With the acceleration of climate change, water security has become a critical issue for most countries. Even in regions where water seems abundant, water conservation is still a crucial matter as most water sources require treatment before use. These processes consume a lot of resources and energy. With water conservation, we reduce the demand or load on the supply of freshwater which not only has environmental benefits but can help us reduce cost. 

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Water conservation is an existential matter, especially in arid regions of the world.   But you don’t have to be a hardcore environmentalist or an eco-freak to make a difference. You can take easy steps at home that will help reduce your water consumption—and make your wallet happy too!

 

In this article, I share 10 ways you can save water at home and contribute to waste conversation. These are simple tips and tricks that you can implement easily. By doing so, you not only contribute to sustainability, but you can also reduce your cost on utility bills. As with everything sustainability, if we all contribute our part, collectively we will make a significant impact. 

 

1. Turn off the faucet while you’re brushing your teeth

There are two layers to this.  The first and most crucial part is to turn off the faucet while we brush our teeth. A lot of people unconsciously keep the tap running while they brush their teeth. Doing this will significantly reduce the amount of water we consume brushing our teeth. The second layer is to actually use a cup when we rinse. Even people who turn off the tap while brushing their teeth still run the tap when they rinse. By rinsing with a cup of water we can significantly reduce the amount of water we use when we brush and rinse our teeth.

 According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) leaving water running can waste 4 gallons (15 litres) each time! Adopting these two tips we’ve discussed here would reduce that significantly. 

 

2. Take shorter showers

We all love to have that long hot shower, don’t we? Well, why we cannot cut that out entirely, being mindful of the amount of waste that comes with the habit can help reduce the amount of water we waste showering. 

At an average flow rate of 2.5 gallons (9.5 litres) per minute for an average shower head. Having a 10-minute shower would consume approximately 25 gallons (95 litres) of water. Aim to limit show time whenever you can to reduce the amount of water you consume when you shower. 

You can save a lot of water by taking shorter showers and turning the faucet off while you lather up. If you shave or brush your teeth in the shower, be sure to turn off the water while you’re doing so. 

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3. Collect rainwater

Collecting rainwater can be a great way to reduce your household water usage. Rain barrels are an efficient and inexpensive way to collect rainwater from your roof, and then use it for things such as watering plants or flushing toilets. You can have your plumber hook up the water supply for toilets and watering plants to a rainwater tank as a primary source and only use the main supply as a secondary source. 

If you have a barrel or two in place, there might be times when you don’t have enough collected water to meet all your needs. In these cases, collecting more rainwater is always better than letting it go unused!

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4. Collect cold water runoff from your shower

How long do you let the cold water from the shower head run off while waiting for the heated water to start flowing? This is a common problem in most apartments or buildings that had individual water heaters installed. This often amounts to a substantial waste of water that could be used for other household needs. Consider having a bucket to collect the cold water for around the house for tasks like gardening, carwash or other domestic needs.

Here is a business idea! Why hasn’t someone invented a showerhead that can collect cold water and channel it back to the water tank?

 

5. Reuse grey water on plants

Grey water is domestic wastewater that comes from showers, laundry, bath water, etc. A huge amount of the water we use ends up as grey what. We can contribute to water conservation by finding an alternative use for grey water. One of the most common uses of greywater is use in irrigation. You can collect grey water and use it as part of your irrigation process. If you have a drip system, this is an easy way to add extra moisture and nutrients into the soil around plants that don’t require much watering. This is particularly useful in arid regions, as a means of conserving freshwater supplies.

 

6. Use appliances like dishwashers and washing machines efficiently

 

7. Fix dripping pipes and leaky faucets.

Leaks are often ignored until they cause damage. This can be an insidious source of water waste.  Taking care of these small issues is an easy way to save thousands of gallons of water each year!

 

8. Install water efficient Taps and Showerheads

These days, you can retrofit your home with water-efficient shower heads and faucets at very little cost. Fit shower heads and faucets with aerators. An aerator is a small attachment that either fits onto the end of the tap or can be inserted inside of the existing spout. This device will save water without affecting water pressure because air is mixed into the water stream. 

These allow the water flow to be reduced significantly while the cleaning effect and pressure of the water supply is substantially increased. 

 

9. Plant Drought resistant plants and trees

Gardening can consume quite a bit of water depending on the type of plants you grow. Switching to drought-resistant plants and trees is a good way to conserve water while still maintaining your greenery. These plants are adapted to lower water consumption and can thrive in much smaller quantities of water. Some examples include; Bottlebrush buckeye, Bearberry, White fir, Bur oak and Yarrow.

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10. Use Your Water Meter to Check for Hidden Water Leaks

If you live in a big house, chances are some leaks might go unnoticed for quite some time. A good tip to detect hidden leaks is to read the house water metre before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the metre does not read exactly the same, there is a leak. If you suspect one, you can have your plumber come in for repairs.  Big homes consume a lot of water, so this little exercise can have a significant impact on the water consumption in your home.

 

Conclusion

You can make a huge impact on the environment by using water more efficiently at home.

Reducing your water consumption is easy. We have discussed some practical tips that can help you conserve water at home in this article. It starts with being conscious of your habits around water consumption. From there, you can implement some of these tips to help conserve water and contribute to sustainable living.

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