We're celebrating Earth Day with environmentally friendly tips all week.  So far we've looked at travel tips, and some general tips for around the house, in the yard, and at school.  Today, we make sense of water use/abuse.  The Earth might seem like it has abundant water, but in fact only one percent of all water on the planet is available for humans. Buy fixtures and products that are water efficient - you can use less water to get the same job done just as well. When you go shopping, look for the WaterSense label to find water efficient products. Check out these water use tips below, and check back each day for more great tips!

Also be sure to join us this Saturday at NewBo City Market for EcoFest! Learn more Earth friendly tips, while enjoying family fun activities, music, movies, art, and more.

  • Make it a full load!

    Run your dishwasher only when it's full. Don't pre-rinse dishes - tests show pre-rinsing doesn't improve dishwasher cleaning, and you'll save as much as 20 gallons of water per load. When you buy a new dishwasher, look for one that saves water. Water-efficient models use only about only about 4 gallons per wash.

    Thinkstock: George Doyle
  • Make it ANOTHER full load!

    The average washing machine uses 40.9 gallons of water per load. If you buy a new washer, shop for a high-efficiency washer that needs less than 28 gallons of water per load. To achieve even greater savings, wash only full loads of laundry or be sure to choose the appropriate load size on the washing machine.

    Thinkstock: JuFagundes
  • Shower power!

    A full bathtub requires about 70 gallons of water, but taking a five-minute shower saves water by using 10 to 25 gallons. Put a little timer or clock near your shower so you can see how fast you are. Save even more water, and money on your water bill, by installing a water-efficient showerhead, or ask your landlord to install one if you rent.

    Thinkstock: Hoby Finn
  • Don't be a drip - fix that leak!

    Leaky faucets can waste thousands of gallons of water each year, like money down the drain. Repair or replace old or damaged fixtures. If you're not sure you have a leak, check the water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.

    Thinkstock: TanawatPontchour