Kitchen — Wash only full loads of dishes, and select the appropriate water level or load size option on the dishwasher. Do not use water to defrost frozen foods. Thaw foods in the refrigerator overnight. Scrape rather than rinse dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. Compost food waste instead of using the garbage disposal or throwing it in the trash. Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool. When upgrading a dishwasher consider purchasing an Energy Star dishwasher as they save water as well as energy, with the highest rated machines using as little as four gallons per wash. For an average 215 washes per year (US DOE), that’s a saving of more than 1,000 gallons per year. A standard dishwasher uses about nine gallons of water per wash (or up to as much as 14 gallons if it is more than 10 years old).

Laundry— Wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine. Consider purchasing a high efficiency washing machine, which can save over 50 percent in laundry water and energy use. Front-loading (Horizontal-axis) washing machine typically use 15 to 18 gallons per wash or as little as 7,700 gallons per year. In addition to the associated water heating energy savings (approximately 65%), a front-loading washing machine is gentler on your clothes, so they last longer. Traditional washing machines use an average of 41 gallons of water per wash. That adds up to more than 21,600 gallons of water per year for a family of four.