You’d be surprised at how simple it is to save at home? Water conservation is not only eco friendly, but great for the wallet too!
Your small efforts to save water will go a long way. Sparing a thought on how much water you use every day should be made into a daily habit, and we should constantly ensure that we recycle and use less water in a bid to look after our environment.
Becoming more conscious of your water usage is the first step in learning how to better conserve it. Here are some handy tips you can implement immediately to save water and money.
1. Don’t flush everything
A single flush can use between 3 litres (for a half flush, water-efficient toilet bowl) and 9 litres (full flush and non-water efficient toilet bowl) of water. There’s no need to flush every single time – especially if you have a bustling household. According to experts, it’s not unhygienic and if you’re well-hydrated – just clean your toilet regularly. Also, don’t use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket – that’s what bins are for.
2. Recycle water as much as possible
Think before you consume. If you’re cooking pasta or boiling vegetables, instead of tossing that warm water down the drain, use it to water a house plant. Even better, use vegetable water to make vegetable stock or soups.
Furthermore, instead of washing fresh produce under running water, wash them in a bowl. Then use the water to, again, water your plants. So many ways to kill two birds with one stone!
3. Don’t let the tap run
This is perhaps the easiest tip on how to save water, so don’t skip this one. There’s absolutely no need to put the tap on and leave it running when you brush your teeth. Don’t forget, it goes straight to your water bill. Turn it off and only flip it on to clean your brush and rinse the sink, as and when you need. And use a glass of water to rinse your mouth, instead of leaving the tap on and cupping water into your mouth.
4. Use a plug to fill up your basin when doing the dishes
If you don’t own a dishwasher, running the hot tap to wash your dishes is a needless waste of water. Pre-soaking can help clean them more easily and efficiently. Fill the sink with hot water and one or two squirts of dishwashing liquid (but don’t fill it too full), and wash your dishes in that. Then turn the tap on for a quick rinse after soaping each dish before turning it off. The water will fill up the sink and help soak the remaining dishes.
5. Dishwashers are in fact your new best friends
You might’ve thought dishwashers are less eco-friendly. In reality, modern dishwashers save a lot more water than hand washing. Not to mention, a lot more efficient. A dishwasher uses, on average, 10-14 litres of water (depending on the model) whereas hand-washing requires 30-40 litres.
So rather than tirelessly doing your own dishes, why not invest in a new dishwasher and give yourself a break from the dishes and save some money? When purchasing a new dishwasher, make sure you get one that has a four-tick rating.
6. Wash full loads
It’s easy to shove a few pieces into the washing machine on a quick cycle, but that is a huge waste of electricity and water and will really show up on your bills. Make sure you always load a full drum of clothes before you put the machine on, and where possible, use an eco-cycle or light wash.
Additionally, use the minimum number of rinse cycles. Adjust the temperature to the cooler setting and be sure the water level matches the load (half load of clothes should use half load of water).
Similarly, if you’re getting a new machine, get one that has a four-tick rating (which uses six litres or less of water per kilogram load) and is front loading – it’s considered more water and energy efficient.
7. Head to an eco-friendly car wash
You may think car washes will be more wasteful with water than yourself but actually, if they recycle their water, it’s far better. Take some time to find out which ones do recycle and then drive there when your car needs some TLC. It also takes one more chore off your shoulders!
If there aren’t any car washes around that recycles water, try not to wash your car everyday or too often. If you must wash it, don’t let the hose run while soaping it up and try to use as little water as necessary.
8. Watering the garden
Rather than hook up your hose and sprinklers to the main pipeline to water your garden, get yourself a rain barrel. It will harvest rainwater to irrigate the garden. A great way to save on water expenditure thanks to Mother Nature! Tip: You can use the water to wash your windows and car too.
Additionally, adding a layer of mulch and fortifying soil with organic matter can help your plant to drink more efficiently. Water plants early in the day or late in the evening. Not only can this limit the amount of evaporation, but it also limits the growth of fungus.
9. Take shorter showers
Although long showers are one of life’s greatest pleasures, a shower shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes. Showers are notorious for wasting water, a five minute shower is estimated to use between 10-20 gallons of water. Also, letting the water run empty while it heats up can waste precious resource – a cold shower isn’t so bad when it’s saving the planet!
One way to easily cut down on time in the shower is to wash your hair every other day (it’s actually better for your hair!). Or shut the water off while you wash your hair or scrub the body and turn it back on to rinse off. Plus, taking shorter showers saves money too!
10. Check for leaks
Did you know? One slowly dripping tap can waste 9000 litres of water a year. Faucets, toilets, shower heads, etc., can have small leaks that seem harmless but the amount of water lost to these tiny leaks can add up quickly.
Originally by Nicola Watson, March 2019 and Kathleen Siddell, August 2015 / Last updated by Isabel Wibowo, May 2021