South-Africa is a water-scarce country, but still we waste literally hundreds of litres of water daily. Here are some tips for saving water.
As much as we love it, bathing is pretty much at the top of the list of things not to do when saving water. Unfortunately, a shallow bath just doesn’t have the same appeal as a full one in our family. So showering it is. Five-minute ones at that.
But while swapping the bath for the shower is such an obvious and easy water-saving idea, there are so many sneaky ways to waste water without even realising it. In fact, just opening your eyes to how, where and when you use water will have you reaching for the tap, plug and bucket.
Although the government slaps us with restrictions each year, we moan that our grass is dying and we all know this precious resource is scarily close to depletion, we are all guilty of letting that water flow.
Try these quick tips for saving water inside
- Never, oh never, pour water down the drain. Use it for watering the garden or cleaning.
- Make sure your home is leak free – this includes toilets.
- Repair dripping taps – a slow dripping tap can waste 30 litres of water a day.
- Don’t let the toilet run – make sure the handle is not in a flush position.
- Install a toilet dam to reduce the amount of water used for each flush. Better still, invest in a dual-flush toilet.
- Avoid flushing it unnecessarily.
- Place a bucket in the shower to catch excess water.
- Limit the amount of water you boil in your kettle to what you need.
- Don’t leave the tap running when brushing teeth, shaving and washing hands. You can waste up to five litres in a single minute.
- Store drinking water in the fridge.
- Get hot water fast: insulate your pipes.
- Don’t thaw frozen meat or vegetables under running water.
- Wash only full loads in your washing machine.
- Use a bowl when rinsing vegetables.
Saving water outside
- Don’t overwater the lawn – and only water in the early morning and late afternoon.
- Plant a waterwise garden.
- Install irrigation devices and systems that are water efficient, including micro and drip irrigation options. This may require a few trips to the hardware store.
- Wash your car on the lawn. That way you’ll be watering the garden at the same time.
- Don’t overfill your pool.
- Pop on a pool cover. You’ll be amazed at how much water you save that won’t be evaporated and it also keeps in the heat.
- When mowing the lawn, don’t give it a number one. Cut only the top third. That way it’ll retain more water.
- Use mulch and compost on your lawn. The nutrients will help retain the moisture too.
- Use a broom to sweep patios and pathways – don’t ever ‘sweep’ with the hose.
Start at the source – look for alternatives
- Tapping into other natural water sources is a brilliant way to increase your water awareness and ultimately save. Water tanks catch rainwater directly from your roof. While you may not need the supply during the rainy months of the year, you’ll have plenty when the dry season comes.
- Boreholes are big. While it’s a hefty financial outlay initially, this underground movement will certainly be paying for itself in the years to come.
- Greywater is the waste water from your shower, bath, basins, washing machine and dishwasher. A greywater system enables you to use treated greywater in a number of ways such as watering your garden, washing your car and other outside applications. What’s more, it can also be stored.