Although summer doesn’t officially start for another couple of weeks, the last few weeks would certainly suggest that it’s arrived unfashionably early! Of course, with warmer weather often comes increased consumption in a number of different ways. That could mean overusing your aircon, getting too much sun, or simply eating too much over Christmas! However, what we’re most concerned with is by far the most obvious and costly summer consumption of them all.
When it comes to saving water even throughout other times of the year, many can be accused of overindulgence, but most are simply guilty of being too set in their ways. There’s plenty of tips based around how you carry out water-based tasks that won’t affect your lifestyle in the slightest; just small things to consider that make a huge difference to your water consumption. You probably don’t realise you’re doing most of them! Here’s a few…
This is certainly where all those little changes that won’t turn your world upside down come into play. The tiniest changes in tap-turning and button-pushing can save a precious resource and also bring down your bill. Talk about a win-win!
- The first fix is probably the one that will affect your life the least: turning off the tap when brushing your teeth. Doing this can waste up to 10 litres per minute and there’s absolutely no good reason to have a constant stream of water running directly down the drain.
- Moving on to the toilet, wherever possible, use the half flush. 4-star toilets will use 1.5L less water per flush when choosing half flush. The toilet makes up a surprising 9% of household water use
- With the shower taking up a whopping 22% of total household water use, it’s these changes that might take the most getting used to. On top of switching to a more efficient shower head, try keeping your shower time to no more than 4 minutes. Just remember, whatever sacrifice you make towards comfort will be made back up in the hip-pocket!
It goes without saying water use in the kitchen comes down to one thing; doing the dishes. Considering this duty is often a point of heated contention with room mates and families alike, any attempt to make the process quicker and more efficient should surely be embraced.
- Try to scrape your food scraps off the plate before putting them in the dishwasher instead of rinsing them. Doing this also helps our wastewater system by minimising the chance of fats, oils and grease solidifying in the pipes
- Make sure the dishwasher is full before using it. This will again maximise efficiency. In addition, a 4-star dishwasher uses about 7L less than a standard kitchen sink
- If you’re moving into a new home and looking to upgrade features, be mindful of eco-friendly additions you can make. Exceeding the minimum standards for water efficiency is very simple, and waterwise plumbers can also assist with getting your home up to scratch
Most modern laundry appliances these days are built with eco-friendly options, so by no means will you have to break out the old washboard. However, like other areas of the house we’ve mentioned, simple changes to your process will make a huge difference.
- Most of us already know this one, but what’s perhaps lesser-known is just how little water a 4.5-star front-loader machine uses compared to a top-loader; about 35% less! Add to that additional water-saving features and it could be even more
- Try to keep your washing to one load a week. It can be easy to see a half-decent amount of clothes piled up that you just decide you want out of the way, but try to set aside one day a week and ensure the household is informed!
On top of these specific tips, there’s plenty you can do that applies to all areas of the home. This includes ensuring your home is leak-free, installing a rainwater tank, watering your plants with greywater, or simply fitting out a new home with waterwise features as mentioned. When these measures are taken, you’ll find you’re benefitting your own household as much as your community. The Australian summer can often be unforgiving, and you’d be forgiven for doing what you need to for some relief, but remember, there’s always the beach!
Info on these tips and more can be found on watercorporation.com.au