We hear a lot about green living in today's society. But how many of us really take it to heart? We've been celebrating Earth Day for a long time, but most people's day to day living is still quite wasteful. Many supermarkets sell organic cotton totes or other eco friendly bags, but is this really enough? It is time to search for other ways to be green.
Living green is about much more than reusable shopping bags. Take home water consumption for instance. What can you do to make sure you use water efficiently in the kitchen?
Many people run water in their sink while washing dishes without thinking much about it. However, it is easy to use twice the amount of water needed to hand wash dishes if water use isn't carefully regulated. Essentially, your water should only run when you are rinsing dishes or filling up a bucket or sink for washing. Leaving the faucet running while actually scrubbing dishes is extremely wasteful! Instead, fill a sink with water, and then turn off the faucet. Wash all of your dishes in this water, then turn on the faucet, and rinse your dishes as quickly as possible.
There are upgrades that can make the process easier. You've no doubt seen the on-demand faucets in public restrooms? Many companies offer attractive kitchen models suitable for any style of home. These faucet fixtures turn on when movement is detected under the faucet, and turn off when movement stops. Install one of these in your home, and you will be amazed at its convenience and effectiveness. Not only does it save water, but it also makes hands free operation possible. This is especially useful when prepping for meals.
Another simple upgrade included in most newer faucets is a flow restrictor valve. This reduces the flow of water to roughly 3 gallons each minute. Many states require their use in all new homes. Older faucets can be upgraded with an aerator. The aerator infuses flowing water with oxygen, which creates a larger flow volume while reducing the actual flow of water. These valves are ideal for everything except filling a large pot or bucket with water. It might be prudent to have a second water faucet for fast filling.
Dishwasher use is another area that can improve your water efficiency. Studies have shown that modern water efficient dishwashers use about half the water of hand washing. This is because these appliances reuse much of the water throughout the various cycles and then use a small amount of fresh water to rinse the dishes. Of course, dishwashers aren't always efficient. Unless your model has load settings to indicate the size of the load, then it will always use the same amount of water. This means you should only run it when it is completely full of dishes.
Using these tips you can not only save water in your kitchen, but also keep water conservation hassle free. Next time you reach for one of your reusable organic cotton totes, try to think of a another way you can help save energy to keep our environment in tip-top condition.
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