Ever since I watched FLOW (a movie that literally changed everything I thought I knew about water) I’ve developed all these little OCD water habits in the the kitchen. Not that I wasted water before. I always tried to conserve, but I’d do little things like let the coffee pot run over as I filled it. Even tiny issues like this waste a whole lot of water and energy; causing the planet problems and costing you excess money.
For example, Water Sense notes that letting your faucet run for just five minutes uses about as much energy as letting a 60-watt light bulb run for 14 hours.
How much water is wasted? It’s estimated that most Americans use an average of 100 gallons of water each day which is enough to fill 1,600 drinking glasses. Typically new kitchen faucets are equipped with a 2.2 gallons per minute (gpm) aerator, which means as your water runs, 2.2 gallons of water flows out every minute. Your faucet aerator should have a little imprint on it that can tell you your flow rate. If you don’t have an aerator check the threads just inside the tip of the faucet which means you could be using an aerator (you need the threads to install an aerator). Head to the home improvement store and snag an aerator that restricts water flow to 1.5, 1.2 or 1.0 gpm.
Even then.. you should be OCD about water use. My biggest OCD act – as noted above it’s the coffee pot filling. After watching FLOW I became hyper aware that sometimes I’ll forget and let that coffee pot run right over. Now I’m so OCD about it, that I try to catch the faucet handle the second that water line fills to 10 cups (yeah I drink a lot of coffee).
Other OCD habits to develop:
- Watch out for overfill on all items. Do you let water overfill your ice cube trays or your pots for cooking? Don’t walk away to answer the phone and leave the faucet running.
- Don’t wash anything under running water – not produce or dishes. Fill a little tub, put your produce in there and scrub it with a brush. You can reuse the veggie wash water to water houseplants too. If you must hand wash dishes fill the sink don’t wash under running water.
- To get homemade popsicles out of the mold, place them in a glass of water rather than holding the mold under running water.
- Never run water for temperature’s sake. It’s faster and more efficient to heat water in a microwave or on the stove. As for cooling – keep drinking water in the fridge in a container vs. running it – or use ice cubes.
- Defrost food in the fridge, not under running water.
- Compost rather than running the disposal.
- Don’t run more water than necessary – it doesn’t take that much water to boil pasta, vegetables, or rice
If you get just a little OCD you can save scads of water. Plus it’s kind of fun. In my own little OCD way it’s a game to get the coffee pot filled just so. Yes I am easily amused – but hey, I’m saving water so…
Do you have any OCD green habits?