10 tips on conserving water at home and in the garden
Climate change coupled with the rapid expansion in the world’s population means that clean water is becoming a scarce resource; over 1.2 billion people currently lack access to clean drinking water. Even though over 70% of Earth’s surface is covered by water, only a mere 2.5% is fresh water (i.e. low in salt content and potentially drinkable). If we want to stave off this water crisis in the future, one of the first places we can start is by learning to conserve our water usage in and around the home. Saving water doesn’t only impact the environment in a positive way, it also helps cut costs on your utility bills!
1. Fix your leaky faucets as soon as possible
A small drip from a leaky faucet can seem innocuous but over the course of a day gallons of water can be wasted. If left for days or weeks, this can dramatically increase your water bill for the month.
2. Take quick showers instead of baths
Showers use approximately two-thirds less water than baths. If you’re feeling really committed to lowering your water usage, you can even turn the shower off while lathering yourself and then turn it back on to rinse the soap off.
3. Turn off the tap in between brushing your teeth
When brushing your teeth, you only need the water to wet the toothbrush. While you’re scrubbing your teeth, the tap needn’t be on.
4. Only use the dishwasher/washing machine when it’s completely full
It is wasteful to wash just a few items of clothing at a time, as many times in the week as you fancy. The less washes you do, the less water you use! This also saves you some money on electricity bills.
5. Install a water meter
With a water meter, you only pay for the amount of water you use – this will motivate you to keep costs down by using less water.
6. Don’t wash your car with a hose
Hoses use up far more water than is necessary to wash your car. Fill up a bucket and wash your car by hand. Alternatively, there are waterless car wash systems available which are affordable and eco-friendly.
7. Recycle rainwater
By installing a rain butt, you can use rainwater to wash your car and water your plants.
8. Purchase a cistern displacement bag
Placing one of these devices in the cistern of your toilet will reduce the amount of water used with each flush.
9. Install a greywater system
An effective greywater system will recycle the waste water used during baths, showers and hand washes for alternative uses such as toilet flushes and garden watering.
10. Choose drought tolerant plants
Some plants can survive on far less water than others, be conscious of this when deciding which plants to purchase for your home or garden.
(Photo by colsart)