Most people who are interested in eco and sustainable living consider the various ways that our lifestyles influence both the local and global environment. Our homes are where most of our natural resource consumption takes place, so sustainable building choices and intentional routines around the house are great ways to start changing our personal impact on the world. Solar power and green products are often at the forefront of discussion in sustainable home design, but one of the most precious and limited natural resources we have is clean water. We know that the Ecoliv readers genuinely care about sustainable living practices, so we put together a water-focused post on ways we can be more conscious about our water use, and how sustainable prefab modular homes can assist. How many of these tips are you already incorporating in your eco-friendly house?
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If you have to wait for your water to heat up when you get in the shower, don’t let the water go down the drain. Capture the colder water and use it for watering your plants, washing the dog, and even flushing your toilet.
Speaking of toilets, do you flush every time you go? There is the old saying “if it’s yellow let it mellow…” you probably know the rest. If it’s not absolutely necessary to flush, give it a miss. Toilets use around six litres per flush, so every flush counts.
Do you leave the tap on while brushing your teeth? A lot of us do! We can save a lot of wasted water by switching off the tap while brushing, washing hands, scrubbing the dishes, and even while lathering up in the shower.
Showers are typically the third largest water-wasting culprit in each household using 35-65 litres per session. They are still better than baths which use between 200-300 litres, but each minute we cut off makes a big difference. Make a game of it and see if you can get clean in only a few minutes!
Dishwashers can actually be more water-wise than hand washing depending on your method and appliances, so you don’t necessarily need to change things up here. However, if you’re in the habit of running the dishwasher when it’s only half full, you’ll still be using up a full loads worth of water. Wait until you’ve got a whole load. Same goes for the washing machine!
If part of your sustainable living is growing your own food, or you’re just generally passionate about the garden, try doing your watering in the cooler morning hours. The hot midday sun will cause more evaporation and you’ll end up needing to water more often.
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Sometimes we forget that we’ve got a free water source pouring from the sky. During the wet season, you don’t generally do much watering, so it’s easy to forget about the upcoming dry seasons at that time. It’s pretty easy to buy or build your own water catchment system to get you through while the sun is shining.
This is something that’s really easy to put off, but consider it this way; a leaky tap that drips at a rate of one drop per second can waste over 11,000 litres per year. If you don’t have a handy person in your sustainable home, call someone in to save yourself the water and the cash.
Using low-flow showerheads, efficient dishwashers and washing machines can save both water and energy. You can also install aerators to bathroom and kitchen faucets, which save almost 4 litres of water a minute. They reduce water flow but use air to maintain satisfying water pressure. Next time you’re upgrading appliances, choose those with high water efficiency ratings - it’ll pay off.
Who really needs a big rectangle of grass to sit on these days? If you’re designing a sustainable home and thinking about landscaping, go for a waterless ‘lawn’ plan. You can either choose water-wise ground cover, create a succulent garden, or go for creative designs that involve smooth stones or other materials that aren’t as thirsty as grass.
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Learn more about our environmental goals here.
The use of water-efficient appliances/fittings and water saving practices, are not only financially beneficial but they also help to keep our communal water reserves at a sustainable level. It is extremely important to use water wisely because clean water is a pivotal part of everyday life for every living organism on earth. Without it, every living thing would cease to exist.
Because of this, we encourage everyone to get involved in National Water Week. It is set to run between the 21st and the 27th of October this year, with the theme for 2019 being “It’s time to change the world”.
If you enjoyed this article then you can learn more about the importance of clean water and the National Water Week here.