In honor of 2010's 40th anniversary of Earth Day and the upcoming 41st anniversary of Earth Day, here is the second installment of 40 quick, easy, and effective ways to reduce waste, save energy, trees, and other resources, and help fight pollution and curb climate change:
- Take showers rather than baths. The EPA estimates that you use 70 gallons when you bathe in a full tub but only 10 to 25 gallons when you take a five-minute shower.
- Install low-flow (2.5 gallons per minute or less) showerheads to save both water and the energy used to heat it. The average household can save more than 2,300 gallons per year by installing showerheads that carry the WaterSense label.
- Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth and shave and you'll save as much as 3,000 gallons per year.
- Attach inexpensive low-flow aerators to the faucets in your kitchen and bathroom. The aerators won't affect your water pressure, but they'll mix air into the stream and cut water usage. Installing aerators that carry the WaterSense label can reduce your household's water use by more than 500 gallons a year.
- Wash only full loads in the laundry machine and dishwasher.
- Instead of letting the tap run until it gets cold each time you'd like a glass of water, keep a water pitcher in the fridge. Also, refill one water glass or reusable bottle throughout the day so there will be fewer to wash.
- Don't bother rinsing your dishes before you load them in the dishwasher; just scrape off the excess food. Tests by Consumer Reports showed that pre rinsing usually isn't necessary and by skipping it you can save 20 gallons per load.
- Use the water that's left over from washing or steaming vegetables, cooking pasta, or boiling eggs to water indoor plants once it cools.
- Water your lawn in the early morning or evening when it's cooler out, so less water will be lost to evaporation. If you let the grass grow a little taller than usual, you may be able to water it less often because the roots and soil will get more shade and will retain moisture.
- A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water every day. Find out if your toilet is leaking by placing a drop of food coloring in the tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. Check out these instructions on how to fix it.
Interested in the other 30 tips? Check out tips 1–10, 21–30, and 31–40!