James Finlayson, a green blogger from the United Kingdom, has some wonderful tips for us on how we can reduce our water use, simply and easily. Share them with the kids in your life and let us know if they have other ideas, and then share them with us!
7 STRESS FREE WAYS TO SAVE WATER, by James FinlaysonWe all want to do our bit to reduce our carbon footprint and save the planet’s precious resources – or at least use them wisely. One of the easiest things that we can all do is use a little bit less water, one of the most precious commodities that the Earth has to offer – and one we can’t live without it! These methods of saving and harvesting water range from free and easy to fairly complicated and costly, but the end result makes it all worthwhile!
1. Harvest Rain Water
Collect rain water into a large rain barrel and use that for watering your plants or your car. This represents an immediate saving on your water bill and also means that plants such as vegetables are not subject to any additives such as fluoride. Rain water is pure and free and will essentially collect itself. All you need to do is purchase and set up the rain barrel in a likely position.
2. Recycle Grey Water
Grey water is water that has been used for laundry, dishwashing, bathing and showering. While not clean and pure, it is not actively harmful or unpleasant…for example like water from a sewage line would be! It is perfectly possible to use grey water for non-consumption purposes, such as watering the lawn or even for flushing the toilet. All you will need to do is purchase a pump, such as those manufactured by Wilo, which then will enable you to transport your grey water to where it can be used again, before being flushed back into the system for purification or discarding.
3. Switch off the Tap Between Uses
While brushing your teeth a surprising five to eight gallons of clean water can escape down the drain. Turn the tap off while you brush your teeth and make a discernible saving on your water costs! Also, consider shortening the length of your shower time by just one minute to further save a little water – although you are already making a difference compared to those who use a bath.
4. Fix Leaks Promptly and Properly
As soon as you spot a leak, or think there may be one lurking out of sight, call a plumber. Even though you will have to pay for having the pipes checked and fixed if necessary, you will no longer be letting your money and the planet’s precious resource drip away. The damage done by an underground leak can be shocking, especially if the water has had a long time to soak into vital foundations and structures.
5. Invest in a New Dishwasher
Yes, it is true, a new dishwasher can save you water and money. Models more then 10 years old are very inefficient and waste gallons of water, but new ones use about half the water used when doing a load by hand! Teach everyone in the family to stack the dishes correctly in the machine and only run it when it is full. Scrape plates thoroughly, skip the pre-wash and use the shortest cycle possible to further conserve water.
6. Use your Washing Machine Wisely
Do not run half loads of washing as this uses the same amount of water as a full load. Wait for your children to come home from school or in from a playdate so you can add their clothes to that last small load or seize the chance to wash the kitchen curtains if they need it.
7. Try Not to Run Water to Warm YOU Up or Cool YOU Down
We all like to get into a nice hot bath, and often start the process by letting gallons of cold water flow down the drain before it warms up and we pop the plug in. Put the plug in first and let the hot water warm up that first cold flow. Conversely, when getting a drink from the cold tap, we often let water run until the sun-warmed water from the pipes has been replaced by the icy cold water from deep underground. To prevent this waste keep a jug or bottle of cold water in the fridge for drinking.
These seven tips are excellent ways to save money and water, and hopefully will give you a satisfied glow for doing your part to prevent waste and saving your pennies at the same time!
James Finlayson works for London Pumps by day and is a green blogger at night. On weekends he enjoys cycling around the English countryside and cooking the beautiful vegetables that he grows in his garden.
For more tips on using water wisely check out an earlier ClimateMama Post “8 Water Facts and Tips”. Also, make sure to check IN with The US Environmental Protection Agency and Water Sense for more great ideas on saving water and saving money at the same time.