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Easy Ways To Save Water

Updated on January 1, 2016
Do not leave the tap running
Do not leave the tap running | Source

The earth has a finite amount of resources and an ever-growing population, which is not a good combination for a healthy environment that will benefit future generations.

One of the ways in which this situation manifests is with a diminishing supply of water, which is a cause for concern in many countries. In western countries, this arises though drought conditions that lead to orders, such as hose pipe bans.

However, many of us do not consider the 'big picture' in terms of environmental issues, as it is easy to become detached from it on the basis that it is such a major issue that it is difficult to see how we can make a difference as an individual.

Another way to consider it, which is a little closer to home, is in terms of paying bills. There are not many people that I know who enjoy paying their bills, and would be only too happy to reduce the amount that they need to pay.

If we consider the issue of saving water this way, then the result is that you can save money and helping the environment will just be a bonus.

There are several steps that you can take in order to use less water and be more resourceful, which – in turn – helps to stop the waste of precious water, save money and benefit the environment.

In The Bathroom

  • It should go without saying, but many people do it without realising: do not leave the tap running whilst brushing your teeth or washing your face.
  • In our increasingly hurried society, who has time to lay in a bath? First you have to wait for the bath to fill up, then you have to do all the tweaking with the additional hot or cold water to get the temperature right, then you have to sit down and manoeuvre all over the place to clean yourself whilst sitting in water that increasingly becomes more dirty! Forget that – stick to showers instead, which uses significantly less water.
  • Speaking of a lack of time, it is also helpful to limit your time in the shower to four minutes as a long shower will use a lot of water. Take a waterproof timer into the shower with you as, without one, you will be surprised at how quickly time passes.
  • Ditch the power shower and fit a shower head with an aerator instead – from personal experience, I can confirm that the aerator shower head makes no difference to the water flow.
  • If there is a specific reason why you need to have a bath, only fill the bathtub with as much water as necessary. Check the temperature with your elbow rather than your hand when you start running the taps to ensure you get it right first time.
  • If your shower is anything like mine, there will be a short period of cold water before it warms up to the temperature to which it has been set. When this is the case and the cold water is a bit too bracing to shower in, catch this water in a basin or bucket and use it to water plants or clean.
  • Your water supplier may be able to supply a device to reduce the amount of water that is used by each toilet flush. Alternatively, you can use a brick or a marble filled plastic container. After the toilet has been flushed, carefully place the device into the cistern and let it refill as normal. Each flush will use less water.
  • If you are remodelling and if possible, select a modern toilet with a smaller cistern that will use less water. Alternatively, fit a dual-flush mechanism so that a full flush does not always need to be used.
  • Take heed of the rhyme: if it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down.

"Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink" - view of the Caribbean Sea
"Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink" - view of the Caribbean Sea | Source

In The Kitchen

  • Only use the dishwasher and washing machine when they are full, as water is wasted when they are only partially full.
  • If you are lucky enough to have a modern appliance, you are likely to find that they have an economical option that uses a minimal amount of water - ensure you give this programme some love.
  • Fit the taps with an aerator or a spray hose to reduce the amount of water used.
  • Avoid using an excessive amount of water when boiling vegetables, and only use as much as you need. A better alternative is steam vegetables instead of boiling, which uses far less water and offers an added bonus of helping to retain the nutrients in the vegetables.
  • When you do boil vegetables, do not drain away and discard the water used if you are also making stock, soup or stew. Use the vegetable water to make these rather than fresh water, which will also help you to keep some of the veggie goodness that has been boiled away.
  • Use a saucepan lid when boiling/simmering as type of food, which will reduce the amount of evaporation and, consequently, the amount of additional water that will need to be added to compensate.
  • When boiling the kettle, only fill it with as much water as necessary for your immediate use, which will also help to reduce electricity consumption.

In The Garden

  • Ask yourself, do you really need sprinklers to water the lawn and plants every day? Use a watering can instead rather than a sprinkler or a hose to water plants and the lawn.
  • If you do have to use a hose, attach an aerating spray head rather than not using any nozzle.
  • Make use of rainwater by putting a water butt in your garden. The water collected can be used to water plants and clean the driveway.
  • Throw out the power-washer. Yes, it might be convenient, but it uses a massive amount of water for the task for which it was designed. Come on! How dirty is car/facade/driveway anyway?

In General

  • If you are really savvy, you will be aware of the approximate level of water use of your home and will be able to keep an eye on the meter, if you have easy access to it. If it suddenly shoots up without cause, check whether you have a leak and take immediate steps to repair it.

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