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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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6 Ways to Save Water and Money This Holiday Season

The holidays can be a blur–from holiday parties to having friends and family come to visit. It can also mean an increase in household water use.

Whether you're cooking for friends or hosting family, here's 6 tips for saving money and water this holiday season.

  1. Give the gift of water efficiency.  Get free water-saving tools like aerators, shower heads, and toilet leak detection tablets from the Portland Water Bureau Efficiency Program. And $50 rebates are available if you switch out your old toilet for a water-efficient one! Water-savings is a gift that keeps on giving!
  2. Use the refrigerator to thaw food. The safest and most water efficient way is to defrost food in the refrigerator.
  3. Wash dishes efficiently. If you’re washing your dishes by hand, fill one sink with soapy water and fill the rinsing sink one-third to one-half full. Avoid letting the water run continuously in the rinsing sink. Run your dishwasher only when you have a full load. Dishwashers use between 7 and 12 gallons per load.
  4. Install free aerators on your kitchen and bathroom sinks. Deck more than the halls by making sure your kitchen and bathroom faucets are decked out with water-efficient aerators. Replacing older aerators (the screw-on tip of a faucet) with new water-efficient ones can be one of the most cost-effective water conservation measures your household can do.
  5. Fix your leaky toilet. Your toilet may be quiet as a mouse, but are you sure it isn't leaking? Leaky toilets often make themselves known because there is a sound of running water or a faint hissing or trickling. But many times, water flows through the tank silently, which is why these leaks are often overlooked. Here's how to check your toilet for leaks before it gets its holiday workout.
  6. Take water efficient showers. Replacing your old shower head with a new high efficiency one will save you water. In fact, the average household could save 2,900 gallons per year by installing WaterSense shower heads.  

Visit the Water Bureau's water efficiency resources for more water saving tips to get you through the holidays.