Every Drop Counts: Low-Flow Fixtures for Kitchens and Baths
If all U.S. households installed low-flow fixtures with water-saving features, the result would be an estimated savings of 5.4 billion gallons of water per day, according to DrinkTap.org. And with 38.8 million California residents in the midst of what may equate to being the worst drought in history, every drop does count, which is why we’ve provided you with some excellent low-flow fixture options for kitchens and baths.
Saving the environment and everything that comes along with it, like decreasing water consumption, may seem cliché, but if you are one of California’s many inhabitants, then you may be dealing with the unfortunate consequences of what happens when the well (literally) starts to run dry.
Whether you’re in the midst of the shortage, or still organizing your water-guzzling slip and slide lawn parties, then listen up, because this is a resource that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
With restrictions so extreme, rather than risk paying a fine for watering their lawns or consuming unnecessary resources, some Californians have resorted to painting their dried, brown bits of brittle formerly known as grass an acceptable shade of green just to maintain some curb appeal – and that’s only the superficial aspect of things.
In addition to cosmetic work, there are many other factors contributing to this water shortage. Agricultural use jeopardizes a large chunk of California’s water supply, and farmers are relying more and more on communal groundwater. In addition to their stressed out natural water resources, fracking is also to blame for this disaster of a drought.
But before you start blasting “Purple Rain” and jumping around on one foot while praying for a monsoon, get a grip on reality, and make a commitment to start saving some water (and your reputation) the easy way.
Conserving water can be done glamorously, with the addition of beautiful new low-flow fixtures, or by simply making a few quick economical modifications that will have you on your way to conserving water in an afternoon’s time. In addition to a clearer conscience and more resources to go around, you will also be saving some dough in the process. Think of it this way: less water equals more shoes. Now that’s a win-win!
When you’re perusing the aisles for your new low-flow items, keep these tidbits in mind:
- Toilet flushing uses the most water in the average home
- The majority of folks flush five times a day, adding up to 31 percent of overall water consumption
- Most older toilets use 3.6 gallons per flush, but can easily and cheaply be reduced to 3 gallons per flush
- Faucets consume around 15-18 percent of the overall water use in the average four-person home
- Find a faucet aerator that uses 1.5 gallons per minute or less, and save up to 3,150 gallons of water per year
- Shower heads below 2.5 gallons per minute will save you approximately 10 gallons of water per 20 minute shower
Still not sure where to begin? No worries – we’ve got you covered! Below you’ll find several stylish low-flow fixture ideas for kitchens and baths designed to accommodate a range of budgets.
Under $1000: Low-Flow Fixtures for Kitchens and Baths
Moen and TOTO, two environmentally conscious plumbing suppliers, are fans among the style conscious as well. The sleek STo kitchen faucet from Moen uses a 1.5 gallon per minute aerator and meets CalGreen and Georgia SB370 requirements. The Moen 90 Degree low-flow faucet also uses 1.5 gallons per minute, and the 90 Degree handheld shower fixture uses 1.75 gallons per minute. Finally, we have the water-conserving throne from high-end potty maker, TOTO. This two-piece toilet gives its users both 1.28 and 0.9 gallons per flush options, is WaterSense certified, and CalGreen compliant.
1. STo Stainless Steel Kitchen Faucet by Moen $910; 2. 90 Degree Brushed Nickel Bathroom Faucet by Moen $806; 3. 90 Degree Brushed Nickel Handheld Shower Head by Moen $537; 4. Connelly Colonial White Two-Piece Toilet by TOTO $650.
Under $300: Low-Flow Fixtures for Kitchens and Baths
From the familiar neighborhood Home Depot comes four additional low-flow kitchen and bath fixtures. The first is an ultra-shiny, low-flow kitchen faucet with detachable spray head that uses 1.8 gallons per minute. Next is the affordable and stylish Alteo bathroom collection. This three piece faucet uses 1.5 gallons per minute, and the showerhead uses 2.0 gallons per minute; both are WaterSense approved. The last fixture is a WaterSense approved, conservation conscious commode using a miniscule 1.28 gallons per flush and saves its owner up to 16,500 gallons per year when compared to an old 3.5 gallon toilet.
1. Simplice Polished Chrome Kitchen Faucet by KOHLER $167; 2. Alteo Polished Chrome Bathroom Faucet by KOHLER $151; 3. Alteo Polished Chrome Shower Collection by KOHLER $82; 4. Highline Water-Conserving Toilet by KOHLER $168.
Under $20: Low-Flow Fixtures for Kitchens and Baths
If you’re strapped for cash, or just satisfied with the fixtures you currently have, then look no further than these water saving kitchen and bathroom modifications. The first item is an aerator that easily attaches to most faucets and brings water consumption down to 0.5 gallons per minute. The next is an affordable standard shower head that, at 1.5 gallons per minute, can compete with the big boys in terms of water savings. Lastly, we have what is essentially a bladder-like reservoir that fits inside of your toilet tank. It’s better looking than a brick and also saves you around half a gallon of water with every flush.
Whether you’re broke, or prefer to spend money like the water you waste, there’s room in your life for some new low-flow fixtures in your kitchen and bath. Enlist your husband, partner, handyman, or plan a get together with your bestie and install a new water saving fixture. You’d better act quickly though…when you’re suddenly faced with a sea of paint swatches trying to decide which shade of green you should spray paint your lawn, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
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