After a meal, scrape plates over the trashcan instead of pre-rinsing. Use the napkins or silverware from your meal to scrape or wipe plates before washing. This will save water while keeping excess fats, oils, and grease out of the sewer pipes. It's a win-win water saving solution.
Want to do even better? Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing of food waste. Rich organic compost is great for the garden, and a thick layer can actually help Florida's sandy soils to retain moisture longer - saving you water in the garden too! Get more information on composting from UF-IFAS
Load 'em up! Operate dishwashers (and clothes washers) only when they are fully loaded. Set the water level for the size of load you are using. When operated this way, dishwashers can actually be more efficient than hand-washing, particularly with newer high-efficiency models. Remember to always look for the EPA WaterSense label when shopping for new fixtures and appliances.
BONUS: Water heaters are a major contributor to the typical home energy bill. Therefore, using less hot water saves $$$ on your energy bill too!
Slow the flow! Check that your faucet has an aerator that provides good pressure while reducing water usage.
Plan ahead on thawing frozen food. When possible, don't use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator, or use the defrost setting on your microwave.
Chill out! Store a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator. That way, you won't need to let the tap run while you are waiting for cool water to flow.
Consider installing an instant, in-line water heater so you don't have to let the water run while it heats up. This can also potentially reduce water-heating costs for your household.
When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink or basin with soapy water. Quickly rinse under a slow-moving stream from the faucet.