Slow the Flow
Attach a low-flow aerator to your kitchen faucet to mix air into the stream and cut water usage without affecting pressure. Find aerators at hardware stores and home centers for under $10. Look for one with a flow rate of 2.2 gallons per minute or less, saving from 1.4 to 2.7 gallons each day.
Work Your Dishwasher
No need to feel guilty about running your dishwasher; it actually uses less water than doing dishes by hand. Run it only when full and use the most efficient setting -- light rather than heavy wash and air dry instead of heat. Don't bother to pre-rinse before loading. Tests by the Consumers Union show that rinsing is unnecessary and wastes up to 20 gallons of water per load.
Green Your Detergent
Automatic dishwashing detergents and dish soaps can contain phosphates that, when released into local waterways, cause algae growth that threatens marine life. Many detergents also release chlorine into the dishwasher's steam and indoor air. Two brands without these ingredients are Ecover Ecological Automatic Dishwasher Powder (drugstore.com, $5.89) and Shaklee Dish Wash (shown here, shaklee.com, $8.10).
Get with Glass
Rather than store leftovers in plastic, try old-fashioned glass, ceramic, or stainless-steel containers. While many types of plastic can be recycled, they're all made from petroleum, a nonrenewable resource. So cook up a double recipe of a favorite dish and pack it in your Pyrex or glass covered dishes. Or try Martha Stewart Everyday 5-cup Refrigerator Dishes (shown, Kmart.com, $6.99) or the Container Store's Vintage Glass pieces (Containerstore.com, $5.99-$7.99).
Source: Better Homes and Gardens