Daily water usage in the typical single family home is 69.3 gallons, with showers accounting for 16.8 percent of the total. After washing machines and dishwashers, your shower is the third-largest water guzzler in your home.
By implementing a few simple changes, you can cut your bathroom water consumption significantly. For instance, installing low-flow showerheads or faucet aerators could help you save almost 8,000 gallons of water per year. If every American used just one less gallon of water per shower, the annual water savings would be more than Finland's domestic annual water use.
With some green thinking, you can reap big eco-savings in the following areas of your bathroom.
Low-flow showerheads, which use 2.5 gallons of water or less per minute, restrict the flow of water and create a high-velocity spray by forcing compressed air into the water stream. You'll average five fewer gallons of water than a typical bath and can save up to $145 a year in electricity costs. In fact, these fixtures may reduce your water use by 7,800 gallons per year. Turn off the water while you soap up in the shower and you'll save an additional 15 to 20 gallons per shower.
Your toilet is responsible for about 28 percent of your home's total water usage. In an effort to promote water conservation, Federal law mandates that all residential toilets manufactured after 1994 must use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf). As of 1997, commercial toilets were also required to reach this standard, and urinals were required to use no more than 1 gpf. However, older models are still very common in many residences and use between 3.5 to 7 gpf.
American households consume 47 percent of the water supplied by US utilities with the average home using about 90 gallons of water a day. Over the course of a year, that really adds up. Indeed, bathroom and kitchen faucets are responsible for more than 15 percent of indoor water use in US homes—that's more than 1.1 trillion gallons of water used annually. Using simple faucet, fixing leaks, and learning to turn the tap off when water isn't needed are just a few of the ways to green-up your sink.
Find more ways to green your bathroom:
- DrinkTap.org - American Waterworks Association: Water Use Statistics
- LJWorld.com - Want to save the Earth? Here are 10 ways to start
- Pacific Institute - The World's Water 2006-2007 Tables
- ENERGY STAR - Top 10 Tips for Renters
- Flex Your Power - Showerheads
- The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture - Water Usage
- Eartheasy - 25 Ways to Save Water at Home
- US Environmental Protection Agency - Water on Tap: What You Need to Know
- US Environmental Protection Agency - WaterSense: High-Efficiency Lavatory Faucet Specification Supporting Statement