Australia’s unforgiving climate means we all need to be conscious of how much water we use. No need to break a sweat trying to save water though – here are some easy conservation tips you can use.
In the bathroom and laundry
Take a shorter shower. Your morning shower is a great starting point to being more sustainable as it can use anything between six to 45 litres of water per minute. Try to cut back to less than four minutes per shower. If everyone does this, you could reduce your water usage by up to 20 per cent. (And, as an added bonus, you’ll avoid the dreaded cold shower.)
Install low-flow showerheads. If short showers aren’t an option for you, switch to a low-flow showerhead. With a standard showerhead using 15 to 25 litres of water per minute, switching to an energy-efficient, three-star-rated showerhead can cut your hot water usage by around 40 per cent. Remember to check the features and benefits before you buy to find out how many litres of water per minute the model uses.
Place a cistern-displacement device in your toilet tank. This will reduce the amount of water used per flush. For an easy DIY solution, put pebbles or sand inside two plastic bottles to weigh them down, fill the bottles with water, screw on the lids, and place them safely in your toilet tank, away from the operating mechanisms.
Check your toilet for leaks. Put some food colouring in the tank and if without flushing, the colour begins to appear in the bowl within half an hour, you have a leak that needs repairing immediately.
Wash your clothes in cold water. With 90 per cent of your washer's electricity use going to heating water, you’ll save by using cold water. While many still believe warm water is better, the fact is, using cold water to wash your clothes can help them look better and last longer as it minimises shrinkage and fading.
In the kitchen
Fix leaks. Significantly reduce your water usage by repairing those pesky leaks in your bathroom and kitchen. A hot tap leaking at the rate of one drip per second wastes 6288 litres of water every year, so fix those leaks and start saving today.
Don’t leave the water running when rinsing dishes by hand. If you have two basins, fill one with soapy water and the other with rinsing water. If you have one sink, put your washed dishes on a dish rack and rinse them using a spray device or a pan full of hot water.
Always fill up your dishwasher. Use less hot water by running your dishwasher only when it's full and by choosing shorter, economy wash cycles. If you are worried shorter cycles might not get your dishes clean enough, you can rinse them in cold water before putting them into the machine.
We couldn’t survive without water – quite literally. Using these tips at your place will help make you more efficient, and using less hot water will help you save on your energy bills too.