- No Plastic grocery bags. Mayo and I cringe at the number of grocery bags that are wasted every time we visit the store. Instead, we use two, sturdy, reusable, foldable bags for bringing in groceries.
- No Dishwasher. An average dishwasher consumes 6 gallons of water per load. A faucet on full flow runs 2 gallons (7.6 liters) of water per minute. We are a two person household, and an average day's load gets done in under ten minutes by hand washing.
Pro Tip 1: Make sure that all the food leftovers are disposed off, and the dishes are as clean as they can be (without washing) before they go in the sink.
Pro Tip 2: Wet and Scrub all the utensils with the faucet off. Once done, rinse everything under a steady stream by using the faucet at half capacity.
- Timing our showers and reducing shower time. Also, I've run a 'bath' exactly once in the last one year, and later felt guilty as hell. Never again.
- Investing in a shower head that emits less than 2.5 gallons per minute. If you live in a rented apartment, you can still change out the faucets and shower heads as long as you save the originals and replace them before you leave.
- Buy a bucket. I've grown up using one bucket of water for having a bath. If I had to wash my hair or was feeling particularly achy, I'd use two. You'd be surprised to learn how efficiently you can clean yourself with just 3 gallons of water. So if you're really committed to saving water, I'd recommend getting a bucket.
- Be mindful about the heat and switch it off if you're going to be out of the house for longer than 24 hours. However, switching it on and off daily is not ecological as the energy required to bring the entire house to an optimum temperature is more than what you'd save.
- Wash and dry cycles. I'm still exploring options here, as line drying isn't a viable option for heavy duty garments like denims or bedsheets.
- Handkerchiefs instead of paper tissues/napkins. Come allergy season, I can use up an entire box of kleenex in a day. Although its a little more inconvenient, I stick to cotton handkerchiefs.
When you are mindful about what and how much you consume, even a little effort goes a long way. :)