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Tips and Guides

Taking A Shower Can Save You 3,700 Liters Of Water A Month

And did you know that a broken toilet could leak up to 200 liters of water a day? Find out what other household items waste water, and learn all the ways to conserve water at home.

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Original Article: Joy Jabile Ejercito Photography: Jun Pinzon & Jilson Tiu (Main Photos)

We all know that water is important in our lives. In fact, it covers 70% of the earth's surface, but 97% of water is undrinkable and another 2% is polluted. This leaves us with only one percent of water to use and drink. However, improper use and wastage will lead to running our resources dry; and aside from money going down the drain, that water wastage affects the community (and environment) as a whole.

Jenica Dizon of water conservation advocacy Waves for Water (W4W) explains about the impact of water conservation. “Energy and overall environmental conservation are direct outcomes of water conservation. At the community level, it can be said that water conservation can improve overall health of the community.” She adds: “Health risks may be avoided as chances for water pollution are lessened. In addition, carbon emissions that primarily cause global warming may also be reduced due to energy conserved from using less water.”

In a nutshell, we have to pay more attention as to how we use water. Jenica recommends these simple conservation tips for homeowners. “[It can] be summarized into three activities—reducing, repairing, and retrofitting,” she says. Here are some simple ways to manage your home’s water consumption with those three activities:


Reducing

  • Take a quick shower. Turn off the water while you're soaping up. You'll save up to 3,700 liters a month, versus leaving the shower on, or filling up an entire bathtub.
  • Turn off water while shaving, washing your face, or brushing your teeth. You'll save four gallons a minute. That's 750 liters a week for a family of four!
  • Don't let the water run while washing the dishes. Fill up one basin with soapy water and another with rinsing water. The dirty water can be used later to clean the sink or water the plants.
  • Dispose of tissue and toilet paper in the trashcan. Don't flush it in the toilet—this act will save liters of water daily.
  • Water plants early in the day. Plants are better equipped to take up water early in the morning, and won’t be evaporated at once. Water the soil and not the plants.

 


Repairing

  • Check for leaks in your toilet tank. Use the "dye test" by putting food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl, you have a leak. Toilet leaks cause more water waste than any other fixture in the home—they can waste from 110 or more liters of water per day!
  • Immediately replace a broken pipe or faucet, even if it leaks just trickles of water. Trickles can add up to liters, and the leaks will eventually damage your fixtures, walls, and floors!

 


Retrofitting

  • Replace your faucets with those that automatically shut off, like those in public toilets. This is especially useful if you have children who are too small to be trained to close the faucet.
  • Choose showerheads with adjustable settings. Get showerhead fittings with settings that can be adjusted to allow just enough water for rinsing, and adjustments for mist, or pulsating features.
  • Consider installing a water-recycling system for your house. This system has cisterns, receptacles, or tanks are used to collect rainwater for laundry, flushing or even taking a bath. Check out Weida’s rain-saving tanks here.
  • When building a new home or renovating your bathroom, change your existing toilet bowl with a more up-to-date water closet that has water-saving features, or a half- and full-flush buttons. One type of an affordable, water-saving toilet bowl is Pozzi, which is available at Wilcon Depot.

RL TIP: If you're not keen on replacing your entire water closet, try replacing the existing valve with a repair kit that will control the amount of flushing water. One brand is the US-made Fluidmaster or China-made Nison (available at major hardware stores).

Aside from saving water at home, you can help other communities by taking action with Waves For Water, which helps provide clean water to communities in need. With 105 programs in 27 countries, W4W has helped provide water filtration systems, wells, and rainwater harvesting systems. To date, W4W Philippines has provided a million Filipinos access to clean water across forty provinces. For more information about W4W, click here.  

Read the original article ("Waste Not, Want Not") in the May 2007 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to summitnewsstand.com.ph/real-living. Editors have made minor updates to this article.

More on Realliving.com.ph

5 Ways to Conserve Water at Home

5 Ways to Increase Water Efficiency At Home

5 Home Repairs You Can Do Without Calling Manong

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