Watered Down: 8 of Our Favorite Water-Saving Technologies

Levi Strauss & Co.
January 13, 2016

Whether you’re at home, at work, or on the go, there are myriad opportunities to consume water more conscientiously. Water-saving technology ranges from the flashy and sophisticated to simple and DIY remedies. Techies use their smartphones to plot their water usage, while many people simply spot clean their Levi’s® Water<Less™ jeans to avoid that extra load of laundry. At LS&Co. we’re committed to saving water, from the way we make our jeans, to encouraging our community about how small changes can make a big difference. From low-tech to high-tech, here is some of our favorite water saving innovations.
1. Bottled up
Reusable water bottles are now a fashion statement unto themselves, and buildings and stores are increasingly embracing reusable bottles and rejecting disposable plastic bottles. Why spend 2,000 times more on bottled water when you can get it from the tap? Also, don’t forget about foregoing disposable coffee cups, and to-go cups that simply end up in the trash. In fact, according to the Boston Globe, it takes nearly 1 gallon of water to make a paper cup with a sleeve, and nearly half a gallon to make a foam cup; think about that every time you sip your coffee from a reusable mug! Don’t even get us started on the 500 million straws Americans use every day. There are only about 320 million Americans. Who is using all of these extra straws? So whether you’re drinking from a high-tech, double-walled, vacuum-insulated water bottle like the Hydro Flask or the low-tech water bottle you got for free at a street fair eight years ago, know that you’re saving a lot more water than you think.
2. Bottom of the barrel
This low-tech tool may not be glamorous, but it gets the job done when it comes to collecting water and rainfall. Rain barrels or rainwater tanks come in many sizes and styles to fit your home’s aesthetic. Creative water conservers can even turn water barrels into a DIY project. Your garden will thank you.
3. Control your bowls
At Unzipped, we’re big fans of Drop-a-Brick, a clever project designed to create a safe tool to reduce water usage in the bathroom. By placing the rubber brick in the tank of your toilet, you’ll lessen the amount of water used with each flush. And of course, there’s the “let it mellow” strategy, but be sure your whole house is onboard with this plan before implementing so as not to offend any unsuspecting family members or guests.
4. Washed up
Last year, we created a quiz to show you how much water and energy you could save by changing your laundry habits (take it here!). Hopefully after taking the #washlesspledge, you’re ready to think outside the machine – holding off on washing your Levi’s® Water<Less™ jeans and leaving a bigger gap between laundry loads.
5. Dish it out
Dishwasher technology has outpaced the traditional hand wash, reports the Washington Post. To save water, scrape off your food (no need to rinse each plate) and run a fully loaded newer model dishwasher. Energy efficient dishwashers keep your dishware sparkling and will do the job with less water and less energy. If you don’t have a dishwasher, fill your sink with a small amount of water to soak and scrub dishes instead of just letting the faucet run.
6. Hit the showers
For those unimpressed by the average water saving showerhead, brace yourself for the newest in shower technology: Nebia. This shower sprays atomized water to use 70% less water than the industry standard. That drops the average shower from 20 gallons of water, to six. Launched on Kickstarter, this pricey piece of shower technology could revolutionize showers. Not quite such an early adopter? Start with baby steps and use a low-tech shower timer to get in, get clean, and get out.
7. On t-App
Ladies and gentlemen, get your smartphones ready. It’s time to talk apps. We have a few handy (or should we say, thumb-y) water saving favorites. Drip Detective is an interactive app that shows users how much water and money they’re losing from a leak. Dropcountr monitors your utilities and alerts you if there’s abnormal water usage, so leaking pipes are found and fixed faster. Check out our longer list here for more water-saving apps!
8. Green thumb, green tech
Bring plant care into the modern era with water sensors. To maximize each weekend of garden TLC, automate your plant care and adjust your drip irrigation or sprinkler settings using water sensors to avoid overwatering after rain. There are also low-tech options such as using old plastic bottles and plastic bags to create a drip irrigation system. And when it comes to what you’re growing, succulents, cacti and other plants native to your area require much less water to thrive.

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