Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Joy of Giving - Card 4 - Water Saving Tips

When my son plucked the fourth card out of the pack for the Joy of Giving, I thought I would write a couple of posts about saving water. Bathing in a bucket of water is one way of saving water. There are others.

Tips for Conserving Water 

  • Verify your home is leak free. Repair dripping taps by replacing washers. It took a plumber 4 days and a few hundred phone calls to respond to my complaint of leaking taps. Such is the attitude to a 'dripping' tap in our country! May be it is time we started learning how to do some basic plumbing ourselves
  • Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Use water efficient flushes, plumbing fixtures having sensors, low flow faucet aerators which require minimum water. Box cisterns are best used to save water and the flush knob can be pushed back as soon as the WC is clear to save water
  • Turn off water while brushing teeth. Very important and to be taught especially to children
  • For shaving, use mug rather than using running water. Have seen many men do it and its a good initiative to save water
  • Close faucets while soaping and rinsing clothes/utensils. Teaching maids and then monitoring them is the toughest task
  • Keep overflow valve in the over head tanks so as not to waste water 
  • Use waste water to swab, flush, clean terraces. Easier said than done, but if we are committed to saving water we can do it
  • Don’t use running water for releasing ice from tray/washing vegetables. My aunt who as an Air Force officer's wife lived across the country, even in areas of severe water shortage, follows this practice. She takes a bowl of water when she starts chopping, and dips all vegetables in the bowl rather than wash them under running water
  • Don’t use extra detergent to wash clothes. Sometimes we think more detergent means better washed clothes. It is not so. In fact, too much detergent doesn't get rinsed off clothes easily especially if they are machine washed which typically have fixed rinse cycles. It is better to use detergent frugally
  • Don’t use running water while hand-washing clothes. Again, teaching maids and monitoring them is the toughest part
  • Operate automatic washing machine when it is fully loaded 
  • Don’t use shower/big bath tubs in bathrooms. Taking a bucket bath is hygienic. My children get showers as a treat, every other Saturday, not as a matter of right 
  • Water left over in water bottles can be used to water plants instead of being thrown away
  • Don't wash cars. Wiping them clean works just as well. In fact wet wiping the car frequently is known to rob the paint off its shine. Dry wipe 3 times and wet wipe 3 times a week
  • Don't water plants with running water. I use all the 'left over' water (from bottles, buckets etc) to water my plants
  • Use sprinklers in gardens. Sprinklers save water and distribute water evenly over larger surfaces 
  • Don’t over-water your lawns. A good rain eliminates the need watering for more than a week
  • Water lawns during early morning hours when the temperature and wind speeds are the lowest. This reduces losses from evaporation
  • Please remember water never gets "old". Don't throw good water down the drain. Use it

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