California is in a serious drought right now, which some are saying could be the worst in history. We can debate the role of climate change until we’re blue in the face–many states just keep getting drier. And while we can’t solve this problem overnight, we can easily take control of our household water usage–saving money wherever you live. These four water saving gadgets can help you conserve where you didn’t even know you were wasting! While we can’t solve the drought overnight, these four water saving gadgets can help you conserve where you probably didn’t even know you were wasting! SHOWER SAVE
If your showerhead went in before 1992, it can pump as much as eight gallons of water per minute. A low-flow showerhead can cut consumption by 75% to about two gallons per minute. Add a pause valve–which lets you stagger water usage by taking a “navy shower” in which you turn off the tap while you lather up–and you can make a serious dent in the 10 gallons of water used during a typical shower. At Climate Store, I found a pause-function showerhead that cuts usage to 1.5 gallons per minute, for only $15.99.
During the last “worst drought in history,” which took place in the 1970s, a toilet could waste as much as eight gallons per flush. Today, it’s about 1.5 gallons, and is flushed about five times per day. If you rent–or can’t afford to switch out an older model–drop a Toilet Tummy ($2.99) into the tank. After filling the bag with water, the adjustable device floats, reducing the amount of water per flush.
WASH WITHOUT POWER
No electricity? No problem. Use a little elbow grease and a LaundryPOD ($99.99) to get clothes clean. It needs only five gallons of water–that’s 20-25% of what’s needed for a regular washing machine. And you can take it with you–on a boat, camping trip, or in a small apartment.
CATCH THE RAIN
When we do get rain in California again, I’m planning on catching it in a rain barrel. This one from Good Ideas ($139.99) is made of BPA-free, 100% recycled (and recyclable) resin and has a 40 gallon capacity. According to the EPA, if we all used rain barrels we could use 15% less water. Sign me up!