This article contains affiliate links. Thank you to Scotts® EveryDrop™ for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own. Visit the Scotts® EveryDrop™ website to learn about more about their commitment to California’s water conservation efforts.
It’s no secret California experiencing the worst drought of our lifetime. As a lifelong Californian, I have been aware of our water shortage for years, and as a child I was taught several water conservation tips that are now simply habit. But, as a new homeowner, I have found there is a lot I didn’t know. This is my first time paying a water bill (it was always part of the apartment rent before), my first time owning a washing machine, and my first experience with keeping a lawn and garden alive. Holy smokes, it’s a lot! During the first year of getting to know our new house, we made a lot of landscaping mistakes. Now that we are entering Year Three (can you even believe it?!?), we are starting to learn the life cycle of our yard and how to keep it looking nice.
I’m proud to live in Burbank, a city that was forward-thinking about water conservation before it was even mandated by the state in mid-2015. In 2014, we were instructed to limit our lawn sprinklers to two days a week, for 15 minutes, in the summer, and one day a week for 15 minutes in the winter. Hand-watering landscape between the hours of 9am and 6pm was also prohibited. Our lawn had a tough time adjusting to the new restrictions last summer, but once winter came we discovered the brown grass we thought was dead was only dormant, and it bounced back once the heatwave temperatures subsided. We are hoping the same thing happens this year, even with the miserable late summer heatwave we are currently experiencing! We have just started using Scotts® EveryDrop™ on our lawn, and we are hoping that will make a big difference with our stubborn brown spots over the winter and into next summer.
If you are also a California resident, then you are already aware every drop of water is precious and hopefully you are doing your part to conserve water. If you’re looking to make an even greater impact on water conservation efforts, here is a list of helpful water-saving tips, perhaps some you haven’t even thought of!
Only order water at a restaurant if you are truly going to drink it. Restaurants in California are now restricted to only bringing water to guests who request it. But a lot of people still request it just out of habit, and don’t actually drink it!
Go to a professional car wash. Yeah, you heard me! Treat yo’ self! But seriously, some California cities have made it illegal to wash your car in your driveway. So when it’s time for a wash, take it to a car wash facility that uses recycled water.
Turn the faucet off while brushing your teeth. Seems like an easy one, right? This is one of those things I was taught growing up, but I’m surprised at how many people still do this. Sure, it’s only a minute or two every time, but twice a day can add up real quick.
Limit your bathing time. No one loves a good, long luxurious shower more than me. But unfortunately right now it’s just appropriate. I try to keep my showers to between 5-10 minutes, depending on if I’m washing my hair that day or not. Which leads me to another tip … you probably don’t need to wash your hair every day. In fact, it’s good for your hair to wash it every other day. In between washes, a good dry shampoo will help squash the oily, greasy feeling. You know your hair best, but if you are a daily washer, try to go a day or two without washing and see what happens. It will certainly help save water, and as a bonus it may be better for your hair!
Harvest excess water from the shower. Even with my shorter showers, I keep a large plastic container on the shower floor to collect some of the excess water. It’s not much, but I use it to water my orchid and tomato plant. Every drop counts!
Turn the shower off while shaving. I know, ladies … it gets cold. But it’s just for a minute, and you’ll save about 2 gallons each minute. So, worth it.
Install a water saving shower head. This is especially important if you have a shower that takes a long time to get hot. We actually have one installed in our back bathroom. The shower head turns off when it reaches a warm temperature, and when you’re ready to step in, you pull a little cord that starts the water again.
Put a plastic bottle in your toilet tank. If you have an older toilet (that uses more than 1.6 gallons per flush), you can reduce the water usage by putting a weighted down plastic bottle in the corner of your tank (out of the way of the moving parts). Read more about that here.
“If it’s yellow, let it mellow …” – I know, I WENT THERE. Gross. But listen … I work from home, it’s just me here during the day, and I drink a lot of water. I try to do the whole 8-glasses-a-day thing. So I go … a lot. And according to ConserveH2O.org, toilets are the biggest source of indoor water usage in the average household. So, if it’s not offensive, I’ll flush every other time. With the average flush using 2 gallons of water, that’s a substantial water savings every month. But, you know … this wouldn’t work for everyone. Do what’s best for you and your household.
Only use the washing machine with a full load. Most modern washing machines have smart sensors and will only use the amount of water that’s needed for the load. Still, for both water and power usage, it’s better to run full loads. Same with the dishwasher.
Add a shut-off spray nozzle to your outdoor hoses. This seems like another no-brainer! A spray nozzle is only about $15 and is a great investment. Don’t let that hose run while you’re re-positioning it!
Check your sprinklers for leaks or wayward sprays. Mr. BFT is really good about making sure our sprinklers don’t water the sidewalk. He also checks for leaks every morning after our sprinklers run. We have always caught leaks early enough to fix before water waste becomes a big problem.
Use Scotts® EveryDrop™ on your lawn and plants. Scotts® EveryDrop™ is a brand new product that helps you make the most of available water. EveryDrop™ is a unique blend of wetting agents designed to help move water into the soil, consistently and evenly. This helps to reduce wasteful runoff and pooling. Using EveryDrop™ can help you keep your lawn looking nice while reducing your water usage by 25%. We love our lawn (and if you follow me on Instagram you know that Vela loves it, too), so we don’t want to give it up, but we don’t want it to turn brown and ugly, either. Scotts® EveryDrop™ helps us make the most of the watering restrictions by making it easier for the water to spread out and absorb into the soil.
Scotts® EveryDrop™ is available at California retailers including Home Depot, Lowe’s and Orchard Hardware Supply. The product ranges from $9.99-$11.99 and comes in a 10 pound bag or 3 pound shaker jug.
What are your tips for water conservation?
Thank you again to Scotts® EveryDrop™ for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.