November 26, 2010
With population levels expected to increase exponentially over the next 50 years, water is one of our most precious natural resources. But when it’s quite literally on tap, it’s easy to slip into bad water usage habits which can result in significant and unnecessary wastage – not to mention astronomical utility bills. So if you’re looking for some great ideas to help conserve water, we’ve compiled our top 10 tips for saving water below.
Top 10 ways to conserve water
Take these 10 easy steps to reduce water consumption in your household:
• Turn off the faucet or tap. When you’re preparing vegetables, doing the dishes, shaving, washing your hands or brushing your teeth, be sure to turn the faucet off. Many of us have got into the habit of leaving water running when we’re doing basic household chores or taking care of our personal hygiene. Running water is really not necessary for most of these tasks. Reminding yourself to turn off the tap is a great way to save gallons of water.
• Check for leaks. Some water leaks can go undetected for months. So be sure to check the integrity of taps, pipes and radiators in your property. One easy way is to take a water meter reading in the morning – take off for the day, and then check your meter when you get home. If there’s been a change in the reading, you’ve probably got a leak! Find it and fix it.
• Water-saving toilets. Believe it or not, toilets can guzzle up to 30% of your household water supply every year! Toilets have come a long way, and many new models include a dual-flush function, which allows you to select a half or full flush, thereby saving more water than conventional WCs. If you have an older model, why not fill a bottle with sand and stones and place it in your toilet tank to displace water and reduce the flush and fill of your tank.
• Avoid baths, take shorter showers. It might be hard to give up your luxurious candle-lit bath. Showers are more efficient by a mile – you can rinse and switch off, lather up, and then switch on again to rinse…and you’re done. Half the water, half the time!
• Change your shower head. Some shower heads can release up to 80 gallons of water per minute, depending on the design. So, measure your shower output and if you’re surprised by the results, you can easily purchase a low-flow showerhead for between $10 to $100.
• Invest in pipe insulation. Insulating your water pipes helps to deliver hot water fast, and keeps your water hot – especially in the morning, when the shower is in demand! Pipe insulation is widely available, cheap and easy to install.
• Stay cool. Keep a jug or bottle of cold water in the fridge. This will help you avoid running the tap until the water runs cold.
• Full loads only. When you’re using the washing machine or dishwasher, always aim for full loads. Most machines now have options for half-loads or economy cycles that will use less water – but where possible, avoid switching your machine on until it’s completely full.
• No butts. Purchase a water butt to collect rain water from your garden. You can use the water you collect to feed your lawn and flowers, as well as cleaning the patio or washing the car.
• Be water aware. Small changes in water usage and consumption can make a huge difference to your pocket – and the planet. Share your water tips with others and encourage them to join you in conserving one of our most important natural resources.
September 24, 2010
There are a lot of great eco-friendly brands around these days so standing out from the crowd is getting harder and harder but one German company has avoided the usual brand name and gone with a message instead: Stop The Water While Using Me.
While the website isn’t quite finished, Stop The Water sells three different items: shampoo, shower gel and toothpaste. The big message on the front doesn’t leave you with any question of what you should do while using it – stop running the water.
As well as the organic and natural ingredients it’s packaged in biodegradable containers, something which is often missing from environmentally friendly beauty products.
You can find out more about Stop The Water and where to buy its products on its website.
March 12, 2010
Online wine vendor CellarThief donates 100 days’ worth of clean water for every bottle of wine it sells.
From the site “Almost 1 billion people on the planet don’t have clean drinking water – that’s 1 in 8 people. Not having clean drinking water leads to terrible illness and death – in fact 42,000 people die every week from a lack of clean, safe water with 90% of those deaths being children 5 years old or younger. If you help us sell this wine out, the Bounty is awarded! We’ll tag on another 50 days of clean water for every bottle of wine sold! That totals 5 months of clean water per bottle of wine – that can make a difference!”
A great idea, if you’re buying wine anyway, and it’s the same price as somewhere that donates water, then why not buy from them? Shipping for 3 or more bottles is $5.
December 14, 2009
Alasdair from Big Green Smile has written a post about Springwatch favourite Kate Humble bfronting, or indeed backing, a new water saving campaign:
“BBC television wildlife presenter Kate Humble has joined the campaign to educate Britons about the importance of water saving measures.
Figures published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show that the average Briton uses 150 litres of water every day, compared to the 127 litres used by the average German.
It is estimated the water treatment process and the use of hot water creates 35 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year in the UK.
Ms Humble is now trying to get the message across that straightforward water saving measures can save money and help the battle against climate change.
“Simple changes can really add up to a better environment – meaning more water for the wildlife and countryside around us as well as saving on carbon emissions,” she said.
Among the water saving measures recommended by Defra are turning the tap off while brushing your teeth and using a watering can instead of a hosepipe when watering the garden.
Waterwise recently launched a campaign to persuade people to spend less time in the shower, pointing out that an electric shower uses around six litres of water a minute.
June 19, 2009
Previously one of my favorite water bottles (it sits on my desk every day) is the CamelBak (reviewed here) BPA-free plastic water bottle.
They have now launched the industry’s first spill-proof, no-tip stainless steel water bottles. Available in single-walled and insulated versions, the new bottles were engineered from the inside out to be both user-friendly and durable in demanding environments – whether in a stuffy, hot car or on an international adventure.
The new CamelBak® Better Bottle™ Stainless features the one-of-a-kind Big Bite™ Valve, making it spill-proof even when it’s open for drinking. When the bite valve is up, the mouth piece and straw allow for easy, no-tip sipping. The valve can be flipped shut for easy storage and transport. The mouth of the bottle is wide enough to clean easily and fill up quickly – even wide enough for ice cubes.
CamelBak’s stainless steel bottles are 100 percent BPA-free, stain-resistant and taste-free, with no liners or coatings inside like those found in aluminum bottles. Because the bottles are made with medical grade stainless steel, they are resistant to dents and blemishes. Take a look.
May 21, 2009
We’ve tested a lot of water bottles at Life Goggles (look under Home), but I have to say stainless steel bottles are still my favourite.
Even with BPA-free reusable plastic water bottles I simply prefer the taste of the water from them. I certainly don’t need to tell you about the reasons not to use disposable plastic bottles although the other week I used one myself without thinking, all too easily done!
So Eco Canteen sent us some bottles to test, the bottles are stainless steel, no aluminum, with a plastic cap (polyproylene #5 as apparently that’s the safest, non-leaching plastic). You can put the bottle in the dishwasher, but just wash the cap in soapy water. As you can see from the picture the bottle is clean in design, 26oz (a 16oz version is available) and has a wide enough neck to take ice cubes (one problem with my SIGG).
The Eco Canteen also has a carabiner clip on the top to hook to your backpack or sports bag, and comes with a free insulated tote (although a small additional p&h charge is included). Mine came in black, though their websites show blue and green too. It has a little shoulder strap should you ever need to carry it that way or secure it to something else. The bottle arrived securely but minimally packaged.
So if you’re looking to give up the plastic habit and save money, and want to try stainless steel water bottles then check them out.
October 8, 2008
It’s hard to call this a product review as We Want Tap is more of a campaign that does a few products too. The campaign is by Provokateur which also did the ACME Climate Action book so I knew it was going to be a bit different and funky. We Want Tap encourages you to drink tap water as opposed to bottled water. And that’s it really but the way the company is doing it is through taste testing and a lot of promotion – it recently featured on the front cover of Design Week. The campaign even has a Facebook page of its own.
As with ACME, We Want Tap also has a video which explains what it’s all about.
The website has lots of information on there and is a great resource to try and wean people off bottled water. What We Want Tap sent me was the 400ml reusable bottle worth £6 and the DIY Bottle Labelling Kit and stickers worth £4.
Apart from beer, the only other drink I have regularly is tap water. I have to admit to filtering it though as it’s a bit funny where I live now, usually I don’t care and will have it from the tap (if it’s cold). We do recycle the filter cartridges by the way. Anyway the 400ml bottle has already come in useful and I find it much better than using an old plastic bottle when out for the day. I don’t know much about what it’s made of – plastic and metal – but if it cuts down on using bottles then I’m all for it. I like the way the lid is connected to the bottle too.
I was also sent some bottle labels and stickers. You get five labels for smaller bottles and five for bigger ones. The smaller ones also have a few little stickers to put on bottles, fridges and around the place. And they’re incredibly easy to use. Just pull off the old label and wrap around the new one. There’s a handy chart for you to tick off when you’re used the bottle once and after ten times you can recycle it. Soon all those pesky bottles will have been recycled and you can get back to using a reusable bottle. The stickers are printed using vegetable ink, printed on chlorine free 100% recycled paper with a biodegradable laminate and only the sticker backing can’t be recycled.