the most effective ways to save water is to make some serious changes in your yard and flower bed. Water agencies all over California are offering cash incentives to homeowners to replace their grass with other native options that require less water to maintain. Why not make a day of it and give your yard a makeover?

2. Soak pots and pans instead of leaving the water running.

Instead of scrubbing when dinner is over, soak your skillets, pots, pans, and even plates! When you go back later to do the dishes, you’ll be amazed by what an easy job it is, as well as by how little water is required. Less work for you, and less work for water. Win-win!

3. Mulch trees and plants to keep water from evaporating.

Mulch is an inexpensive and easy way to conserve water. It keeps water from evaporating during the heat of the day, and keeps the soil cool. The water you do use for your plants will go a lot further.

4. Let your water multi-task.

When you rinse your veggies, boil eggs, or boil pasta, don’t let the water go down the drain. Instead, let it pour into a pan or bowl and use it to water your plants.

5. Skip the serving dish.

When you serve dinner, skip the bowls, platters, and other serving dishes and serve from the cookware instead. Employ your kids, friends, and family to look for other ways you can reduce the number of dishes during each meal. You can even make it a contest and keep a tally each night at dinner to see how few dishes you can use.

6. Don’t waste that dropped ice!

If you drop ice on the floor, toss it in one of your plants instead of in the sink. They’ll be grateful for the drink and that’s a little less water you’ll have to use to water them later.

7. Using a dishwasher usually uses less water than washing by hand.

If you have a dishwasher, use it. Soak dishes beforehand (instead of scrubbing), then load. You’ll conserve water and make your life a little easier in the process.

8. Use a broom.

Use a broom to clean your deck or patio rather than using a hose, power washer, or water sprayer. You can get most everything clean, and if you need to, you can spot-clean with a sponge to get tough areas.

Use these tips, and you’ll be reducing your water usage by 20% in no time. That wasn’t so hard now, was it?

10 Simple Hacks for a Greener Home

1. Buy a reusable water bottle and water filter.

If you drink bottled water, there’s no better way to reduce plastic waste than by buying a reusable water bottle and a water filter. There are so many fun water bottle options these days that you’re sure to find one that you love.

2. Compost.

Composting prevents biodegradable waste from having to go in a landfill. Use it in your own garden if you have one, or share it with a neighbor!

3. Shop the thrift stores first.

If you’re in need of simple household items, such as an ironing board or clothing hangers, try swinging by the thrift store first. Chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for without having to buy more brand new items. Bonus: You’ll save a few dollars.

4. Install a smart thermostat.

Smart thermostats are becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. Not only do they make your home more energy efficient, but they can save your family tons of money by keeping your home at the optimal temperature only when you are home.

5. Swap one chemical cleaning product for the green version each month.

If you are currently using traditional chemical cleaning products, it can be a little overwhelming to think about throwing them all out and starting fresh with all new green products. Instead, simply mark your calendar for the same day each month. On that day, replace one chemical cleaning product with the green version. Do this every month until you’ve gotten rid of all the toxic cleaning products in your home.

6. Store reusable shopping bags in your back seat (or even better, your passenger seat) so you won’t forget them.

You’ll never remember your green shopping bags in the trunk. After grocery shopping, hang the bags on the door handle of your home so you remember to place them back in your car.

7. And speaking of cars…Ride a bike or take the bus to work one day a week.

You might think that a bike is expensive, but you can find one on Craigslist for the price of a couple of tanks of gas. If both forms of alternative transit are available to you, try both and see which you prefer.

8. Plant a small herb garden.

You may think you need a large backyard or garden in order to plant herbs, but you can do it with virtually no space. Try it indoors or on your balcony. If you’re like me and you habitually forget to water indoor plants, make sure you place them in visible spots, such as directly in front of your kitchen sink or at your desk right next to your computer.

9. When you buy fresh greens, chop them as soon as you get home.

Sure, vegetables don’t keep as long after they’ve been cut, but chopping them ASAP will make it easier for you to eat them instead of letting them get old in your refrigerator.

10. Take the green clean paperless challenge.

The next time you clean your home, make it your goal to use no paper products. If you find that you needed one or two, come up with a green alternative, like towels or sponges, and add it to your shopping list to pick up the next time you’re at the store.
What is your favorite green cleaning tip? Share with us in the comments!