How to conserve water in the home
WATER is the source of all life on earth, but are we doing enough to save it? At a time when access to drinking water is at an alltime low, there’s never been a better time to put water saving strategies in place in your home.
While water is a freely available resource, it is a scarce one — often compromised by low rainfall, heat waves that result in high evaporation rates, pollution and the destruction of river catchments.
It’s scary to think that many people don’t have enough water to meet their basic needs. And it’s having a ripple effect — crops are also feeling the impact of the water shortages, meaning the price of food could go up substantially too.
Jasmin Kraneveldt from Bathroom Bizarre, Liam Gawne from Miele and Craig Taylor Bathroom Butler share clever ways to help reduce your water consumption in the bathroom, laundry and kitchen.
1. Under pressure Many people are happy to make considerable changes to reduce their water consumption, except when it comes to their bath or shower time.
Jasmin says bathing is a therapeutic experience, especially because many homeowners are living busy lives.
A long, hot shower is a great way to wash away the day’s woes, she says. But, this experience needn’t be completely compromised during water-stressed times, she says.
Jasmin suggests replacing your existing showerhead with a water efficient model to significantly reduce the amount of water you use when you shower.
She says there’s a wide selection of shower heads on the market that save water — lots of it. Not only that, she says they’re also relatively inexpensive and easy to install.
The same can be said for taps —water efficient tap aerators can be bought separately and manually inserted onto your existing tap, making them an affordable alternative to buying and installing a whole new water efficient faucet in your bathroom.
Jasmin says homeowners can get a variety of aerators that restrict the tap water flow to as little as three liters per minute — reducing your water consumption by as much as 50 percent and helping you save money every time you open the tap to wash your hands.
2. Spin doctor According to Liam, choosing a washing machine with a good water efficiency rating is a sure way to reduce your impact in our water-stressed times.
He says rapid advances in technology have allowed appliance manufacturers to create products that meet the highest standards when it comes to efficiency.
“Doing the laundry is a necessity, and with water and energy efficient laundry appliances, you can rest assured that you’re helping to reduce your environmental impact.”
3. Coming clean According to Liam, dishwashers are commonplace in the modern home, and while they’re a large investment, they can help save you money.
He says today’s high-end dishwashers are energy and water efficient, often outperforming the old-fashioned hand washing methods when it comes to the amount of water they use.
He says a normal running tap can use as much as 20 litres of water per minute, whereas a modern dishwasher can use between 10 litres and 20 liters of water per load — a substantial difference.
Liam recommends packing your dishwasher according to the instructions in order to maximise its capacity, and only running the dishwasher when the load is full.
4. Leave high and dry Heated towel rails have long been considered a luxury product for the high-end market, but they are in fact an item that all homes should have, especially when natural resources are scarce.
According to Craig, heated towel rails serve the practical purpose of drying your towels quickly and efficiently.
As a result, it hinders the growth of bacteria so you don’t have to wash your towels as often.
When compared with the carbon footprint created by frequently washing of towels, or by drying them with a tumble dryer, a heated towel rail comes out tops, he says.