South Africa is such a unique place…We live in one of the most ecologically complex and biodiverse areas in the world. As beautiful and green as our country may be, the reality is that we are facing water scarcity and our future is heavily dependent on this resource.
It is said that charity begins at home, and conservation is similar in that all the small differences we make at home have a huge impact on the greater good, whether it’s cutting the length of your shower, or making sure you switch off the tap while brushing your teeth — every little bit can help to secure the future of our water supply. Here are few ways you can help conserve water in your home and save costs at the time.
In the bathroom
- Turn-off the tap while brushing teeth, shaving or washing your hands. Recent studies state that you can save up to 20 litres of water per month by simply closing the tap when brushing your teeth
- Flush toilets only when necessary
- Take shorter showers and reduce the amount of water used for your baths
- Try to insulate hot water pipes so that water is not wasted while waiting for it to get hot
- Install an instant water heater at your taps for immediate hot water
- Bathe young children together
- Install a low-flow shower-head
- Try a dual flush mechanism on your toilet
- Install a geyser blanket for insulation
- Insulate the copper pipes around the geyser
In the kitchen
- Install aerators and flow-reducing valves on your taps
- Use a plugged sink to wash dishes instead of a running tap can save you lots of water
- Reuse water! Water used in a plugged sink to wash fruit and vegetables is perfectly fine to water your plants with
- Only switch the dishwasher on when it’s full
- Don’t use running water to defrost food
In the garden
- Store grey water in buckets to help flush toilets, water plants, wash cars, etc
- Collect rain water to water plants, to use around the house or for washing the car
- Don’t water your garden between 10:00 and 16:00. The heat during the day evaporates anyway so does little good for plants
- Use a broom instead of a hosepipe when cleaning driveways or patios
- Cover your swimming pool to reduce water evaporation
- Choose local indigenous, drought-resistant and water-wise plants for your home and garden. They are hardier than their imported counterparts and use much less water.
- Group plants together that have the same water requirements
- Wash towels and bed linen a little less often. This will also save money on electricity and products too
- Match the size of your laundry load with the volume of water being used
- Use rainwater to wash the car
- Instead of a hose-pipe, use buckets of water and a sponge to clean your car
- Choose a commercial car wash that recycles water
Remember to fix all leaking pipes around the house and report public leaks to your Municipality.
Want to learn more ways to conserve resources around the house and become more environmentally conscious?
Read all about how to collect rainwater here: www.homemakersonline.co.za/collect-rain-water-garden
Learn how to save electricity here: www.homemakersonline.co.za/how-to-save-electricity-in-your-home
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