Tips For a More Water-Efficient Holiday Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but with it comes more water consumption than you may be aware of.

According to a recent survey done in partnership with American Water, Americans underestimate how much water they use on a daily basis by more than 1,900 gallons. This lack of awareness extends to the holidays. For example, Americans drastically underestimated the water needed to make one 16-pound holiday turkey (4,688 gallons vs. 158 estimated), a pecan pie (1,068 gallons vs. 135 estimated), and pumpkin pie (458 gallons vs. 135 estimated).

The study also found that nine in ten Americans are likely to try at least one new habit to conserve water next year. So, why not start before January 1? You don’t have to give up your holiday favorites, but rather, we want to offer some simple ways to conserve water usage to make this time of year a little more water efficient.

  1. Understand exactly how much water your Christmas tree needs. Whether it’s a Fraser or Douglas Fir, your Christmas tree requires a good amount of water to stay healthy throughout the season. By getting the process down, you can avoid waste. The general rule of thumb is to water once a day, with one quart of water per inch of diameter on the cut end.
  2. Check for leaks before guests arrive. Your toilets, sinks, appliances, and overall system will get much more use with more people around the house — which will exacerbate water waste from any current leak. By helping ensure your plumbing is in good shape beforehand, you can prevent major issues and waste. For more information, check out these hidden causes of leaks.
  3. Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator. You can save water by avoiding the last-minute thawing practice of running frozen food under the hot water tap.
  4. Avoid running the tap. Whether you’re rinsing off vegetables prior to a big meal or washing the dishes following one, there are better ways to get the job done than letting the water run. For produce, fill a big bowl with clean water to wash it all simultaneously. When cleaning the dishes, try plugging the drain for the initial rinse before transferring plates and silverware to the dishwasher.
  5. Think before you toss it down the sink. After a holiday party, you may find yourself with bowls or coolers filled with melted ice. Instead of pouring it down the drain, use it to water plants, including Christmas trees or Poinsettias.

By implementing at least one of these tips, you can make your safe and happy holiday season a little more water friendly.