01 Apr 27 Simple Ways to Conserve Water and Save the Planet
Water is a scarce resource and yet it is one of the most important in the world, second to air. Without water, we obviously cannot survive.
And whilst this is a well-known fact, we still waste this precious life-sustaining resource every single day. If you are wondering why it is so crucial to save water, consider the impact of water scarcity on the planet. It should not surprise you that, without water, plants, animals and humans would cease to exist. The earth’s water supply is not infinite, which is why everyone needs to make an effort to reduce the amount of water they use.
Water conservation: Doing your bit
While your efforts may seem meaningless and pointless, if every person contributes to water conservation in little ways, together we can save the planet. Every small act adds up. We can make a massive difference by making a few simple changes in our day-to-day routines. It is important to know how to manage our water well in order to avoid a water crisis, which could eventually lead to the extinction of the human race.
Abeco Tanks has suggested 27 ways in which you can save water and the planet, with ease:
1. Have a shower instead of a bath
This is one easy way to save litres and litres of water. On average, one bath can use more than 80 litres of water. A five-minute shower only uses approximately 40 litres.
2. Save water while showering
You can save even more water through your hygiene habits. Allowing water to run while waiting for it to heat up in the shower uses around 30 litres of water. Instead of allowing this water to run down the drain, collect it in a bucket and use it to water your plants, flush the toilet, wash the dishes or boil the kettle.
3. If it’s yellow, let it mellow…
I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying: “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.” That may sound disgusting, but if you really think about it, flushing the toilet after each urination is completely unnecessary. An average home toilet uses around 15 litres of water per flush. Flushing the toilet after every second or third emptying of the bladder can save almost 50 litres of water. Think twice before flushing and let the yellow mellow to save more than 150 litres of water a day.
4. Plant low maintenance plants
Plants such as succulents require a very small amount of water. Having water-guzzling plants is not an eco-conscious decision. In general, it is safe to use around an inch of water per week to water an average size garden. This is significantly less than most people think their garden needs.
5. Go vegan
Or at least, reduce your meat consumption. One kilogram of beef requires 15 000 litres of water to produce, whereas plant-based foods such as lentils and tofu require less than 2000 litres of water per kilogram to produce. You can reduce your water-usage and carbon footprint by eating less meat and dairy products.
The average daily carbon footprint of a vegan is 6.3 pounds of carbon, whereas that of a meat-eater is 16. Implementing meat-free Mondays, or better-yet, going completely vegan or vegetarian is a lifestyle choice that can drastically lower your water-usage.
6. Only use your dishwasher for full loads
Most dishwashers use at least 100 litres of water per load. Using your dishwasher for full loads only can save litres of water. Alternatively, wash your dishes by hand. Use one basin for washing and one for rinsing instead of leaving the water running for each dish.
7. Water your garden before dusk or after dawn
The sun quickly absorbs water, making it necessary to use large amounts of water to sufficiently water your garden. Watering your garden when it’s cool, like in the morning or evening, can prevent this as the sun is less prominent.
8. Turn off the tap
When shaving, brushing your teeth or rinsing vegetables, turn off the tap while you are not using it. This simple way of saving a small amount of water each day can make a big contribution to decreasing your water-usage.
9. Plant endemic species
Planting species of plants that are native to your area will save water because they are well-suited to the climate. Be conscious when purchasing new plants.
10. Use a pool cover
If you have a pool, consider buying a decent pool cover. This will allow you to clean your pool less frequently and will also decrease evaporation of pool water, meaning you will need to fill it up less often.
11. Use recirculating water pumps
Be sure to use pumps that recirculate water in your pool, fountain or pond.
12. Use your public pool
Most suburbs offer free public pools for the surrounding community. An average pool requires nearly 100 000 litres of water to fill, and this excludes the amount of water needed to clean and maintain the pool. Instead of building a private pool in your home, use the community pool. Not only will this save water, it will also save the money you would need to spend to build a pool and keep it functioning and clean.
13. Insulate your water pipes
Insulated hot water pipes will give you almost instant hot water in your shower, bath or sink. This means that you won’t waste water waiting for it to heat up.
14. Use a hosepipe nozzle when washing your car
By using a nozzle on your hose, or alternatively turning it off when you aren’t using the water, can save around 400 litres of water each time you wash your car.
15. Store your roof water
Store the water that collects on your roof in tanks and use it to water the garden or flush the toilet. Water can easily be repurposed. This simple tip can save around 70 litres of water each time you use it.
16. Collect rainwater
Rainwater can be collected in buckets and repurposed in the garden, bathroom and kitchen. An average rain shower produces approximately 10 000 litres of water, which can make a huge difference when this is saved and used to flush toilets, wash dishes, water plants or even to drink once boiled.
17. Install a tap aerator
A tap aerator is a small device screwed on to a showerhead, creating a non-splashing water flow and reducing the amount of water released by mixing water and air to produce the same feeling as a shower that uses significantly more water. This way, all the water released will be used and not wasted and you can use less water in the shower without even noticing.
18. Wear polyester clothing
Although this may be considered tacky, most people won’t even notice the difference in clothing materials. To produce one cotton t-shirt requires 15 000 litres of water. That’s the amount of water consumed by the average person over three years. On the other hand, one polyester t-shirt only takes 350 litres of water to produce.
19. Change the way you defrost your food
Instead of using running water to defrost your frozen foods, leave a frozen food item in the fridge for a few hours before you need to cook it to allow it to defrost without using unnecessary tap water.
20. Roast, fry or microwave your food
Consider roasting, frying or cooking in a microwave as opposed to boiling your foods. Boiling a medium-sized pot of potatoes or vegetables uses about five litres of water. If you boil one pot of vegetables each day for a year, you use nearly 2000 litres of water. By using alternative cooking methods, you can save a significant amount of water.
21. Avoid single-use plastics
To make one plastic water bottle, more than double the amount of water contained in the bottle is required for production. Further to this, it takes approximately 100 litres of water to create one kilogram of plastic. If you consider all the single-use plastic items you use on a daily basis, such as bottles, straws, food packaging and takeaway containers, a remarkable amount of water is wasted on these items. Consider purchasing reusable products, like water bottles, metal straws, coffee flasks and reusable shopping bags. In the long run, this will also save you a lot of money wasted on unnecessary plastic items.
22. Replace hand wash with hand sanitiser
Washing your hands for 20 seconds uses three litres of water. Let’s say you use the toilet eight times in one day, you will use 24 litres of water every day purely to wash your hands. Using hand sanitiser or hand wipes instead of washing your hands can save water while still allowing you to maintain your hygiene.
23. Throw away personal hygiene products
Throwing away intimate hygiene products, such as tampons, instead of flushing them down the toilet can save 150 litres of water per day in toilet flushing. Dispose of intimate hygiene products in a dustbin instead of using water by flushing unnecessarily.
24. Use dry shampoo in between hair washes
According to hairstylists, you only actually need to wash your hair once or twice a week. If this sounds unattainable for you, or if you have particularly difficult or oily hair, buy yourself a bottle of dry shampoo to use in between hair washes. Dry shampoo absorbs the oil in your hair, making it look and feel cleaner. This will save shower water without compromising your appearance.
25. Be energy-conscious and save water
Turn off lights around the house, don’t leave the TV blasting in the background, turn off pumps overnight and switch off plugs that you aren’t using. This may seem irrelevant to saving water, but producing and using energy requires extremely large amounts of water. The average person uses 500% more electricity than they did 50 years ago, which means that water is often wasted on electricity used unnecessarily.
26. Reduce, reuse, recycle
This phrase has been overused and turned into a cliche, but its message is still extremely relevant in 2020. Almost every manmade product requires water to manufacture. This means that thousands and thousands of litres of water are wasted each and every day when products are bought needlessly or are thrown away before being repurposed or recycled.
The three Rs are a great guideline to follow when buying or throwing away anything. Firstly, avoid impulsive buys. Don’t buy anything you don’t actually need. Then, try to reuse products where possible. For example, use glass jars to store loose food items instead of throwing them away. Lastly, if all else fails, recycle what you can, instead of throwing it away for it to end up in a landfill, wasting the water used to produce it.
27. Check for water leaks and fix them sooner rather than later
Leaks can be a silent, but brutal, water-waster. Many leaks can go easily unnoticed in your home or business. In order to be confident you have no leaks, you can check for yourself. First, turn off all the water sources in your house or business, like taps, and make sure the toilet isn’t currently running from flushing. Then, check your water meter to see if it is still measuring water being used. If so, get in contact with a plumber as soon as possible to find and repair the leaks. Don’t let water leaks contribute to your water bill. Be sure to fix them so that you can conserve water while also not spending money needlessly.
Every single person can make a difference and help save the planet and its inhabitants by making simple lifestyle changes and making smart decisions with the way we use water. Keep saving water in all the little ways you can and remember that every drop counts.