Friday, March 21, 2014

Reducing Water Usage

When we hear the word save we tend to think of putting money to one side. Now, as important as that can be, saving through careful consumption of water can be equally rewarding.

As easy as it is to turn the tap on it is even easier to get carried away with leaving the water running. This is a common habit which needs to be changed as bad habits cost. To be able to break into a habit we must first be aware of what we are doing. There are some people who may not even think about saving water. In Cyprus for example tonnes and tonnes of water is wasted by households just to keep their verandas and pavements clean. Households need to rethink their cleaning strategies.

There are many others occasions where a lot of water just goes to waste. This happens especially when we are:
1. Brushing our teeth
2. Having a shower
3. Washing plates
4. Washing hands

How much water does one really need to do any of the above? Think about it.

1. Brushing Your Teeth
Even though I am tempted to start talking about how to brush your teeth, I will not as I will cover that in a future post. By that time make sure your teeth are in working order.

What usually happens:
1. Turn the tap on to wet toothbrush and then put paste.
In the meantime the water is running
2. Start to brush teeth.
In the meantime the water is running
3. Finish brushing teeth, rinse your mouth.

Obviously the duration for this process from person to person varies. On average this may take between one minute and three minutes.

What to start doing:
1. Put paste on toothbrush without wetting your toothbrush.
2. Brush your teeth until you feel you have covered surfaces.
3. Turn the tap on slightly to wash your mouth and tooth brush.

You may fill a glass up to help rinse your mouth. This way you control the amount of water you use. Also this may be of help if you are not capable of using your hands to rinse mouth or to directly take water from the tap, somewhat primitive techniques. By using a glass this is much better for your back, especially if you have back problems.

When you place paste on tooth brush without having to wet the brush, you will notice that once you start brushing, your mouth will develop enough saliva to create that foam effect for you. So don’t worry.

2.  Having A Shower

Don’t you just love the feeling when hot water (for cold months) or cold water (for warm months) touches your skin? What a feeling right? Sometimes we can get carried away and end up being under the shower longer than you can possibly imagine. After a certain amount of time there comes a point where there is no point of standing around in the shower.

What usually happens:
1. Stand in the shower for a few minutes.
2. Start to soap our bodies and shampoo our hair whilst the water is still running. We usually stand a little to the side or turn the shower head to face a different direction whilst soaping ourselves.
3. Wash off soap from body.
4. Stand for a least another couple of minutes.

What to start doing:
1. Stand in the shower, once your body is completely wet turn the tap off.
2. Soap your body first and then shampoo your hair. You tend to find that if you shampoo your hair first it may tend to run in your eyes, and then you can’t see what you are doing.
3. Turn the shower on to rinse the soap from your body.

You should aim to be quick as possible, I usually take couple of minutes to have a shower.

It may not be easy to change your shower habits, however putting an alarm can be helpful in the beginning. That reminds you to get the job done and get out.

3.  Washing The Pots,Pans and Plates 

Not everybody has a dishwasher. The alternative to this is if you just use plastic or paper plates to eat, that’s an option, but not a solution.

What usually happens:
1. Turn the water on.
2. Start soaping each item at a time whilst water is running
3. Then rinse the soap off.
4. This repeated for each other item.

What to start doing:
1. In a small bowl put some washing liquid and water, soak the sponge well.
2. Take each item and wash it without rinsing the soap. Put them to one side.
3. Turn the tap on slightly and then start rinsing the soap of each item in turn.

4.  Washing Hands       

You will be surprised how much water is wasted just to wash our hands.

What usually happens:
1. Turn the water on
2. Take soap and wash hands whilst the water is still running.
3. Then wash soap off.

What to start doing:
1. Wet hands slightly whilst holding the soap then close tap.
2. Soap hands thoroughly.
3. Turn tap on slightly and rinse hands.

Some prefer using liquid soap or normal soap. You may consider both and see which lasts longer. Certain liquid soaps are highly concentrated and putting a little bit can do the job. Check what works best for you and is more economical.

Check your water bill after applying these techniques with your last bill and see what you have managed to save.

Be smart, keep it simple and save.


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