After this year’s dry winter and spring, it’s very likely Calgary is headed for water restrictions this summer. On top of that, the City of Calgary’s needs to conserve water to meet our goals for the “30 in 30” plan.
At Knight, we’re becoming more water conscious, so we’re all trying to save where we can. Here are some of the best tips we’ve found for saving water all around the house.
There are are wide variety of ways to save water and still maintain excellent hygiene.
- Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth. You only need the water when rinsing your brush.
- Add an aerator to your shower and faucet. You can add an aerator to make your water go farther, and you won’t even notice that you’re using less. There are lots of beautiful plumbing fixtures that also have water saving features if it’s time to upgrade.
- Use a timer when showering. Try to keep it to 5 minutes. To make it more fun for your family, have a contest: the person with the fastest shower times gets a prize.
- Use a handheld shower for rinsing hair treatments. For deep treatments that need several minutes or more to work, don’t even get into the shower until your hair is done. Lean over the tub to wash and rinse your hair using the handheld. Once your hair is done, get in to have the rest of your shower.
- Install a low-flush toilet. If you update your toilet to a water saving version by August 15, 2016, you can get a $50 rebate from the City of Calgary. Airdrie has one too, and it looks like there’s no expiry. Don’t worry, good ones have enough flushing power to deal with most situations!
When we’re focused on cooking or cleaning up, it can be easy to forget how much water we really use. Try these tips to make it effortless.
- Install a water saving tap. They still work, and they can look gorgeous.
- Give your veggies a bath. Instead of letting dozens of litres of water flow through a colander, soak produce in a bowl of water to wash away pesticides.
- Fill the dishwasher. while using a dishwasher is more efficient than washing by hand, wait until the dishwasher is full before you run it.
- Let dirty pots soak. But you don’t need to fill them. Just use enough water to soften caked-on food on the bottom. Scrub using the same water (using gloves helps) and only turn on the water when you’re ready to rinse.
You’ll find you don’t have to walk around in dirty clothes in order to save water on washing.
- Only do a wash when you have a full load, and use the right water level. You’ll save energy too if you use cold water most of the time, saving the hot water for really dirty loads.
- Stick to a single rinse. Avoid the extended rinse setting. Bonus points: collect rinse water and use it to water plants.
- Consider buying a water-saving washing machine. There are models out there that can save up to 50% on water. Many of these are gentler on clothes, and will help them last longer.
Saving on water doesn’t mean your yard has to look scary, or that you have to paint your dead lawn green like many Californians did during the 2015 drought. If you follow these tips you can save water and have a beautiful yard.
- Roll out the barrel. Install a rain barrel under the downspout of your home’s eavestroughs, and use the water for plants.
- Cover bare earth. Using mulch on top of flower beds will reduce water evaporation. It will help keep weeds down, too.
- Water first thing in the morning or after the sun goes down. If you water during the hot part of the day, a lot of it just evaporates.
- Take care when placing sprinklers. There’s no point in watering your driveway or walkway.
- Just an inch will do. Lawns should only need an inch of water every week or so. Place an upside down frisbee on your lawn when using the sprinkler. Once it’s full, your lawn has enough water, so it’s OK to turn it off.
- Put a timer on sprinkler play for kids. You don’t have to be the sprinkler Grinch, but don’t let them run the sprinkler as much as they want. Better yet, only let them play in the sprinkler when you’re watering the lawn anyways. Do your best to explain why they can’t use as much as they want – you’ll find many kids are on board with saving water.
- Let your lawn grow. Mowing your lawn to 3” high shades the roots and helps it stay green with less water.
- Redesign your garden. Choose drought-tolerant plants. Called “xeriscaping”, landscaping for minimal water use has been increasingly buzzworthy in the last few years. This guide will show you some beautiful choices for our area.
This is one area where you can really cut back on water usage.
- Don’t use a power washer. Sweeping walkways and driveways works just as well. You’ll get a great workout for your arms and core muscles at the same time.
- Take a trip to the car wash. They actually use less water, and their water is treated on site before it is released into the city’s storm drain system.
Saving Water Will Feel Great
You don’t have to stop enjoying life to start saving water. All it takes is adopting a few new habits, and most importantly never letting a tap run unless it’s being used. Once you get used to it, you won’t miss your old water-wasting ways.
You’ll also get a pleasant surprise when your next water bill arrives!
Interesting in looking at some beautiful water saving taps, showers and toilets? Find out what we can offer you.