Water is undoubtedly a valuable resource, but it is not infinite. Continuous population growth and weather changes make our water supply even smaller each year. But knowing how to save water will not only cut our utility expenses but also preserve nature. So, turn your home and everyone in the household into heroes! Let’s start making every drop count with these essential water conservation tips.
Water Conservation in the Bathroom
- Go for shorter showers. Also, turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. These tips are doable and won’t cost a thing. Installing a shower timer might help, but as for me, singing my favourite 4-minute song is way better!
- Install water-saving bathroom fixtures. But if taking shorter showers (or singing) is not your thing, fit your bathroom with low-flow showerheads. These can reduce your water usage by up to 40%.
- Upgrade your single-flush toilet. Did you know that 20% of our household water use come from toilets? With an adjustable toilet flapper or dual-flush converter installed, you can save up to 80L of water per day.
- Look for WELS star-rated devices. Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) are labels you’ll see on products like showers, toilets and taps. These show how much water regulated items will use at a time. The highest star rating is six, and a higher star rating means better efficiency.
Water Conservation in the Kitchen
- Handwash dishes properly. Don’t leave the water running while rinsing. If you have a two-compartment kitchen sink, make the most of it. Fill one side with soapy water, then use the other for rinsing. For your single-basin sink, you can also use a sprayer to rinse dishes on a rack in one go.
- Wash fresh produce in a bowl. This way, you get clean fruits and vegetables plus rinse water for your plants.
- Teach kids to conserve drinking water. Children tend to pour out excess water after drinking. Ask them to fill their glasses with water that they can consume. Or have a spare bottle or bowl in the kitchen for saving the excess that you can repurpose later.
- Use your dishwasher efficiently. Avoid pre-rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. And make sure to run it on full load, then clean it up regularly. A dishwasher can save more than washing dishes by hand. So, if you’re thinking of replacing it, choose an efficient dishwasher with high WELS star ratings.
Water Conservation in the Laundry
- Choose front-loading machines if possible. These can help you save up to 70% of water. That’s because top-loaders wash clothes by floating. Front-loaders, on the other hand, can pick and drop clothes into the wash water repeatedly. Getting a 4-star WELS machine or higher is even better.
- Wash clothes in cold water. This tip will reduce your energy use alongside your efficient washing machine. It can also minimise clothing shrinkage and fading. Check out our article on energy-saving for more helpful tips.
- Repurpose greywater. Collect the water from the final rinse cycle in a bucket, then use it for your watering plants, cleaning or flushing the toilet. If you’re repurposing greywater for your garden, make sure you’re using low-sodium detergent.
Saving Water Outdoors
- Water your plants by hand. If you have a small garden space, use a hose or watering can. These are more efficient than automated sprinklers or irrigation systems.
- Apply moisture-retaining techniques. Cover your plants with a layer of mulch or compost, and take out the weeds to increase water retention. Also, during hot weather, consider watering your plants at night for better absorption.
- Choose native plants. Or better yet, go for Australian plant varieties and build yourself a native garden oasis. These types can thrive better in your area, even without frequent watering.
- Prepare rain barrels or tanks. During the rainy season, use a barrel or drum to collect rainwater from your roof or gutter. You can repurpose collected rainwater for your garden beds. Just make sure to cover the drum to keep mosquitoes away.
- Play with water guns and toys smartly. These toys can encourage kids to waste precious water. Here’s an idea. Use them in the garden instead. This way, the kids can play and water the plants at the same time. Take this chance to teach kids household chores and make learning fun!
General Water-Saving Tips
- Use a broom or air blower instead of a hose when sweeping the driveway.
- Wash your car sparingly, or bring it to a commercial washer with recirculating systems.
- Make it a habit to check your taps, sinks and toilets for water leaks and fix them immediately.
- If you have a pool at home, cover it to retain temperature and reduce evaporation.
- Eat more veggies and less water-intensive food items like beef. It can cut food costs, too!
- Buy fewer clothes, household goods and other consumer products to lessen your water footprint.
Remember, even if you can only save a small amount, it can make a difference when we are saving water together!