Three Ways to Save Water at Home

High water bills can create headaches for condo associations and landlords. Here are three ways you might be able to save water in your home and properties. You’ll not only shrink your water bill, you’ll also save on whatever fuel heats your water. Tenants will save on their water heating bills too!


Stormwater Pollution Prevention


In Boston, we are all connected through our water. People, who live, work in, or visit the city all enjoy our harbor, rivers, brooks, and ponds – our waterways – and keeping them pollution-free is a priority. When it rains or snows, the water that flows down our streets and sidewalks, called stormwater, picks up materials along the way.

Stormwater flows through our neighborhoods, into catch basins, then into streams, rivers, and eventually into Boston Harbor. Catch basins are the grates on our streets, which collect the stormwater runoff and anything unintentionally placed or purposefully dumped on the street. Catch basins connect to the storm drain system, which moves the water and everything in the water, into the Charles, Neponset, and Mystic Rivers and into the harbor. The storm drain system is not connected to the sewer system, so the stormwater runs directly into waterways and the harbor.


Understand Urban Agriculture in Boston

Urban agriculture improves access to fresh, healthy, affordable food, with decreased transportation costs and lower carbon emissions. In December 2013, the City passed Article 89, a city-wide zoning article that allows for commercial urban agriculture in Boston. Small or large, new farming endeavors will bring communities together, empower small entrepreneurs, and increase access to fresh food for Bostonians.

To develop Article 89, the Boston Redevelopment Authority worked closely with the Mayor’s Office of Food Initiatives and the Mayor’s Urban Agriculture Working Group, a group of farmers, experts, residents and advocates gathered together to advise and guide staff. Article 89 is the product of 18 open public meetings of the Mayor’s Urban Agriculture Working Group and 11 Neighborhood Meetings, which took place throughout Boston in June and July, 2013.



Cold wash / Air dry


Dishwashers and laundry machines waste a significant amount of water and energy. For example, each time you use your dishwasher, you can waste up to two pounds of CO2. And according to the New York Times, nearly three quarters of our greenhouse gas emissions from washing laundry comes from heating the water. An essential action for reducing waste is to always use cold water with these machines. Hot water rarely disinfects more than cold water, and is really only useful when your clothes have stains.


Green your yard or lawn


Having a sustainable landscape is important to water quality, local animal and plant life, and your wallet. By mimicking a natural landscape in your own yard, you can eliminate the need for toxic chemicals and irrigation, provide a habitat for New England flora and fauna, and save money!


Help a tree help you


Increasing Boston’s urban forest benefits city residents through environmental and aesthetic improvements. City trees enrich the lives of all residents by providing many benefits, including: beautification of city streets, providing a respite on hot summer days, improved air and water quality, and offsetting our carbon emissions.

Boston currently has 29% tree canopy coverage across the city’s many neighborhoods and the City aims to increase Boston’s tree canopy to 35% by 2030.

The City is planting a lot of new trees each year, but newly planted trees have a difficult time getting established in a tough urban environment. With your help, the City of Boston’s young street trees have a better chance of survival.