Water use can be direct – turning on a tap – and indirect – the water it takes to produce the goods and services you buy, use and consume every day. If you don't have water saving appliances or practice water saving habits in your bathroom, you could be using quite a bit of water every time you turn on the tap or flush the toilet.
Take our Water Footprint Calculator to find out how much water you use directly and indirectly each day. We offer lots of tips and advice for lowering your water use. Read on to learn how to save water in the bathroom.
At the Sink
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and shaving. When you consider how many minutes it takes to brush your teeth and shave, if you let the faucet run, you're letting a lot of water go down the drain.
- Install low-flow faucet aerators in your sinks - you'll save gallons of water each time you use the tap. Conventional faucets flow at around 5 gallons per minute, whereas low-flow faucets flow at 1.5 gallons per minute.
- Fix those leaky faucets. You may think that a constant drip is just annoying, but it’s also a huge waste of water (you can lose more than 20 gallons of water per day from a single drippy faucet!).
In the Shower
- Put a bucket in the shower while you're waiting for the water to warm up, and use the water you catch for watering plants or cleaning.
- Install a low-flow shower head. It may cost you some money up front, but your water conservation efforts will save you money down the road. Conventional shower heads flow at 5 gallons per minute or more, whereas low-flow showerheads typically flow at 2.5 gallons per minute (or less!).
- Spend less time in the shower. If you lose track of time in the shower, bring a radio into the bathroom and time yourself by how many songs play while you're in there. Try to get your shower time down to one song (or less).
- Showers generally use less water than baths. The average bath uses 40 to 50 gallons of water, whereas a 10-minute (or less) shower with a low-flow showerhead only uses 15 gallons.
- Get a low-flow toilet, or put a plastic bottle filled with water in your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used per flush. Older, conventional toilets can use 5 gallons per flush or more, whereas low-flow models use as little as 1.6 gallons per flush. When you consider that the average person flushes 5 times per day, the gallons can really add up.
- To check for a toilet leak, put dye or food coloring into the tank. If color appears in the bowl without flushing, there’s a leak that should be repaired.
- “If it’s yellow, let it mellow.” The saying may be cliche, but it’s good advice. If you're grossed out by the “yellow,” just put the toilet lid down.
- Don’t flush things down the toilet to dispose of them. Throw away tissues and other bathroom waste in the garbage can, which doesn’t require gallons of water.