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We’ve all heard of it — California is currently facing a major environmental crisis. Now, a drought might not look as shocking on TV as a hurricane, earthquake, or a tornado. But that doesn’t make its consequences any less lethal.
California’s farms, plantations, and vineyards — homes to some of the best fruit and vegetables in the country — are dying. Why? Because lakes which used to water acres of farmland have now all dried up. As water is getting more expensive every day, so is watering plants and feeding livestock. Many farmers are forced to close down their farms and sell off their livestock well under its real worth.
Water is becoming a precious resource, and we need to stop taking it for granted. Did you know that, on average, Californians spend 85 gallons of water every day? In fact, most of it is wasted in bathrooms and kitchens! Obviously, we all need to make some changes in our lives.
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With these easy tips, you can learn how to save gallons of water in the kitchen. All it takes is a little bit of thought and effort.
1. Rethink your cooking methods.
While you may be used to boiling your food in a huge pot of water, steaming is actually way more water and energy-efficient. Other methods, such as frying or roasting, may have even better results.
2. Use as few pots as possible.
One-pot dishes are the future of cooking. There’s no need to make a big mess every time we cook.
3. Wash the fruits and veggies in a bowl.
Washing your produce under running water is wasteful and unnecessary. Fill up a bowl of water and wash them that way instead.
4. Use alternative defrosting methods.
Although running hot water works great for defrosting your food, it literally wastes gallons of it each time. Try defrosting your food in a microwave, or in a fridge.
5. Don’t buy bottled water.
Bottled water is probably the single largest water wasting cause in the world. Buy a reusable water bottle.
6. Be careful while washing dishes.
Don’t leave the water running all the time when washing your dishes. Blast water when you need it and then turn it off when you don’t.
7. Reuse water you might have thrown away.
Keep some of the water you use for later. Soapy water might come in handy when mopping up if it’s not too dirty. Rinse your dishes in a bowl instead of under running water.
8. Use the smallest pots you can.
When cooking, our first instinct is to grab the largest pot we can find, which is totally unnecessary. Save water by using the smallest pot possible.
9. Recycling is key.
Water used for boiling is perfectly reusable for washing the dishes, boiling other foods, cooking rice, beans, etc.
10. Use your trash bin more than your sink.
Throw away leftover food from your dirty pots and plates in the trash before you start washing your dishes. You’ll save water and keep your sink from clogging up.
11. Don’t Let Water Run Freely In The Sink
Whether you’re washing your dishes, filling up pots, or getting a glass of water to drink, don’t leave the tap on. Every drop counts, and it shouldn’t be wasted.
12. Don’t use too much soap.
Using too much soap while washing your dishes just means you have to use more water to rinse the soap off. By using a smaller amount, you’ll save both on water and on your soap.
13. Avoid using paper towels.
Paper towels absorb too much water, and they’re bad for the environment, as well. Invest in reusable cloth towels.
14. Use leftover water for your plants.
After you’re done rinsing your fruits and veggies, you can use the clean water to water any plants you might have.
15. Peel vegetables instead of washing them.
If you want to skip rinsing altogether, use a vegetable peeler and prepare your fruits and veggies without washing them.
16. Mop immediately.
Most spills can be cleaned up with a dry rag right away. Be quick and clean up immediately after making a mess, it’ll be easier, and you’ll save water.
17. Take care of leaking pipes.
No matter if it’s only a drip — it’s wasted water. While hiring a plumber is both expensive and time-consuming, it needs to be done. The sooner you do it, the better.
18. Get a (new) dishwashing machine.
Counterintuitive as it may seem, washing your dishes in the machine requires less water than hand washing. If you don’t have one, consider getting it. If you have an older model, consider replacing it with a new one.
19. Go green when choosing your faucet.
Thankfully, low-pressure faucets are getting more and more popular. You can save up to 50% of your running water just by installing a new faucet.
20. Chill your water in the fridge.
Letting tap water flow in order to get to cold water should be a thing of the past. Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge and save yourself the trouble.
21. Don’t pre-rinse your dishes.
Scrape off what you can from the dishes right into the trash. If they’re really dirty, it’s better to leave them soaked. If you use a dishwasher, use the rinse-hold setting if possible.
22. Start composting.
A compost pot is a great way to stop wasting water, as well as trash. Also, it can make your garden thrive. Compost can hold water for a very long time, which means your plants will need less water.
23. Don’t use paper plates.
While paper plates seem like a great solution to stop wasting water in the kitchen, it takes more water to make one paper plate than it takes to wash your entire kitchen. The advice is the same as with the water bottles — simply stop using them.
24. Insulate your hot water pipes.
In addition to saving electricity, insulating hot water pipes means less time is needed for hot water to start flowing from your sink.
25. Keep the plug in your sink.
Don’t let the water run freely, plug your sink up and use it until it gets too dirty. When you’re done, let it go down the drain and fill up the sink again.
26. Use your dishwashing machine only when it’s full.
While a dishwashing machine uses less water than hand washing, it does so only when it’s full. Wait until you gather enough dishes to fill it all the way up before you use it.
27. Get a water aerator.
Getting a low-flow faucet might be expensive, but you can get a water aerator instead, and it’s only a couple of bucks. Screw it on the tip of your existing faucet. While it may not save as much water, it’s still a step forward.
28. Get an automatic faucet.
If money is not an issue and you’ve been looking into buying a low-flow faucet, consider an automatic faucet. It runs water only when the sensors detect your hands.
29. Don’t overfill the kettle.
If you’re making coffee or tea, put in the exact amount of water you’ll need, and not a drop more.
30. Don’t mess it up.
While you might be saving water in your kitchen, a bit of bleach down the drain might undo all of your good deeds. Dispose of your household chemicals safely, so you don’t contaminate the water.