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Find out how and why you should start implementing water-saving strategies in your home.
Did you know that well over half of our Earth is made up of water? And guess what else is? Our very own bodies! Each one of us is made up of around 60 percent of water, and our blood is made up of 90 percent! Given this, it seems crazy that in Australia, over 80 percent of household water goes to waste. Feeling guilty? Well, don’t fret, because we’ve got the top tips to make you and your family great water-savers in no time.
What is drought?
Without trying to scare you, the UN says that worldwide drought is the next hidden crisis, that could become a global pandemic. And who wants another one of those? This century, at least 1.5 billion people have been affected by drought. But what actually is drought?
According to the National Geographic, drought is a term describing a period of time where a country or region experiences an abnormally low-level of rainfall. This below-average level of precipitation can have a series of serious effects, including decreased soil moisture, reduced stream or river flow, crop damage, and a general water shortage for all. Did you know that droughts are the one of the costliest weather events, secondly only to hurricanes?
Sadly, droughts don't only affect the environment. They affect us all. Economically, droughts can cause our farmers to lose money, when the lack of rain ruins their crops. This leads to the companies and shops that rely on these farmers and crops to lose business as well. The lack of accessibility to crops can also cause food prices to increase, making it much more difficult for people to purchase groceries, due to the more expensive prices.
Obviously, the environmental impacts of drought are huge. With nature being deprived of water, many habitats are destroyed, often resulting in a loss of wildlife and animals. Reduced water also leads to less food and drinking water for our animals, which can result in migration, spreading of disease, and at times, even extinction. Droughts also often cause more bush and wildfires, as the environment is so dry. The list goes on
Socially, and on a human level, drought has impacts too. Many people suffer anxiety or depression over droughts, as they may worry for the wellbeing of the planet, and themselves. There are also several health issues that may arise during a drought, related to poor water quality or an increased level of dust in the air.
Drought is no joke, which is why we have to act now.
What can I do to help?
While you may think that we are not currently in a serious drought, there is no reason not to start implementing water-saving strategies into your life. There are so many ways to start saving water, most of which can be easy and fun!
Now, we know sometimes, especially in a house with kids, water-saving isn’t all that simple. But, there are some fail-safe ways to get your household in tip-top water-saving shape.
Understanding the Importance of Water
The most important step in saving water, is understanding why water is so important! Though the list is never-ending, it is good to understand how and why water holds such significance within our own bodies, and our world. All life forms on Earth, from humans, to animals, plants, and even microscopic life, rely on water to survive. Water can dissolve nearly anything, and is the only naturally occurring substance on our planet that can exist as a gas, liquid and a solid. Water is a powerful substance, maybe the most powerful, which is why we have to treasure it.
Once you understand the importance of water, that’s when you can get to saving it. One of the best, and most overlooked ways you can save water in your own home is through greywater reuse. For those who may not know, greywater is household wastewater that comes from baths, showers, sinks and laundries. It does not include kitchen water, as this water can contain harsh chemicals. Don’t get it confused either with black-water, which is water that comes from your toilet, as that kind of water goes through sewerage systems, and can stay right where it is!
While greywater may look dirty, as the name suggests, it is only because it often contains traces of food or dirt. It is perfectly safe, and at times beneficial, to use in your yard. But it is important to note, that greywater is only nutritious to plants, and should not be released into waterways, as it’s nutrients will then turn into pollutants, which is exactly what we don’t want. By reusing greywater in your garden, you will not only keep precious water out of the sewerage system, but also save money on your water bill while you’re at it! Who could say no to that?!
Beyond reusing greywater, there are loads of ways to decrease the amount of water wasted in your home. An obvious one is cutting down the time we spend in the shower. While this may be tough for some, if everyone cut back their showers to less than four minutes, we could reduce water usage by up to 20 percent! And this can be made fun too! Get the kids to sing their favourite song twice in the shower, and to turn the water off when they are done! It’s easy to make a game of it.
Fixing leaks is also important. We know you’re tired of hearing that pesky tap in your bathroom leak, so now’s the time to make a move. Did you know that a hot tap leaking at one drip per second wastes over 6000 litres of water every year? That’s water that you are paying for, and not even using!
The list is never-ending. Some more strategies to save water include only using the dishwasher for full loads, turning off the tap while shaving or brushing your teeth, and keeping a bottle of drinking water in the fridge. The most important thing however, is that even the smallest step towards saving water is better than no step at all.
Another great step towards saving more water in your home is by using eco-friendly cleaning products. While generic household cleaning agents aren’t technically pollutants, the strong chemicals hidden in most of these products can be extremely damaging to our natural environment, as they are often toxic to plant and animals, and can also harm the quality of drinking water. By ditching these harsh cleaners, and replacing them with natural, toxin-free products, you will be able to save more of the greywater from your home, and be able to recycle and reuse it in your very own backyard.
If you’re looking to replace your dishwashing liquids, a great alternative would be the Australian Lemon and Myrtle Blend Dish Wash by Planet Luxe. This eco-friendly dishwashing liquid has no nasties hidden within it, and is toxin-free, 100 percent biodegradable and greywater safe. Swapping out your general detergents for an environmentally product like this one will bring you and your family one step closer to becoming water-saving warriors!