Water is essential for life, but it is also a precious and finite resource that we need to use wisely and sparingly. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American household uses about 300 gallons of water per day, and about 70% of that is used indoors. The kitchen is one of the places where we use a lot of water, whether it is for cooking, cleaning, or drinking. However, there are many ways we can reduce our water consumption in the kitchen and save money, energy, and the environment. Here are some tips and tricks for how to save water in the kitchen.
- Use a touchless kitchen faucet. A touchless kitchen faucet is a smart device that uses a sensor to turn on and off the water flow when you wave your hand or place a dish near it. This way, you can avoid wasting water by leaving the faucet running while you are doing other tasks, such as chopping vegetables or rinsing dishes. A touchless kitchen faucet can also help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria, as you do not need to touch the handle with your dirty hands. A touchless kitchen faucet can save up to 20% of water compared to a conventional faucet.
- Wash produce in a bowl or the sink. Instead of washing fruits and vegetables under a running tap, fill a bowl or the sink with enough water to cover them and use a vegetable brush to scrub them clean. This can save up to 10 gallons of water per day. You can also reuse the water to water your plants or flush the toilet.
- Defrost food in the refrigerator or microwave. Thawing frozen food by running cold water over it can waste up to 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Plan and defrost food in the refrigerator overnight, or use the microwave if you are in a hurry. This can also help prevent food-borne illnesses, as thawing food at room temperature or in warm water can promote bacterial growth.
- Cook with less water. Use smaller pots and pans and fill them with only the amount of water you need to cook your food. This can reduce water evaporation and save energy. You can also steam, roast, or bake your food instead of boiling or frying, as these methods use less water and preserve more nutrients. If you boil food, you can reuse the cooking water to make soups, stocks, sauces, or bread, or to water your plants after it cools down.
- Use a dishwasher. Contrary to popular belief, using a dishwasher can save more water than hand-washing dishes, as long as you run it only when it is full and use the shortest cycle possible. According to the EPA, an Energy Star-certified dishwasher can use as little as 3 gallons of water per load, while hand-washing dishes can use up to 27 gallons of water per load4. You can also skip rinsing your dishes before loading them, as most modern dishwashers can handle food scraps and grease. If you do not have a dishwasher or prefer to hand wash your dishes, fill two basins with soapy and clean water and use them to wash and rinse your dishes, instead of leaving the tap running.
- Fix leaks. A leaky faucet or pipe can waste a lot of water over time, as well as damage your plumbing system and increase your water bill. Check your faucets, pipes, and hoses regularly for any signs of leaks, such as drips, stains, or mold, and fix them as soon as possible. You can also install aerators on your faucets, which can reduce the water flow and prevent splashing and leaking.
- Drink tap water. Bottled water is not only expensive and wasteful but also less regulated and less safe than tap water in most cases. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), producing bottled water requires up to 2,000 times more energy than tap water, and generates up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year5. Moreover, bottled water is often just tap water that has been filtered or treated, and may contain contaminants and chemicals from the plastic bottles. To save water, money, and the environment, drink tap water instead of bottled water. You can use a water filter or a pitcher to improve the taste and quality of your tap water and use a reusable bottle or glass to drink from.
By following these tips and tricks, you can save water in the kitchen and make a positive impact on your wallet, your health, and the planet. Remember, every drop counts and small changes can make a big difference.