Q: I’m looking for ways to be more environmentally conscious. What are some tips on controlling water use in my bathroom, garden and kitchen?


A: Many of us live in areas where we get plenty of rain all year around, maybe even too much. However, in other areas water supplies can run low quickly, especially in summer. Regardless of the water supply levels in your area, it’s still a great idea to consider ways to conserve this natural resource.


Here are a few pieces of advice on conserving water in the kitchen, the garden and the bathroom:


Kitchen Conservation Tips:


  • Redirect waste water from the kitchen sink to the garden when possible.
  • Use a bowl when washing dishes so you don’t just leave the tap running.
  • Wait until you have a full load and use the economy cycle when you run your dishwasher.
  • Wait until you have a full load of laundry too before washing dirty clothes. If you have a choice, choose front loaders. They use less water than top loaders. 


Garden Conservation Tips:


  • Water your garden early in the morning or just before sunset. This allows the water to be absorbed into the ground instead of evaporating in the hot sun if you water during the day.
  • Puncture your redirected waste water hoses with holes which will allow the water to filter out from various places instead of from one end only. This lets the water to penetrate to a deeper level and encourages the plant roots to grow longer and stronger, and therefore enhances the plants’ own search for water. (This is if you have directed your bathroom and kitchen water to the garden and connected to garden hoses around the garden.)
  • Watch the length of time your sprinklers are going off. Water sprinklers are time-savers but do use huge quantities of water if left on for long periods of time.
  • Get a large tank or storage barrel of some sort and place it where the roof water from your home runs off. This will fill quickly in a big rain and provide a great source of water for the garden, or even for washing. Rain water is a free, natural and easy source of water!


Bathroom Conservation Tips:


  • Flushing a toilet can use quite a bit of water, so put a brick or a plastic bottle filled with water into the toilet tank and this will reduce the water you use. Another idea is to have dual flush toilets installed, where you can opt for a small or a large flush before flushing.
  • Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth. Another idea is to have a bottle of water and a glass near the sink and use one of these to rinse instead of running the tap every time you brush.
  • Install a low-flow shower head to conserve on water in the shower. Have spray taps installed in your sinks as well so that your faucets smaller amounts of water.
  • If you introduce these habits and measures slowly into your routine you will find that it really will have no impact on your day-to-day life, but you will save a lot of water.