Which is greener, a commercial car wash or DIY? The answer: Go with the pros.
Commercial car washes require an average of about 45 gallons of water per car, whereas home washers typically use between 80 and 140 gallons, according to the trade group International Carwash Association. That's a big difference! Federal law requires commercial car washes to drain their wastewater into sewers, where it normally receives some treatment, versus simply running across the land.
If you are going to clean your own vehicle, check out the waterless wash products available now from many manufacturers, such as Eco Touch. Many are nontoxic, biodegradable and petrochemical-free. Just spray on, wipe and buff gently with a clean towel, and voilà. Clean car.Want more easy ways to save water? Check out these simple ideas:
1. Install a Low-Flow Showerhead
Save water and money, and still have ample water pressure, with a low-flow showerhead, which can slash bathing-water consumption 50 to 70 percent. The devices are simple to install and start at around $8. Many styles and features are available, including flow-adjusting dials and a pause button.
2. Turn Off the Tap While You Brush
Don't let your water dollars - and one of nature's most precious resources - run down the drain. Just turn off the water while you brush your teeth. The average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of two gallons a minute, according to the EPA's WaterSense initiative. That means you'll save up to 8 gallons of water a day per person.
3. Water Your Yard in the Morning
The best time to water outdoors is in the morning, both to reduce water waste and to promote healthy flora. Morning air is cooler, so less water is lost to evaporation than during the middle of the day. If you water in the evening, you run the risk of promoting fungi and bacterial diseases.
4. Fix That Leak
Don't ignore that dripping faucet or leaky pipe joint. One faulty faucet wastes 3 gallons of water per day, reports the U.S. Geological Survey. So get a pipe wrench and tighten those seals, replace old and worn hardware, and call your neighborhood plumber if you need help. Every drop really does add up.Related: 5 Money-Saving Home Remodeling Ideas
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.