Water may seem like an abundant resource in wetter climates. But freshwater globally is scarce and we are wasting it every single day. Water saving is an important part of sustainability. Here are some water saving tips for you and your home:
Consider Where Water is Used
When we think about saving water, we tend to think about our water use in terms of what we can see. But most of the water wasted is wasted in our names far from where we live. Water is used in vast quantities (and often irresponsibly) to:
- Grow our food.
- Make our clothing and textiles.
- Make many of the things we buy, including disposal items we use and throw away.
Some water use is out of our control. But we can have a bigger impact than we think by making the right choices as consumers. To save water we should:
- Reduce the overall amount that we buy. Refuse, reduce, reuse, repair and recycle. Use reusable items and avoid disposable items, especially plastic and non-recyclables, whenever we can.
- Choose water-wise foods, grown sustainably, locally and organically, reduce our meat and dairy consumption and ideally grow at least some of our own food at home.
- Switch to lower water intensive options like hemp and other sustainable fabrics.
- Be more aware of the water cost (as well as the energy costs) of all the things we buy.
Consider Where Your Water Comes From
Rainwater harvesting is one way to become more water wise and to conserve fresh water in your home. You can easily and cheaply place a barrel or water butt on the down spout of your home to collect the rainwater that falls on your roof. This rainwater can be channelled into an irrigation system for your garden, or collected to water plants. It can even be passed through a filtration system and used within your home.
Reuse Water and Rethink Sanitation
In addition to collecting rainwater, you can also go greener by directing grey water from your sink and bathroom to a food production area or to flush toilets. Grey water can also be passed to a reed bed filtration system. Waste water from the toilets can also be managed more sustainably. You could also consider going water-free in the toilet department and opting instead for a composting toilet.
Other Water Saving Tips For Your Home
- Shower or bathe less frequently, and use less water when you do.
- Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or shaving, or when washing up.
- Use plugs in baths, showers and sinks to save water for other uses.
- Scrape and wipe plates before washing them to cut down on water needed to get them clean.
- Wash clothes less frequently, and run your washing machine only when full.
- Have a water-wise garden, employing techniques like planting, mulching and low-impact irrigation to reduce our water needs.
Try to apply these water saving tips one at a time to create a sustainable change! Let’s conserve our freshwater together.