Saving Water in the Kitchen
When you think of where water is used in the home, the kitchen is probably one of the first places that comes to mind. Fifteen percent of the 260 gallons of water per day that a typical household consumes is used in the kitchen. Water boils on the stove, water runs in the sink and dishwasher, water solidifies into ice in the freezer. Water is used in many different ways. Unfortunately, we frequently waste large quantities of the water that we use. Saving water in the kitchen doesn’t have to mean living an austere lifestyle, though. Several easy methods are available to help reduce water waste.
The Kitchen Sink
What kind of faucet do you have? Low-flow faucet aerators are available to help reduce water waste. However, low-flow faucet aerators may not effectively wash dishes or fill pots for cooking. You may instead prefer a dual faucet. Additionally, check under the sink for leaks, another common source of water waste. Locating leaks and repairing them is another way of saving water in the kitchen.
Dishwashers are a major source of water waste in the kitchen. To minimize waste, only run the dishwasher when it is completely full. If you are thinking about remodeling, be on the lookout for a more efficient model. While selecting appliances, look for the EPA’s two different labels, Energy Star and Watersense. Consider that a traditional dishwasher uses twelve to fifteen gallons per cycle, not including pre-rinse. A newer machine designed for efficiency will use six to nine gallons per cycle. Eco-friendly dishwashers that steam clean are available, although a bit pricey. Saving water in the kitchen can also easily be accomplished by hand-washing dishes with a basin rinse, which uses only six gallons of water. Careful, though: hand-washing dishes with the faucet running consumes sixteen gallons of water!
Drinking fresh, clean water is one of the best things you can do for your body. For the sake of ready-to-drink water, how many times have you stood at your kitchen sink, running the tap with your finger in the water stream, waiting for it to turn cold? Instead, keep a pitcher of fresh water in the fridge at all times, ready for drinking. Filter pitchers help along this strategy.
If you find yourself in a situation that calls for extreme water-saving measures, such as a water shortage or a natural disaster that limits your access to fresh water, consider these measures for saving water in the kitchen.
- Don’t use water to cook meals. Make one-dish meals that don’t require boiling or steaming any ingredients.
- Use disposable dishes and flatware that can be thrown away and don’t need to be washed. Make sure they’re biodegradable, though, as you don’t want to contribute to another environmental problem, waste.
- Keep any gray water left from washing dishes and use it to flush the toilet or mop.