If you're looking for an easy way to go green at home, consider installing low-flow fixtures. Low-flow fixtures – including toilets, faucets, shower heads, and more – help conserve water by reducing your usage by 30-50% often without sacrificing quality or power. According to the National Resources Defense Council, low-flow fixtures include toilets that provide 1.6 gallons per flush or less, faucets that provide 2.5 gallons per minute or less, and shower heads that provide 2.5 gallons per minute or less.
Because low-flow fixtures conserve water, they can result in lower utility bills. Here are a few tips on installing low-flow fixtures:
Choose wisely. There are many low-flow options on the market today, but some are better than others. Look for low-flow fixtures with the WaterSense label, as these are certified by a government-run program. They're even more efficient than standard low-flow fixtures, and many states offer rebates for purchasing these products.
Replace parts, not the whole. If you can't afford a brand-new low-flow toilet or faucet right now, you can still create an eco-friendly home. Simply replace certain parts of the toilet or faucet you have right now – for example, the flapper valve, fill valve, or the aerator. You can still save a substantial amount of money in utility costs without the upfront investment, since valves and aerators have a relatively low cost.
Convert your toilet. Along the same lines, if you don't want to replace your entire toilet, it's not too difficult to convert your toilet to dual-flush technology. Since these water-saving, two-button toilets use up to 70% less water thanks to a quick flush option for liquids and paper, they can save a family of four up to 15,000 gallons of water per year!
Know when to call in a professional. Call your local plumber if you're wanting to do a major toilet, tub spigot, or bidet upgrade. But if you're just looking to replace parts and you're handy with a few tools, installing the low-flow fixtures should be fairly simple.