Water conservation is a major priority for Australians. Currently an Aussie making a simple stop in the toilet will use 40% more water than needed. Westerners are using 135 litres of water each day, which equals about 150,000 cans of coke! In developing countries that figure is just 10 litres. Considering that three billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water and over five million people die each year from diseases related to unsafe water, the least we can do is our part in saving water around the home.
Water conservation in the shower
Let’s face it. There isn’t anything better than a hot shower. A shower is rejuvenating after a long day and will revive us for the evening. A shower in the morning will wake us up and prepare us for a day out in the world. Personally, I admit I am crap without my morning coffee or shower.. Now here’s the amazing stat. A shower uses 30 litres of water every five minutes! So if you do take a long shower, let’s say 10 minutes, that is 60 litres of water. If you need a visual for the 5 minute shower, line up 10 3L milk bottles along your kitchen bench and you’ll start to get a picture how much water is getting wasted.
Next time you are sitting on a toilet pondering life, ponder this. A toilet flushing uses up nine litres of water. That’s three 3L bottles of milk lined up on your kitchen bench. There are a few actions you take on this one. Install a water saving cistern that does a half flush, or only flush when you poo! There, I said it.
Water conservation while brushing teeth
Moving right along. Everyone loves to beat bad breath and have nice white teeth to smile with. But did you know that brushing your teeth while leaving the water running uses up six litres of water. That’s two 3L bottles of milk sitting on your kitchen bench. And a dripping tap will waste 12 litres of water! So get that plumber in quick smart and get that little drip fixed. You’ll notice your water bill go down immediately.
The laundry is a water sapping monster!
Then there is the laundry. If you have a home like mine, your washing machine will be running constantly, getting those little toddler socks clean and your eight-almost-nine’s school uniform sparkling. But the humble washing machine is a money-sapping and water-sucking monster. It will use 95 litres of water during a cycle if it is not a water-saving washing machine. I went out and bought a water saving machine, which also has a 15 minute cycle. This little baby means I can get four loads of washing done within the hour! Let me tell you – this is the best purchase I’ve made in the last five years! What a time and money-saver!
Whether you want to help your air-conditioner run more efficiently or purchase appliances that aren’t energy suckers, this cheat sheet will help you save an amazing amount of water and money! Be sure to check out my other cheat sheets related to home utilities and save stacks this year around the home!
Save water and money on your next water bill with this extensive list of ways to save water and your wallet.
Water conservation – 120 wise ways to save on water
Invest in an air-conditioner that cools using wasted rather than fresh water.
Invest in appliances with adjustable load sizes and settings.
Bath baby in smaller plastic buckets when it is convenient.
Bath as treat
If your kids really like a bath you can use them as a treat. Bath once a week. Shower otherwise.
If you do bath the kids let them share a bath or at least the bath water.
Bath kids in shallower water
Only put enough water in the bath that is needed. Do not fill the bath until it is full.
Cool boiled water down and put it back into the Earth. Your plants and garden will love you.
Bucket car wash
Start with a bucket of soap and water. Throw one bucket of water over the car to rinse.
Commercial car washes use recycled water. They are a good option.
Keep a bowl near the sink for doing this job and repurpose the water.
Check the soil
Stick your finger in the ground. If the soil is wet you can skip watering it.
Regularly clean pools. Do not spend more on back washing.
It is cheaper to compost peelings than to turn on a garbage disposal.
Crazy water games
Create a ‘no bombing rule’ for the pool and save precious water.
Cut it in half
If you have a lawn routine try reducing it by half. You may not notice any difference.
Defrost food overnight in the fridge or defrost on the bench that morning.
Use just enough detergent. You will use less water rinsing dishes.
Scrubbing dishes takes up water. Soak them and use less water washing later.
Use a small square plastic bucket to rinse dishes in the sink. Repurpose the water.
Open the dishwasher door to help dishes dry faster.
All modern dishwashers have an energy saver mode. Use this mode.
Use the rinse and hold setting rather than rinsing dishes under the tap first.
Drink with a cup
Do not drink water out of your hand from a tap. This is wasteful. Use a cup.
All modern appliances have eco-cycles. Use the eco-cycles on all appliances.
Educate the kids
Ask your kids school to teach water education. Teach kids at home about saving water.
Learn as much as you can about saving water and save big dollars.
To help your plants become more drought resistant, use slow release fertilizer.
Fill the dishwasher
To save water never run the dishwasher when it is half full.
Filling the kettle
Do not boil a full kettle to get a cup. Invest in a thermos for keeping hot water during the day.
Fish tank water
Give fish tank water to your plants if you are cleaning out the tank.
Fix drips immediately. These are a huge money sap.
If you can bear it flush the toilet less regularly.
If you use tissues a lot put them in the recycle bin. Flushing tissues down the toilet uses up water.
If you get a fountain, get one that reuses water or that doesn’t send water up into the air.
Front loaders are more efficient
Buy a sprinkler that directs water correctly to plants.
Get a good aim
There is nothing worse than seeing a sprinkler watering a paved piece of concrete.
Get mulch happy
Spread mulch happily around plants to help them retain and save water.
Good old bucket
Grab old buckets and place them outside. Collect extra water for jobs.
Plant different shrubs in the garden so there is less lawn to mow.
Grey water system
Grey water systems are great. They divert water from the house into the garden.
Use plastic ground covers between rows in the garden. Reduce evaporation.
Group plants together that require similar watering routines.
Be hose happy either in the morning or at night. Avoid evaporation from watering in the day.
Repair hose leaks or replace hoses. They are stealing your next nice dinner out with friends.
Invest in a hose nozzle to control water coming out of the hose.
Use brooms or blowers for cleaning paths around your house instead of water.
Install an instant water heater near the sink. Don’t wait for water to turn hot.
Water travels to the tap faster, the temp stays higher and your pipes stay warmer.
Kids and taps
Once kids are old enough show them exactly how to turn off a tap fully.
Kids’ water toys
Use recycled water, play near plants and restrict use to the beach or the bath.
Turn water on only after you have lathered up the soap on a car.
Adjust the lawn mower. Slightly higher lawns hold moisture better. This saves water.
Less green grass
Be happy with a less green lawn and more green in your wallet.
Less thirsty plants
When choosing plants ask your local nursery about plants that do not need much water.
Know where to shut-off mains water in an emergency.
Have a wash and then a quick rinse in the shower.
Newer dishwashers require less rinsing off before placing in the dishwasher.
Sap the staff at your local nursery for their water-saving and plant knowledge!
Check for holes in hoses or leaks coming out of taps. Fix any leaks you find.
In summer let kids cool off in a paddling pool. Avoid running sprinklers for fun.
Throw leftover ice in the Esky (Chilly bin) into the garden.
Create more paved areas around your home. There will be less lawn to water.
Throw old pet water on the garden.
Plant in the winter
Plant in winter when there is more rainfall.
Read the watering instructions on plant labels so you do not over water them.
Plant to climate
Do not plant tropical plants if you live in a drought affected area.
A good time to plant is during autumn when there is a lot of rain.
Plug it up
Run a small sink of water. Do not run the tap to clean your razor while shaving.
Plugs and dishes
Always put the plug into the kitchen sink when doing dishes.
Direct water from your gutters to the lawn. Or catch water in buckets from gutters.
Make sure you install a pump in your pond to make the water circulate.
Only backwash pools when absolutely necessary.
Otherwise you will lose water through evaporation.
Pool line mark
Put a mark in your pool to check for leaks. Check the pool after 48 hours for levels.
Make sure your pool has an excellent pump system, which recirculates the water.
Pool pump leaks
If you own a pool make sure you check for leaks as regular maintenance on the pool.
You can reuse water from your pool for the garden.
If you are getting puddles on top of your lawn it is time to turn the hose off.
Put the plug in
Put the plug in the bath or a sink before using it. Catch as much water as you can.
Rely on wonderful and free rainwater to water your garden naturally.
Install a rain sensor on your garden sprinklers so that sprinklers will not run unnecessarily.
Rainwater for pool
Consider installing a rainwater tank that you can specifically use for the pool.
Recycled car wash
Repurpose dishwater you catch to wash your car.
Research thoroughly. Talk your local electrical retailers about the best energy savers.
Adjust your watering routines around weather and seasonal conditions.
Share your knowledge here at the Savings Room. Get some karma points.
Time your next shower. Now reduce that time by two minutes.
Place a bucket in the shower to catch water and repurpose the water for other uses.
When shaving legs do not do it in the shower. Run a small sink of water.
Keep cleansers, toners, toothpaste and toothbrushes in the shower for multi-tasking.
Install a shower timer and make a new house rule for shorter showers.
Install a low-flow showerhead and watch your water bill plummet.
Six star energy
When buying a dishwasher look for a dishwasher that has at least six stars.
Use a small shovel to check soil moisture. If wet, skip watering.
If you have a spa check the pump regularly for leaks.
Set an alarm reminder to turn sprinklers off, or invest in an automatic system.
Only use a sprinkler on larger areas. Water small areas with a watering can.
Cook and do dishes every second night. This saves much water over time.
Talk to experts
Go down to your nearest appliance store and talk at length to sales assistants.
Keep toilets for their original purpose. Do not use them as garbage disposal units.
Put food colouring in the cistern. If colour enters the bowl there is a leak. Get it fixed.
Check out new toilet systems. Water conservation has come a long way.
Fill a bottle of water and place it in the toilet tank. Create an eco toilet!
Extend towel use for more than one night. Use a hand towel for your face.
Use a scourer
Wash dishes by using a rag or scourer first. Turn water on to rinse.
Use your lids
Try not to boil veggies with the lid off. All the water evaporates.
Save and use boiled water to make stock and soup.
Washing a pet
Wash your pet on the lawn. Give water a double use.
As a general rule of thumb wash clothes in cold water.
Fill a bowl with water and wash fruit and veggies in one go.
Water at work
Ask bosses to implement a water-saving program. Share your knowledge.
Keep tabs on water use over an entire year. Also keep last years bills to compare.
Organise a water bottle for each member of the house. Refill from the tap.
Attend a sustainability fair or event to discover the latest water saving gadgets.
Fitting water-saving devices to taps is like finding money in your pocket!
Water the garden more often, using less water. Water absorbs better into the soil.
If windy wait until the wind dies down before watering.
Investigate waterless cleaning solutions for your car. Turn the shower off when shampooing.