If the place you live has an abundant supply of water, and shortages and droughts are unheard of, it’s easy to take it for granted. Most times, you don’t spare a thought about how much water you consume on a daily basis as you go about with routine tasks.
To paint a clearer picture of how water is consumed in your home, consider these numbers:
- Five-minute shower: 80 liters
- One toilet flush: 9 to 12 liters
- Washing machine quick wash: 75 liters
- Dishwasher: 22 to 60 liters
- Brushing teeth: 2 to 7 liters
Your personal habits contribute to your daily use, and by making a few lifestyle changes, you can do your part in saving this valuable resource.
In the bathroom
- Don’t leave the tap running when brushing your teeth. You’ll save as much as six liters of water in one minute.
- Of the total volume of water utilized by your home, almost a third is for the toilet. A single flush consumes twelve liters. If possible, install a water cistern displacement device to reduce the amount of water used for every flush. Better yet, invest in a dual-flushing system, which reduces water volume per flush to 6 liters.
- Make your showers shorter. A fun way of timing your shower is with a song that’s four to five minutes long. You can listen to music while showering, and exercise your vocal cords if you sing along.
- If the weather is not too cold, do a quick wash instead of a shower. The simple steps to this are:
- Turn on the shower to make your skin damp.
- Switch off the shower.
- Lather with soap.
- Turn on the shower again to rinse off.
This way, you won’t need to have the water running all the time.
- Replace your shower head with an aerated one, which combines water and air. You can also install a shower regulator to limit water flow.
- Designate a cup for shaving and put it in the bathroom. Use it to rinse your razors when you shave instead of doing it under running water.
In the garden and garage
- Don’t forget to check the outdoors too. Hoses and sprinklers can waste large volumes of water if the leaks remain undetected.
- Water your garden only when necessary. A water stick makes it easy for you to monitor the soil’s moisture levels. Simply insert the stick into the ground, and an indicator will tell you whether the soil is moist or dry. If your home garden has drainage problems, use a laser level to even out the landscape and ensure that your plant’s roots are properly hydrated.
- In place of a hose, consider using a wet towel to clean your car. This saves both water and time.
- Instead of hosing your plants, use a watering can. It’s going to take more physical effort, but you can think of it as a form of physical exercise.
- If you have pet fishes, don’t throw away the “dirty” fish tank water every time you clean the aquarium. Use the water for your garden. It’s full of potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus, which are nutrients that plants love.
In the kitchen
- When doing the dishes or laundry, load the machines to their fullest capacity. Frequent small loads consume more water than bulk washes.
- When preparing meals, rinse vegetables in a basin of water, not the tap.
- Collect the water used for steaming and boiling veggies. After it’s cooled, reuse the water to water your plants. You can also use the liquid for making stock.
- Use your dishwasher to clean the dishes. Washing by hand has been proven to consume more water. You don’t have to rinse the plates before loading them in the washer. Scraping off the foodstuff will do, and uses less water.
- Buy water bottles for each member of the family. This way, you’ll avoid buying bottled water that your kids just take a few sips of and then throw away.
With water bottles, the contents are consumed and then refilled. Store these bottles in the fridge to keep cold water on hand every time your kids are thirsty.
In other areas of your home
- Don’t dump the water collected by the dehumidifier down the drain. Reuse it to water your lawn or garden.
- The next time any of your faucets have to be replaced, or you need to buy a new dishwasher or washing machine, consider investing in water-efficient types. Look for appliances that have economy mode settings or allow you to control water usage.
Living things can’t thrive without water, and this makes sense as it covers most of our planet. It’s a vital resource that needs to be conserved. By saving water in your home and by encouraging the members of your family to do the same, you are helping to ensure that your children’s children will still enjoy the benefits of using clean water — like you do now.