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Issue Date:  April 18, 2008

15 Doable Steps

Not everyone is aware of the growing pressures on the nation’s water supply, but everyone who pays for water could follow steps -- many suggested by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection -- to reduce consumption and your water bill.

In your bathroom

  • Take short showers and save 5-7 gallons a minute.
  • Fill the tub halfway and save 10-15 gallons.
  • Install water-saving toilets, showerheads and faucet aerators, if possible.
  • Fill a large plastic bottle with water and place it in your toilet tank if you can’t switch to a low-flow toilet.
  • Turn off water while shaving, washing hands or brushing teeth. Faucets use 2-3 gallons a minute.
  • Only flush the toilet when necessary.

In your kitchen or laundry

  • Run the dishwasher and washing machine only when full. Save by using the short cycle.
  • Install faucet aerators, if possible.
  • Turn off water while washing dishes. Faucets use 2-3 gallons a minute. Filling a basin takes only 10 gallons to wash and rinse.
  • Instead of running water to make it cold, keep a chilled supply in the refrigerator, ready to drink.
  • Reuse water used to wash vegetables for watering indoor plants or garden.

When outdoors

  • Use a self-closing nozzle on your hose.
  • Sweep your sidewalk or driveway clean instead of using water.
  • Buy a rain barrel and collect rainwater for watering grass, plants and vegetables and for reducing storm runoff.
  • Plant a garden, window box or share in a community garden where possible.

National Catholic Reporter, April 18, 2008

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