By Georgia Carter
Less than 1% of our freshwater reserves are available today, and it’s estimated that 80% of our wastewater - water polluted with chemicals and human waste - is returned to the environment.
These are shocking facts that act as a poignant reminder of what our carelessness has achieved, and it’s harming every living thing on the planet.
To protect precious water and keep it clean for all life forms, we need to adopt a few small yet effective habits when it comes to how we treat our water.
Caption: Less than 1% of our freshwater reserves are available.
Credit: Kazuend, Unsplash
Below are the best ways we as individuals can conserve our water from home:
1) Check your toilet/s, faucets, and pipes for any leaks. Leakages, when added up, can waste litres of water and cost you extra money every month. If you find that you have a leak, fix it straight away.
2) While this is widely known, it’s still important to emphasise as it's one of the most effective ways to save water - take shorter showers!
3) Install water-saving showerheads and taps, which may cost a little extra initially but will help you save money and the planet in the long run.
4) Turn off the tap while you’re washing dishes, brushing your teeth, or shaving. It may not seem like you’re using much water during these activities, but it all adds up in the end.
5) Only use your laundry washing and dishwashing machines when they’re fully loaded, making the most of the water required. Otherwise, litres of water are being pumped where they’re not needed.
6) Collect rainwater for all the little water-required tasks such as watering the plants and wiping surfaces. You’ll be surprised how much water you can actually save this way, and your plants will thank you!
7) Install an adjustable toilet flapper that limits the amount of water needed to flush.
8) Make use of a compostable toilet. No, this is definitely not for everyone and not just anyone can create one of these, but if you can, the benefits are tremendous. Not only are you saving water and money, but you’re also able to renourish and fertilise your plants.
9) Recycle water! Yes, water can be recycled - and easily. Keep a bucket in your shower, save some bathwater, or keep a tupperware in your sink. Reuse that water for certain tasks in the house, such as to flush the toilet or mop the floors.
10) Use a broom instead of a hose to clean outdoor areas.
11) Cover your swimming pools to avoid evaporation and therefore having to add more water into your pool.
12) Water your plants during the early hours of the day. This will not only prevent evaporation and help your plants retain moisture, but will also ward off any pests for the day to come.
13) Add organic matter to your garden beds to help them retain water so you don’t have to water them as often as before.
14) Minimise or end your consumption of chemical products. There are numerous organic swaps for harmful products, such as chemical-free shampoo, eco-friendly face wash, and environmentally conscious hand soap.
15) Dispose of all hazardous materials correctly. These are your oils and paints that make their way down the drain, infecting the entire water system. It’s often better to collect these materials and throw them away rather than disposing of them via the drain.
16) Participate in river, dam, and ocean clean-ups!
17) Consume less of everything. That means less plastic, less processed food, less electricity, you name it - it all requires huge amounts of water to create and work.
Caption: There are numerous ways to save water when it comes to your garden, such as collecting rainwater, watering your plants in the morning, and adding more organic matter to your soil.
Credit: Markus Spiske, Unsplash
Adopting a few of these necessary habits and behaviours has a dramatically positive effect on the environment and those who depend on clean water - which is all of us.