Friday, July 12, 2013

Become an Eco-Family: How to save water in the home

Even those of us who live in the city don't need reminding that India's water supply is endangered and that water pollution prevention is incredibly important. But families can find it tricky to minimise their water usage. However, a busy household can still save gallons per year by implementing a few small changes – and even some bigger changes, if you have the resources. Here's how to go about becoming a super-efficient eco-family with very little effort at all.



In the kitchen

Modern kitchens often have two sinks, so to cut down on water waste while washing dishes, fill one sink for rinsing, or simply place dishes on the rack and wash away the suds with a pan of water. You could also use a spare sink for soaking burnt-on food stains or grease, without changing loads of water every few minutes. Households with one sink can still set aside a basin or bucket full of water for soaking.


When cooking, take care with things like washing fruit and vegetables; it's tempting to do this under a running tap, especially if your son or daughter is helping out, but try to get them to do it in a bowl to reduce the water used. In general, make sure everyone knows that the dishwasher and washing machine should only be turned on when full. With the whole family to cater for, this should happen quite often! If you employ a maid or home-help, ask them to join in with your new water-saving initiatives as well.

If you're interested in taking some bigger steps, there are a number of contemporary kitchen appliances designed to save water usage – often saving money at the same time! You can exercise more control over your water usage by installing foot pedal or motion sensor faucets. Thinking about laundry, top-loading machines have been more prevalent in India up until recently, but front-loaders tend to use less water. If you’re looking for a new washing machine, consider water-efficient models; ideally, you're looking for around 7.5 litres of water per kilogram of laundry.

In the bathroom

The bathroom is another key culprit in the fight against water waste, particularly where young children are concerned. When supervising them before bedtime, try and encourage good habits like turning the tap off between rinsing their toothbrush. This should ensure that they will do this automatically when they get old enough to go it alone.

Everyone can be more efficient in their wash routine. Once you've taught your kids how to wash themselves properly, you can even get them to time themselves in the shower to avoid long sessions – turn it into a competition and everyone's will have fun and save water at the same time!

Larger investments in the bathroom include water-saving showerheads, which can cut out up to 30% water each time you switch on. A dual-flush toilet can be an economic buy, as these allow you to opt for a short flush, which uses as little as 3 litres. It's also a good idea to check for leaking taps all over the house – they can waste up to a shocking three gallons a day! Worth getting the tool-kit out or calling in a plumber.

Outdoors

It's easy to save water outside the home as well. Put away the hosepipe and clear leaves or dirt on the terrace with a stiff broom instead. This is a nice simple job for the kids to help with at the weekend. Try to water the lawn and flower-beds early or late to avoid the sun or wind evaporating the moisture. For those with window boxes or pot plants, try to keep them in the shade and out of the wind where possible.

Enlist the kids to help with longer-term projects, such as rainwater harvesting. This can be as simple as setting a bucket below an outside drainpipe to collect so-called 'greywater'. You can also purchase more complex piping systems that lead rooftop raindrops into a water barrel. Do this during monsoon season, and you can save it for the drier months of the year when your plants will appreciate it!

By taking some or all of these tiny steps together, families really can make huge leaps in improving their water-efficiency. If you're not sure where to start, examine your next water bill and identify areas where you're using a lot. And don't forget to set aside some time to talk through these changes with your kids – it's likely that they'll have questions. Explaining how saving water could help save the planet and even save lives in more rural communities is really important for their understanding of the wider world.

1 comment:

  1. Wow that is so awesome! Great post ! I wish I could do so good ! if have chance you can visit my Shower Heads ,and give me some help, thanks!

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