Saving water versus wasting it

Updated: Jan 31

The firefighters and state emergency service (SES) workers are striving so hard in Australia, and especially my home state, to fight the terrifying fires along the east coast, it makes me want to be more respectful of everything that's precious, and that includes water.

Although we've been on level 1 water restrictions for a few weeks, I've tried to be even more frugal. I believe I'm not the only one! I'd love to hear how you have been saving water. Here are 5 of my tips ...

Good habits are worth having .. such as ..

1. Shorter showers. If it takes some minutes for the water to heat up, use the hot water tap to brush teeth (turning the tap off when the brush is not under it). Then, while it finishes heating up, collect water in a bucket in the shower, while dampening a washer. Then turn the taps off to lather. Turn the water on again to rinse. It's the same principle to wash hair too. The water collected in the bucket could be about 2 litres.


2. Washing hair less often. Dry shampoo - it not only delays washing hair by a day, but gives it more volume.


3. Collecting water and using it for more than one purpose. Redirect laundry rinse water ('grey water"), into a big bucket for use in the cistern. There is so much!!! Collect handwashing water from the bathroom, add it to the water collected in the shower, and top up the cistern with that too. Collect rinsing water from the kitchen and put it on the garden.

4. Washing the car smarter. Don't wash the car as often, but when you do, use the water from the shower. Separate it into 2 buckets of 2 litres (at most; it can be less), and use old rags dipped in one bucket to wipe the dirt off and scrub it clean - as many as that takes, so you don't get the water too dirty by double-dipping. Then rinse off with a clean rag dipped in the cleaner water and dry off with a clean microfiber cloth. It's easy. Then, all the dirty water goes on the garden. That's right: water with three uses!!

4. More efficient laundry. Only do full loads. Dust and do the floors on (or about) the same day as cleaning the car, so all the rags and mop cloths go in one load with the bath mats. Sheets and towels can go together. Collect the water in buckets for the garden or to top up the cistern to flush the loo. Easy (and water has multiple uses, again).

5. Only ever use the half-flush button on the loo. Using the full-flush just wastes water! Seriously, if you have a broken flush-button, it's time to learn how to fix it!

I really think that our governments at every level should incentivise installation of grey water and rainwater tanks, but in the meantime I'll keep looking for more ways to save water. It's precious. And I have discovered that I like the challenge!!

I'm sure you have great tips - please share! ... and a huge heartfelt thank-you to our firefighters and SES workers - you peeps are awesome!



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