Five ways to decrease your kitchen water use

Looking for ways to cut down your carbon footprint? Try reducing your water use in the kitchen.

Ensuring households have access to a clean water supply is an energy-intensive process, says the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and if we employ water-saving techniques in our daily routines, it will help save energy because less water will need to be treated and pumped to end users.

In the United States, the average family of four uses approximately 400 gallons of water per day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Plus, using less water keeps more money in your pocket—the EPA says the average family spends $1,100 per year in water costs. In case you were wondering, that’s approximately a month's rent for many city dwellers.

From the Green Home Guide experts to you, here are five ways you can lower your kitchen H2O use:

1) Tune up your kitchen sink faucet.

If your sink faucet is leaking, make sure to fix it right away. According to the EPA, more than 3,000 gallons per year of water can be lost from a leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second. 

Also, consider installing a faucet aerator, which is fairly inexpensive and helps limit the amount of water used by mixing it with air.

2) Compost your food, or use your garbage disposal only when necessary.

Garbage disposals are a quick way to trash food waste, but they require plenty of water to properly operate. Composting the food helps cut down on water use in your kitchen. Learn how you can create a composting station in your home.

3) Rinsing produce and defrosting food—there’s a better way to do it.

While prepping for a meal, use a large bowl of water to peel and clean your vegetables instead of running them under water. For frozen foods, use your microwave or refrigerator to thaw them.

4) Do your dishes more efficiently.

Did you know that dishwashers use less water than washing your dishes by hand? The NRDC says that hand-washing your dishes uses more than 25 gallons of water per load, compared to as little as three gallons with an Energy Star-rated dishwasher. (Make sure that you also only use the dishwasher when it’s fully loaded.) But if you prefer washing dishes by hand, fill a small tub with as little water as possible.

5) Keep a designated water pitcher or bowl on your kitchen counter.

If you’re waiting for the water to change temperature, don't let it go to waste—collect the excess water in a water pitcher or bowl that you can use to water any houseplants or the garden.


Learn about water-saving toilet options