How to conserve water in the home
These days we are all more conscious of the need to protect the environment and to use our valuable resources wisely. Water is one of the most precious commodities that we have. It is needed for life itself and is not the limitless resource that we once thought it to be.
Modern life has created many labour saving devices but some of these can waste water if not used thoughtfully. Making a conscious effort to utilise your water supply effectively makes sense. If your water supply is metered it could also save you money. There are many ways to save water and most of them require little work on your part.
How to conserve water in the bathroom
- Take a shower instead of a bath.
- Place a water saving device in the cistern of your toilet. Some people simply place a brick into the cistern, which decreases the amount of water used for each flush. You can, however, buy an appropriate water saving device for your cistern.
- Always turn the tap or faucet off when you are cleaning your teeth and bathing. For example, turn the shower off whilst you lather your hair with shampoo and soap your body. Turn the water back on to rinse, instead of leaving it to flow and you will save a great deal of water. Similarly turn the water off whilst you brush your teeth.
- Do not get washed under a running faucet or tap. It would be better to put the plug into the basin plughole.
- Invest in one of the latest condensing boilers. These will save you money, energy and water in the long run. The water should be instantly warm and not need to be run for a while, to warm up.
- If you have to run the shower water, whilst it heats up, catch this water in a bucket or bowl. This can be used to flush down the toilet or water the garden.
- Buy one of the latest toilets, and showers, that are so water efficient.
How to conserve water in the garden or yard
- Plants often need watering which means that investing in a rainwater butt can save you valuable water.
- Do not use water to clean your windows. Use a proprietary cleaner.
- Do not clean the car,or any other vehicles,more often than is necessary.
- Put your car in the garage at night and when it is not in use. It will keep cleaner this way.
- Conserve rainwater when it is abundant and you will have plenty to see you through the drier spells.
- When you are designing your garden try to make it water friendly. Not all plants, trees and shrubs require bucket loads of water. Some only need a sprinkling in the hottest summer weather.
- Think also about plants that survive well in the shade. Sunny spots will be forever needing watering.
- Buy a greenhouse or lean to, however small it may be. The steamy atmosphere of a well managed greenhouse can minimise the watering needed.
- Even dirty water may be suitable for watering your garden. I do not mean filthy, foul smelling water but simply water from your washing or pots. Use discarded water from, for example, changing the filter in your water jug, to water plants in your garden.
- Never use a hose or sprinkler to clean paths or water gardens. A bucket and a watering can will be better options.
- Consider replacing your lawn with gravel. It will be low maintenance and never need watering.
- Alternatively look at replacing the grass with an artificial lawn. The initial outlay may not be cheap but an artificial lawn has longevity, looks good and is almost maintenance free.
- If you have to water your plants in the garden make sure that you do so at the coolest times of the day. Preferably early in the morning and late at night. The water will be fully utilised.
How to conserve water in the kitchen and utility area of your home
- Next time you need to replace any of your white goods, such as washing machines and dishwashers, ensure that the replacement is the most energy and water efficient model available.
- Never run your washing machine or dishwasher without a full load. If you just have a few pots try using the traditional method and hand washing your pots.
- If you do hand wash your dishes make sure that you always use a bowl to minimise waste.
- If you have one of those kitchen sinks with two bowls try using one for washing dishes and fill the other with clear water for rinsing.
- Check the manufacturer’s instructions for your dishwasher and washing machine so that you are familiar with their economy settings. These will help you to save water, energy and money.
- If you run your tap or faucet a little before filling a glass with drinking water make sure that a bowl is catching the running water. This can be used to swill paths and water plants.
- Old freezers and refrigerators can waste water. Upgrade to a more energy and water efficient model as soon as possible.
- Use the water drained from cooking vegetables to make a stock or gravy.