These 25 water conservation hacks would surely benefit the environment.
The steady rise in population growth and continuous economic development have resulted in the increased demand in freshwater. The improved living standards over the last few years also added to the water stress. With the environment’s decreased capacity to produce water, it seems that this growing demand will not be satisfied to the full.
Drought is a natural part of Australia’s history, and this will likely carry on in the future. For this reason, its citizens are encouraged to engage in water efficiency initiatives. With Australia being the driest inhabited continent, collective effort in water conservation can contribute a lot to alleviate water stress. Everyone can do their part in conserving water, beginning with simple steps at home.
Conserving Water in the Kitchen
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that an average household uses up to 31 litres of water per day in the kitchen sink. Dishwashing by hand, for example, consumes around 18 litres of water on the average; whereas, dishwashers use 15 to 20 litres depending on the cycle.
Here are some smart ways you can minimise water consumption and wastage in the kitchen:
1. Let the dishwasher do the job.
You might think that this is counterintuitive, but you actually use more water by hand washing your dishes. With hand washing, you are using more than 3 times more water. Choose a dishwasher with at least a WELS rating of 4.5 stars; it uses only 15 litres of water per cycle. So, save water — and give yourself a break from all the scrubbing and washing — by letting the dishwasher do the job. Win-win.
2. Get your faucets fitted with aerators.
How could something so simple and cheap be so clever and effective? Aerators allow you to save water by separating a single stream into multiply sprays of water. By introducing air into the water flow, it gets less space to flow through and reduces the flow. It results in less water consumed, which also results in a lower water bill.
3. Go for single-lever mixer taps.
Single lever taps allow you to mix and control water temperature and flow with just one lever. You won’t have to wait long to achieve your desired water temperature. And with the water flowing out from a single spout, you won’t waste water.
4. Have an alternative to in-sink garburators.
Aside from the environmental implication, in-sink garbage disposal unit also ramp up water usage at home. It can also overload the septic tank or sewage system, which can add up to the maintenance cost. One good alternative for this fixture is by starting a compost pile.
5. Don’t use running water to rinse fruits and vegetables.
You will end up using way more water than necessary if you do it this way. Instead, wash the produce in a stoppered sink or basin of water.
6. Check your faucets and pipes for water leaks.
One small leaking faucet can waste up to 9,000 litres of water in a year. That’s enough water for an average person to do all things water-related in a full month. To prevent this wastage, it is essential to check and fix for drips in your faucets, pipes and even toilet periodically.
Preserving Water While in the Shower
For a 7-minute shower, one will typically consume about 55 to 64.2 litres of water. That’s approximately 9 litres of water coming out from a water-efficient showerhead per minute. Add 10 litres more per minute if you are using an older showerhead model. So, how do you minimise the amount of water you use in the shower? Consider these tips:
1. Switch to a low-flow showerhead.
By installing a low-flow showerhead, you only use 2 gallons or less water per minute instead of the usual 2.5 gallons. For every minute spent showering, you can save as much as 20 litres of water.
2. Use a shower timer.
Sometimes you may think you only spent 10 minutes in the shower when in fact you have spent 15 minutes. The thing is that it’s quite easy to lose track of time whilst showering. Make shower time water-efficient by using a shower timer. This attachment can effectively save water by limiting the time you spend consuming water in the shower. And don’t keep the water running while lathering your hair or body!
3. Keep your shower time short.
Taking a quick shower is a great way to start saving water in the shower. Obviously, you consume less water with a shorter shower time. Try to cut back on shower time and limit it to 4 or 5 minutes. By taking shorter showers with a 3-star WELS rated showerhead, you only use no more than 9 litres of water per minute.
How to Save Water in Toilets
In the toilet is where the largest percentage of water usage at home goes. Toilets with single flush cistern flush down 9 to 11 litres of water per use. Those fitted with a dual flush cistern consumes 3 litres water for a half flush and 4.5 to 6 litres for a full flush. If you consider the number of household members using the toilet and the how frequent each one uses it in a day, the amount of water consumed can easily add up. Consider these tips to save water in toilets:
1. Don’t use the toilet as if it’s a trash bin.
Facial tissue, cigarette butt, and other bits of trash and personal hygiene products should not go into the toilet. It wastes gallons of water and can cause a maintenance problem in the long run. There are only three things that should go in there — pee, poo and toilet paper.
2. Use a tank float booster or use a DIY alternative.
A float booster or tank bank can help save more than 10 gallons of water per day. It is inexpensive and quite easy to use. You may also improvise by filling two plastic bottles with sand or pebbles and screw the cap back on. Put these bottles inside the toilet tank, in a corner away from the working mechanisms.
3. Install a dual flush model toilet.
As mentioned earlier, a dual flush toilet is a smarter choice for its water efficiency. It allows full flush for solid waste and half flush for liquid waste. With a dual flush model, you can save up to 70% more water. It is better for the environment and saves you money on your water bill.
Simple Hacks for Decreased Water Use in the Laundry
Around 13% of water use in Australian household goes into the laundry. And depending on the washing machine that you use, you could be wasting over 460,000 litres of water. But by changing the way you wash your clothes making smart choices, you can eliminate this wastage. Follow these tips:
1. Wash only with full loads.
As much as you possibly can, forego laundry if you only have a few items to wash. Or check if your washer has a setting for half-load and adjust the water levels to match the load. Washing with full loads gets you the cleanest clothes with the water you use.
2. Consider doing laundry only once a week.
When you wash by only one load weekly, you save 120 litres of water. Also, handwashing clothes with delicate fabrics allow you to use much less water. Handwashing is gentler for your delicate items and they will last longer.
3. Use a high-efficiency washing machine.
Using water-efficient appliances can help save up to 35% on water bills. Washing machines can be notorious water wasters, and it’s time to rethink your choices. The most efficient washing machines have a WELS star rating of 5 stars or higher.
Smart Water Saving Tips for the Yard and Garden
Garden sprinklers can consume up to 1000 litres of water per hour. Meanwhile, watering your garden by hand can sometimes result in water wastage due to overwatering, drips, and run-offs. It is easy to unknowingly waste so much water in your yard and garden, thinking it all goes into your greenery. Save water with these tips:
1. Use greywater for plants.
Collecting and using greywater is a great way to preserve water. You can collect greywater by keeping a pail to gather used water that’s still clean enough to be reused. The water used to wash fruits and vegetables and the water coming from your washing machine’s rinse cycle, for instance, are good for watering the plants.
2. Use a pail to wash your car.
When you wash your car with a running hose, you use around 200 litres of water. But you can easily cut it down to 50% by using a pail to wash your car and only using the hose for rinsing. When rinsing, use a spray nozzle for more efficiency.
3. Don’t hose down sidewalks and driveways.
Similarly, avoid using the hose to clean the sidewalks and driveways of dirt and leaves. Use a broom instead, and only hose down spots with grimes. This small change in the way you clean these areas can help conserve water and save on bills.
4. Water your plants during the least hot time of the day.
It’s best to water your plants early or late in the day when the evaporation rate is lower. The best time would be early in the morning before the full-on sunshine. It will prevent the formation of fungus that can harm your plants. But late afternoon during sunset is also fine.
5. Choose plants that do not require lots of water to thrive.
With Australia’s often challenging climate and the drive for water conservation, we need to make smart choices in almost every aspect of our lives. That extends to your garden and yard, and opting for drought-resistant plants can do the trick. With a garden graced with water-saving plant selections, you save on water and maintenance. Native plants are usually the best choices for this.
6. Choose the best spot for your garden sprinklers.
For maximised efficiency, position your sprinklers where the water only reaches on the lawn or garden and not on the paved areas.
7. Get your garden installed with automatic irrigation system.
If you haven’t got an automatic irrigation system installed yet, maybe it’s time to get one. Not only is having one prevent water wastage due to overwatering, run-off, drips and leaks, but it is also convenient. Imagine not having to worry about whether or not the plants have been watered, especially when you are on holiday. This system allows adjustments, so it works on a specific time of the day and is optimised according to the weather or season.
Without realising it, you may be using more water than necessary. By making small adjustments in the way you do things, you can stop wasting water here and there. The water you save may not seem that much at first, but if you add everything up, you will see how significant it can be. Here are some more tips:
1. Store a jug of drinking water in your fridge.
A cool glass of water relieves parched throats, especially during summer. During extra hot days, don’t waste water by letting the water run to cool it off. Instead, keep a jug or bottle of water in the fridge. You will also get much colder water to drink this way.
2. Don’t leave the water running.
Many people get in the habit of keeping the water running while shaving, soaping their hands, or brushing their teeth. Those can easily waste more than 200 gallons of water in a month. But you can save that much water by turning the faucet off as you go about your brushing, shaving, and lathering up.
3. Insulate your hot water pipes.
This procedure is reasonably inexpensive and can save water by retaining water heat. It prevents water wastage which typically happens when cold water gets flushed out while waiting for hot water to come out.
Make Your Home Water-Efficient with help from Licensed Plumbers
By following the tips and tricks suggested in this article, you are doing a significant part in conserving water in your community. You may use this simple tool to know more about how much water your household consumes.
Having your home plumbing checked is one of the easiest ways you can prevent unattended water wastage. At Green Planet Plumbing, we make sure your home is water efficient. We can check your home’s plumbing system for any issues that may result in high maintenance cost and water bills.
We test for any for leaks, drips, backflows and other problems. Let our trusted, professional and licensed plumbers handle your home plumbing issues! Contact us today for enquiries, and we can service you anywhere in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Central Coast and Hunter Valley. Get in touch today.