Green Building Blocks: Lowering Water Usage
Green Home Source's Building Blocks of Green help to identify which areas of green home design and construction are the easiest to achieve with the greatest environmental benefits. The bigger Blocks discussed in earlier articles are the Blocks that should be addressed first; they are less difficult to accomplish, pay large green dividends in energy and money saved, and are less expensive, sometimes free, to implement. As we move up the Building Block Wall, the Blocks get smaller as they become more difficult and have smaller environmental returns on investment.
It's important to reiterate that all of the Blocks are important; they all contribute to a more efficient, less wasteful home. We created them to help homeowners "pick and choose" those Blocks that fit best into their homes' design, as well as fit within realistic budget constraints.
Reduced Water UsageThe next Block as we build our green house from the ground up is Lowering Water Usage. Water, along with air and food, is obviously important. Many areas of the world don't have access to clean, safe water; here in the developed world, we are blessed with relatively abundant, safe, and affordable water supplies. That doesn't mean we should be wasting it. Both inside and outside of our homes, there are many ways to drastically reduce the amount of water used without sacrificing performance of lifestyle.
Installing water-saving devices in new or existing homes save water; they save a great deal of money as well, especially if your home is on a municipal water supply. From an energy-saving standpoint, water efficiency is slightly less critical. Focus on the areas in the home that have the most water use (bathroom, laundry, kitchen) and invest in the most water-efficient devices possible. For true water savings, our Block on exterior water usage <link> is more important. Outdoor watering can account for 50% or more of a homes' entire water usage.
For further reading on water conservation, check out our in-depth articles:
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