If you have the opportunity to turn on a faucet and have running water whenever you want, you are lucky compared to a large portion of the world. Those of us who have this opportunity sometimes take it for granted. Because the water seems to just appear, as we do not see the process it takes to come to us, we sometimes forget that water is not to be wasted.

It also may be a little tough on your wallet to be wasting unneeded water. When becoming aware of your excess water usage, one may realize how much of their water bill can be avoided. Here are a few ways you may be wasting water without even realizing it.

Flushing the Toilet Too Much

Every time you flush your toilet, you may be using 3-7 gallons of water each flush. Older toilets tend to be on the higher end of this scale. Water-conserving toilets can use up to 1.6 gallons of water each flush. If you are the type of person who flushes the toilet multiple times a day, essentially using it as a second garbage bin, you are wasting gallons of water. The first step to avoiding this issue is to install a water-efficient toilet. The second step, whether or not you installed a water efficient toilet, is to simply flush the toilet only when you need to. Be aware of your toilet flushing habits and adjust accordingly.

Leaving the Faucet Running

How often do you leave the faucet running as you brush your teeth, shave, or wash your face? Leaving the faucet on for only 30 seconds as you brush your teeth can waste more than a gallon of water. If you leave the faucet on for the entire 60 seconds of recommended time to brush your teeth, you will have wasted almost 2.5 gallons of water. Fix this issue by only turning on the faucet for a few seconds at a time, when you actually need to use the water.

Long Showers

Showering uses 5 to 10 gallons of water every minute. Because of this, taking that long, hot shower after work can use over 100 gallons of water – and that’s the average that an American uses each day! This means that taking a long shower can put you well over the average amount of water usage. Professionals recommend that people keep their showers to around 5 minutes long to avoid wasting water.

Paying extra attention to these three ways you may be wasting water can make a significant difference in your water usage. It can decrease your water bill and contribute to a greater cause. It is a wonderful thing that you have water access at your fingertips as you please, and this opportunity can be handled responsibly.