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Wednesday
May072014

14 Simple Water Conservation Tips

With the challenges that the world is facing in the provision of clean water, water conservation has become an essential practice all over the world, even in old Blighty (Britain, for those who are wondering) where it rains in abundance! Here is a number of ways that you can play your part in conserving water.

1.      Take short, cold showers! 

Image courtesy of Kelly Teague

As well as using less water, the health benefits of taking a cold shower are endless. They include improved circulation, increased metabolism, relief of depression, healthy skin and hair, strengthened immunity, increased fertility and increased energy and well-being.

2.      Don't flush the toilet unnecessarily

Image courtesy of Joel Penner

Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bits of rubbish down a toilet, up to thirty litres of treated water is wasted.

3.      Check taps and pipes for leaks. This includes your toilet, bathroom and anywhere within your household that water is used.

Image courtesy of Korona4Reel

Did you know that a small drip from a worn tap washer can waste 90 litres of water per day; just imagine how much a larger leak can waste.

4.      Take showers instead of baths

Image courtesy of espensorvik

One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, and then turn it back on to rinse off. By doing this you could save between 20 to 45 litres of water every minute. And, just taking a five minute shower every day, instead of a bath, will use up a third of the water, saving up to 400 litres a week.

5.      Turn off the water after you rinse your toothbrush

Image courtesy of pau.artigas

There isn’t any need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth; it wastes around 9 litres a minute. Instead, rinse your brush and fill up a glass to wash your mouth with afterwards.

6.      Rinse your razor in the sink

Alternative: rinse your razor using a cup! Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Fill the sink with a few inches of warm water; this will rinse your razor just as well as running water – with far less water wasted.

7.      Use your clothes and dishwasher only for full loads

Image courtesy of Lisa Brewster

For the optimum amount of water conservation, dishwashers and clothes washers should be fully loaded. Also, contrary to what you may believe, most manufacturers of dishwashing soap recommend that no pre-rinsing of dishes is done – a big water saver.

8.      When hand washing dishes, don't leave the water running for the rinse

Image courtesy of Andrew Eason

If you have a double-basin, it is best to fill one basin with soapy water and one with warm water to use for rinsing. If you have a single-basin sink, place washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a pan-full of hot water.

9.      Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge

Image courtesy of Pittaya Sroilong

Cool water kept in a fridge means you won’t have to be wasteful by running the tap to cool it off for drinking.

10.  Turn off the hose while washing your car

Image courtesy of Mark Turnauckas

Do what I do: clean the car using a bucket of soapy water and only use the hose for rinsing off the soap. And if you do use a hose, attach a spray nozzle to the end to use less water. This is an easy way of saving up to 900 litres when washing your car.

11.  Grow the grass in your garden a little longer

 

Image courtesy of Mr.TinDC


It will stay greener than a closely trimmed lawn and will need less watering. 

12.  Sprinklers can be wasteful

Image courtesy of Thangaraj Kumaravel

It doesn't take that long for a sprinkler to soak your lawn thoroughly, so use it sparingly if you must. Remember, sprinklers can use as much water in one hour as a family of four uses in a day.

13.  Water your garden at the coolest part of the day

Image courtesy of Diganta Talukdar

Dawn or dusk is usually the best time to water your plants and lawn, as it’s often the coolest part of the day and as a result, reduces evaporation. By watering at these times, it protects your garden against slugs, garden pests and prevents the growth of fungus.

14.  Reuse your towels whether you are at home or staying in a hotel

Image courtesy of Vernon Swanepoel

These signs are littered in most bathrooms that you come across when staying at a hotel, and for good reason! Washing towels requires a lot of water as the very nature of towels is to soak up and dry our skin after washing; hence they are good at absorbing large amounts of water. So, reuse to conserve water usage.

As well as saving money on your utility bill, these water conservation tips can help to prevent water pollution in nearby lakes and rivers – which would be caused by an overloading of the sewage treatment facilities. To put this into perspective: the smaller the amount of water flowing through these systems, the lower the likelihood of pollution. It can also extend the life of your septic system by reducing soil saturation and pollution that is caused due to leaks. All in all, a worthwhile endeavour!

Help the world stay green by volunteering on an environmental conservation project, or see all Frontier's volunteering abroad opportunities.

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