Take these simple steps and you’re making an impact. But keep in mind, depending on where you live and which season you’re in, a lot of your water waste is happening outside. Read on for yard and gardening tips that will help you save even more!
Once you’ve implemented water conservation strategies indoors, it’s time to head out to your yard. The truth is, depending on where you live and what season you’re in, outdoor water usage can easily account for 50% or more of your water waste every year. Here are some simple water conservation steps that you can take to put a dent in the water you waste in your yard or garden every year.
- Use an inexpensive hose timer when you water to help curb over watering
- Use soaker hoses in gardens and flower beds to reduce water lost to evaporation and wind. If you have an irrigation system, replace traditional showerheads and misters with drip irrigation wherever landscaping permits.
- Xeriscape! Choosing landscaping designs and planting native plants that are naturally adapted to your climate can reduce your outdoor watering needs to practically zero. We know that lush green lawns are as popular in Phoenix and Denver as they are in Kentucky, but Cactus and mountain wildflowers make a lot more sense in those arid and semi-arid climates from a water conservation perspective.
- Install rainwater collection barrels, or greywater reclamation systems, for watering lawns and gardens.
- Mulch trees and plants, and don’t bag your grass clippings when you mow the lawn. Both strategies trap moisture near the ground so that it soaks into the soil and waters your trees, plants, and lawn rather than evaporating away.
- Use a broom or blower to clean your driveway and sidewalks rather than spraying them clean, and don’t run the hose when you wash your car.
- As much as 50% of outdoor water waste is due to inefficient watering strategies. Water in the early morning, late evening, or at night to reduce evaporation, and never water when it’s windy.
- Be sure never to overwater. Watering a lawn for 20 minutes, 7 days a week is the equivalent of running your shower for 4 days straight, and taking 800 showers. To put that into perspective, that amount of water would supply a family of four with enough water for a year’s worth of showers.
- If you have a sprinkler system, have an expert come in and perform an efficiency audit on your system. Simple adjustments and modifications can make a huge difference. Improperly maintained irrigation systems can easily waste 30,000 gallons of water every year, and efficiency audits can easily reduce water usage by 15% to 20%.