We’re all guilty of wasting water now and then. Whether you let the faucet run when brushing your teeth or take overly long showers, water waste is a serious topic, especially when parts of the country are experiencing droughts. Now that summer is here, it’s time to think about water conservation. While water use is naturally higher in the hotter months, there are a number of things you can do to save water while cutting down on your utility bill.

Water Your Lawn in the Morning or Evening

The average lawn needs about one to one and a half inches of water per week year-round. If your lawn is not getting sufficient moisture from rainfall, you may need to water it. However, you want to avoid watering your lawn in the afternoon, as this can result in rapid evaporation. The best time to water your lawn is in the morning or evening hours when it’s cooler. This allows time for the water to absorb into the soil.

Go the Car Wash Instead of Washing it at Home

Standard garden hoses use about 10 gallons of water per minute if they’re not fitted with a shutoff nozzle, meaning that you would waste 100 gallons of water with a mere 10-minute car wash. If you want a sparkling-clean car without water waste, go to the car wash instead. Automatic car washes use a fraction of the amount of water. They’re also faster and don’t require nearly as much elbow grease.

Collect Water in a Rain Barrel to Water Plants

Just one rain barrel can save about 1,300 gallons of water during the hottest summer months. Instead of using water from your hose or faucet to water your plants, consider collecting water in a rain barrel to use for your plants and garden. Install the barrel below a downspout, and ensure that your gutters are free of leaves and other debris that could prevent the flow of rain water. Also, add a debris screen to keep insects, animals, and leaves out of the barrel.

Add a Layer of Mulch to Your Landscaping

Mulch not only reduces weed growth and improves the health and fertility of the soil, but it can also be used to help hold in soil moisture. This summer, add a layer of mulch around your landscaping to reduce the rate of water evaporation and lower the amount of water needed for your outdoor plants. Mulch acts as a barrier between the soil and the sun, and it can boost your home’s curb appeal, too.

Fix Faulty Water Faucets That Are Leaking

If you have a faucet that releases just one drip of water per second, you’re wasting more than 3,000 gallons of water a year. You can avoid waste by repairing faulty faucets around your home. Be sure to also check the faucets outside of your home. Water leaks are common around the connection to the water tap. This type of leak could signify a problem with the hose fitting or the spigot itself.