Ten small ways to save water that will make a big difference

Publish Date
Friday, 14 February 2020, 6:15PM
You'd be surprised with how much money you are, quite literally, throwing down the drain.

You'd be surprised with how much money you are, quite literally, throwing down the drain.

The North Island is in record-breaking drought and Aucklanders in particular are struggling with lack of water.

Many people's tanks have run dry and it is essential to do whatever you can to conserve water.

Here are some small ways to make a big difference:

1. Get stricter about flushing the loo

I know, I know ... desperate times. Only flush your toilet for "number twos". There is no real necessity to flush the toilet all the time. You can save about 6 litres of water for every time you don't flush and you'd surprised how quickly that all adds up.

2. Consider speed-showering

It's a future Olympic sport I've literally just made up and it involves seeing how fast you can jump in and out of the shower to get ready for your day.

Aim to keep your showers below four minutes. If you're really quick and have short hair, you can easily keep them under two. If you have long hair, remember to turn the tap off during shampoo and conditioning.

This tip has the extra benefit of also gaining you a few extra minutes in bed.

3. Tap off

Remember to always turn the tap off while you brush your teeth. If you brush them in a way that makes your dentist less judgy (ie for more than 20 seconds at a time), you'll be wasting a lot of water by not closing the tap.

4. Try spot washing

You don't have to put a garment in the wash just because it has one stain. The average wash needs around 95 litres of water (and that's assuming you're doing a full load). Instead, try removing that particular stain without getting the whole garment wet. Spot washing will save you water (therefore money) and it's also good for the environment and will make that particular garment last longer too.

5. Don't let it down the drain

If you're running the tap to get to hot water before jumping in the shower, put a container in the shower and fill it up with the cold water. You can use this water that would normally just go straight down the drain for cooking, watering the garden and all sorts of other things.

6. Get some dust on your car

Don't wash your car. I don't even need to explain this one. Cars live outside, let them get dusty, it's fine. Honestly, it's totally fine. No one cares.

7. Re-use it wisely

When washing veggies, put a bowl under them in the sink, then use that water on your garden.

8. Watch your grass grow

Speaking of your garden, let that grass grow a little longer over the next few weeks.

9. Sharing the load

If you're friendly with your neighbours, consider combining your loads of washing to save water. A lot of your neighbours could be doing half loads, which use considerably more water.

10. Handwash

Wash your dishes by hand. A lot of us run our dishwashers half empty because we don't like the idea of the plates and cutlery sitting in there with the dirt going crusty on it. Instead of wasting water on that load, consider doing the dishes by hand.

Adopting these changes will ensure you save several litres of water every day.

This article was originally published by NZ Herald and reproduced here with permission.