With population levels expected to increase exponentially over the next 50 years, water is one of our most precious natural resources. But when it’s quite literally on tap, it’s easy to slip into bad water usage habits which can result in significant and unnecessary wastage – not to mention astronomical utility bills. So if you’re looking for some great ideas to help conserve water, we’ve compiled our top 10 tips for saving water below.
Top 10 ways to conserve water
Take these 10 easy steps to reduce water consumption in your household:
• Turn off the faucet or tap. When you’re preparing vegetables, doing the dishes, shaving, washing your hands or brushing your teeth, be sure to turn the faucet off. Many of us have got into the habit of leaving water running when we’re doing basic household chores or taking care of our personal hygiene. Running water is really not necessary for most of these tasks. Reminding yourself to turn off the tap is a great way to save gallons of water.
• Check for leaks. Some water leaks can go undetected for months. So be sure to check the integrity of taps, pipes and radiators in your property. One easy way is to take a water meter reading in the morning – take off for the day, and then check your meter when you get home. If there’s been a change in the reading, you’ve probably got a leak! Find it and fix it.
• Water-saving toilets. Believe it or not, toilets can guzzle up to 30% of your household water supply every year! Toilets have come a long way, and many new models include a dual-flush function, which allows you to select a half or full flush, thereby saving more water than conventional WCs. If you have an older model, why not fill a bottle with sand and stones and place it in your toilet tank to displace water and reduce the flush and fill of your tank.
• Avoid baths, take shorter showers. It might be hard to give up your luxurious candle-lit bath. Showers are more efficient by a mile – you can rinse and switch off, lather up, and then switch on again to rinse…and you’re done. Half the water, half the time!
• Change your shower head. Some shower heads can release up to 80 gallons of water per minute, depending on the design. So, measure your shower output and if you’re surprised by the results, you can easily purchase a low-flow showerhead for between $10 to $100.
• Invest in pipe insulation. Insulating your water pipes helps to deliver hot water fast, and keeps your water hot – especially in the morning, when the shower is in demand! Pipe insulation is widely available, cheap and easy to install.
• Stay cool. Keep a jug or bottle of cold water in the fridge. This will help you avoid running the tap until the water runs cold.
• Full loads only. When you’re using the washing machine or dishwasher, always aim for full loads. Most machines now have options for half-loads or economy cycles that will use less water – but where possible, avoid switching your machine on until it’s completely full.
• No butts. Purchase a water butt to collect rain water from your garden. You can use the water you collect to feed your lawn and flowers, as well as cleaning the patio or washing the car.
• Be water aware. Small changes in water usage and consumption can make a huge difference to your pocket – and the planet. Share your water tips with others and encourage them to join you in conserving one of our most important natural resources.