Living green by saving water does not sound too hard, does it? Water is the most precious commodity on Earth and in the Middle East we have the highest consumption per capita worldwide. This holds true especially for countries like the UAE and Qatar, where desalination is the only way to have access to potable water and water for irrigation.
In ancient times the Egyptians used to treat water by keeping it in huge jars. They then siphoned it off, which allowed the mud from the River Nile to settle at the bottom. Those people would be appalled by how much water the current world consumes, sustainability here seems to be a myth! Toilets use up to 26.5 liter each time you flush – how outrageous especially when you know that from all the water in the world, only one per cent is potable! It is a shocking waste – a standard five-minute shower uses 60 to 100 l water; add to it the 100 or more liters every time our dishwasher works!
Good news though, there is a solution to live more environmentally friendly! You and I and everyone else can follow some quite simple tips and decrease our water footprint significantly – not to mention the financial savings. I have tested all of the below myself and can guarantee you that they work. Living Green by Saving Water starts here:
1. Don’t rinse dishes before loading them in the dishwasher - just scrape them or soak them and let your dishwasher do the work it was designed to do
2. Make sure you always wash full loads as they washing machine and dishwasher use the same amount of water anyway
3. Drop your tissue in the trash instead of flushing it and save water every time
4. If you’re only making one or two hot drinks, only boil that amount of water in the kettle
5. When washing dishes by hand, fill the basin rather than leaving the tap on and washing dishes under a steady flow of water
6. A quick shower (up to 3 mins) uses times less water than a bath and it gets you just as clean
7. Replace your old shower head with a low-flow fixture
8. When you’re brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing vegetables or dishes, remember to turn the tap off when you’re not actually using the water. Same applies to the time while lathering when you’re washing your hands as well, and you’ll save nearly four liters every time
9. Fix any leaking pipes and taps immediately, inside and outside the home. If you ever spot a leak in the street, be a good citizen and report it
10. Invest in a high-efficiency washing machine as they use less than half the water of many traditional models
11. Pre-soak heavily soiled clothing in a basin rather than using the heavy-duty cycle
12. Water only when necessary. More plants die from over-watering than from under-watering
13. Choose native plants as they need less water and do better in this climate. Also, group plants with similar watering needs
14. Collect rainwater for watering your garden and think about collecting household water for that as well (e.g. wash your vegetables in a bowl and then throw the water on the plants outside, keep a bucket next to you in the shower to catch excess water, etc.)
15. Make sure you water your garden only at night (or very early in the morning), best for the plants, minimum evaporation, lowest wind speed
16. Invest in a toilet system with full and half load flush, will save tons of water AND your money. Also, place a water-saver in the toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used per flush – a simple brick or filled bottle will do
17. When you sleep in hotels, keep the towels and sheets for more than a day. You don’t change yours at home daily, do you? It is interesting how our perceptions change when we stay at hotels. Be a smart one, don’t let that fool you just because someone else is paying the bill
18. Instead of turning the water to run until it gets cold, keep glass bottles with water in the fridge. Similarly, use an instant water heater instead of waiting for the hot water to come
19. Try washing your car at places where the water is recycled or just use a bucket/hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle if you wash it on your own
20. If you have a pool, cover it at night and during the hottest hours of the day or when you are on vacation. Also, invest in a water-saving pool filter
It is great conserving water on your own and it would give you great sense of fulfilment to inspire others to do it too. Share the inspiration with others, family, neighbors, friends. Living Green is everyday devotion, save water, protect our environment!