Monique O'Grady: As you wash your hands and rinse your dishes and take showers, ask yourself this, how much water are you wasting? Showers account for more than 1.
2 trillion gallons of water in America each year, according to the environmental protection agency.
But making the simple change to a low flow shower head can save you over $250 per year on your water bills. You can test the efficiency of your shower head with a bucket and stop watch. If your shower fills up a gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds it's time for a change. And if your fixture was made before 1992, you should buy a new one.
Don't worry about loosing the shower quality you are use to. Consumer reports did a series of shower head test and found low flow models that are just as refreshing as inefficient ones.
An easy way to find quality low flow fixtures; look for the water sense label, there are over 300 shower head models that have passed the rigorous set of performance requirements.
And look for the water sense label on faucets and faucet accessories too. They can reduce your household's water use by more than 500 gallons per year. That's enough water to do 14 loads of laundry.
The aerator is the screw on tip on the faucet and ultimately determines the flow rate of the faucet. You can buy inexpensive replacements at home improvement stores. For the most efficient faucets, purchase aerators with flow rates less than one gpm or gallon per minute.
And bring your old aerator to the store so you'll be sure your new one fits on your fixture. Installing low flow fixtures is an easy and low cost way to save water at home.