The Top 5 Ways You Can Preserve Water!
The first time I learnt the word ‘drought’ was when I was about five years old. It was because we weren’t allowed to use the sprinklers on the lawn, or play with the hose. We were officially in a drought, and that meant that we had to be careful about how much water we used, and only use what was necessary. I remember that my friend’s mother kept a bucket in the shower, and they’d use the leftover water for their plants and grass.
But you don’t have to be in a drought to conserve water. The US wastes 7 billion gallons of drinking water a day, which is almost scandalous. Especially when you think about the millions of people in underdeveloped countries that don’t have access to clean drinking water! Luckily, there are many easy tips that you can do to save water (even if your shower is tiny and has no space for you, let alone a bucket).
1. Check For Leaks
One of the major causes for water wastage is leaks that people don’t know about. These could be in toilets, sinks or water pipes, and they can often go for months without being noticed.
You know how that leaky tap is so annoying, but you just have more important things to attend to in your life? So you leave the tap dripping for around six months, until you finally do something about it? (If you’re not like this, good for you! You deserve a medal. For a lot of people, though, it can literally take a half a year to fix something minor like a leaky faucet.)
Well, that leaky tap can waste close to 42 gallons of water if left to its own devices for six months. That’s more water than you use to take a bath. (Unless you’re using the Prefect’s bathroom on the fifth floor. Which, come to think of it, Hogwarts could’ve used a couple of lessons on water conservation before building a bath that size.)
And guess who’s paying for all the extra water that keeps dripping? By checking for leaks, you could not only be helping save water, but you’ll also be saving yourself money in the long run. Make it a habit to regularly check your sinks, toilets and pipes for leaks, to avoid water wastage.
2. Don’t Leave Taps Running
This is another biggie that results in gallons of water being wasted. Let’s say you’re brushing your teeth. You are not using the water, and you won’t be using the water for at least another 45 seconds or so. Why leave the tap running that whole time? Or, when you’re scrubbing your hands with soap, think about it: does the tap have to be on, too?
By turning off the tap when you’re not actively using it, you could save up to 200 gallons of water per month. It’s only a matter of habit. Once you get used to not turning on the tap until you need it, you won’t even think twice about it.
3. Shorten Those Showers
There’s nothing like a half-hour long shower after a cold and dreary day. Unfortunately, it’s not the best idea for conserving water – even if you have a water-saving shower head. If you can, try to limit your showers to two minutes. Short as it sounds, this is actually the generally recommended length for showers if you want healthier skin and hair.
If that’s really not going to cut it for you, try limiting your shower time as much as you’re able to. I know your voice sounds way better in the shower, but try to save the concerts for when you wash the dishes (with the tap only running when necessary, of course!).
4. Re-Use Water
Sounds pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many ways you can re-use the water that you’re about to dispose of without giving it a second thought. Are you making pasta for dinner this week? Keep the water that you strain out. Once it’s cool, you can use it to water your plants or grass. See, same idea as the shower bucket, but takes up a lot less room. You can do the same thing with water that you use for a double boiler.
5. Fill The Load
Dishwashers and washing machines undoubtedly make our lives easier, but they also use up gallons of water. I’m not saying we shouldn’t use them, but if you wait until you can get in a full load (of dishes or clothes), you’ll be able to save a whole lot of water and money. To make it easier, you could set aside a certain day of the week to do the laundry. That way, there’s laundry from the entire week, which is likely to be enough for at least one full load!
My friend’s mother once commented to me that because she didn’t grow up in a drought, the whole idea of conserving water was not part of her psyche. Every time she’d leave the tap running when she wasn’t using it, her kids (who are my age) would remind her to turn it off. She would say that it was really good that they were growing up during a drought. Saving water was now a way of life for them without them even thinking about it, which they would bring into adulthood.
Most of the time that we waste water, it’s simply because we aren’t being mindful. Make it a habit to consistently do your bit to cut down on wasting water. Eventually, you’ll become so used to it that it won’t even require any thought. The only way that you will notice it, though, is when you get your water bill – and realize how much lower it is!