The importance of water conservation has been impressed upon us for years, but it’s still easy to take clean water for granted when it is so readily accessible. The good news is that cutting down on water consumption isn’t as challenging as it seems, as small tweaks in your daily routine can lead to big savings in water usage (and bills!). Here’s an estimated breakdown of water usage for an average household:
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With this in mind, here are six ways you can cut down on water wastage at home:
1. Turn Off the Tap
It may seem obvious, but most of us are guilty of leaving the water running even when we’re not using it. To save water, turn off the shower when soaping and use a mug instead of letting the water run during teeth-brushing sessions.
2. Cut Down On Shower Time
While it’s nice to end the day with a long, relaxing shower, cutting down on shower time is one of the easiest ways to save water. Reducing your showering time by a minute can save about 9 litres of water.
If you find it difficult to keep track of time in the shower, try setting a timer.
3. Recycle Water
Yes, the 3Rs apply to water too! After steaming vegetables or boiling pasta, don’t be in a hurry to empty the cooking water down the drain – reuse it for soup stocks! Instead of washing your produce under a running tap, wash them in a basin and reuse the water to water your houseplants.
4. Maximise Washing Loads
Each cycle of your washing machine uses electricity and water, so reducing the number of washing loads can help to save on the consumption of both! When doing laundry, make sure the washing machine is running on full loads and use an eco-cycle or light wash, if possible.
5. Check for Leakages
Not many know this, but leakages from loose tap fittings, malfunctioning toilet cisterns, and water pipes can contribute significantly to water wastage. A typical leak from a kitchen can amount to 10,000 litres per year, a staggering amount of water.
To check for leaks, switch off all your taps and check your water meter. If the meter is still running, it means there’s a leak and you should call a plumber immediately.
6. Choose Water-Saving Appliances
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Common water appliances such as taps, washing machines, and cisterns are rated using the Mandatory Water Efficiency Labelling system. The more ticks a product has, the more water-efficient it is, so look for and purchase appliances with 2 or 3 ticks.