water
With over 2 billion Energy Star?certified products sold in the U.S. since 1992, energy-saving appliances are becoming the rule, rather than the exception. Now, the Environmental Protection Agency—the program's creator—is trying to duplicate its success with a new water-conserving campaign called WaterSense. First up is a label for toilets that use less than 1.3 gallons per flush—that's 20 percent less water than the 1.6 gallons currently required by federal law. It'll be a few years before WaterSense sets standards for other products, such as washing machines and dishwashers. Until then, follow these five simple steps to make your home more H?0-efficient:

1. Put a pitcher of drinking water in the fridge; letting the faucet run until water gets cold wastes two gallons per minute.

2. Fix leaks pronto. One drip per second adds up to 2,700 gallons a year.

3. Hose down the garden in the early morning or at dusk to avoid losing water to evaporation caused by the hot sun.

4. Don't use your toilet as a trash bin. Every unnecessary flush equals 1.6 gallons of wasted water.

5. Scrape, rather than rinse, plates when loading the dishwasher.
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