The smart-parents guide to saving water

It's that time of year when water conservation is on everyone's minds. Tiffany Brown has some good ideas for saving water this summer.

Warmer weather arrives. Phew, you turn off the heat pump and the power bill goes down. But uh-oh! Here comes summer's excessive use of water. Pools, water slides, hoses, water play, washing all those beach towels, soaking the garden" And before you know it, your water bill is out of control. Sometimes you may find though that your bills are still quite high, no matter how much you monitor it, in which case, it could be an issue going on with your pipes and you should probably get in touch with a plumber huntersville nc area, or one much more local to you, to come and check out the issue. If however, your pipes all seem to be working fine and there are no obvious problems, here are 10 fun and creative ways to save water that will keep your green credentials in check and teach your kids some valuable conservation lessons to boot.

Clean hands

While it's essential to teach kids to wash their hands regularly, little ones often take their time doing it. Rather than watching all this valuable water run down the plughole, use the plug to fill a shallow sink and wash hands that way. Alternatively, run the tap for a short time to wet your hands, then turn it off while you soap, and finally back on to rinse.

Shower time

Take brief showers. Remember that showering uses water at a rate of around 12 litres per minute, so
a 10-minute shower will use around 120 litres of water. If you want an occasional long soak, a bath
uses less water than a long shower, at an average of about 80 litres for a half-full tub.

Fun in the tub

Put the kids in the bath together it's more fun that way! Warmer summertime temperatures mean baths don't need to be quite as full. Bubble baths fill up the tub even more, not to mention increase the fun! If children can't or won't have a bath at the same time, just take turns using the same water, topping up with a bit more hot water if necessary.

Water wise

Collect the water you use to wash vegetables and fruit and use it to water houseplants and pot plants. Another simple idea is to collect rainwater in a large bucket or barrel, and use this water for cleaning, flushing toilets, or watering plants. If you have a waste disposal that requires a running tap to operate, consider switching to composting much of your wasted food instead, to save water and further
increase those green credentials.

Summer refresher

Does your family enjoy lovely cool water to drink in the summertime? Flushing warm water out of the pipes by running the tap until your water is cold is a real waste. Instead, fill a jug up each day and leave it in the fridge, or use ice cubes.

Frozen water play

Here's an interesting concept for summertime play for younger kids. Place a number of interesting objects, like flowers, plastic insects, pieces of fabric, or small toys into a large bowl of water and freeze it. Then tip the frozen block out into a trough or large bucket, leave it in the sun, and let it melt slowly. As it does so, the objects emerge one by one, and the ice turns to water for water play.

Drip games

Make a family game out of identifying any leaking taps in and around your home, with a prize for the biggest dripspotter! There is also a fun way to identify any leaks in your toilets. Put a couple of drops of food colouring dye in the tank, and if it seeps into the bowl, you know you have a leak. Getting it fixed can save over 2,000 litres of water a year!

Hose off

Nothing says summer like spraying each other with the garden hose. But water guns and spray bottles can be just as fun, and they use a lot less water. Think carefully before you invest in toys that require running water, and look for water play items that recycle the original quantity of water.

Swimming days

Before you purchase or fill your own pool at home, think about using the local swimming pool facilities instead. Community pools are cheap, easy to access for most, offer fun extra features like water fountains and slides for kids and, best of all, someone else takes care of maintaining them. Make good use of any swimmable rivers, streams, lakes, waterfalls, and beaches nearby, too. Cooling off in these natural waterways is good for the planet and good for the soul. If you have a hot tub or spa pool at home, ensure the top is covered in between uses. This prevents evaporation and reduces the need to refill it.

Sprinkler smarts

Running under the sprinkler is a rite of passage for Kiwi summer fun. Why not kill two birds with one stone? You can make better use of this water by making sure the sprinkler is soaking a dry garden bed or lawn, or watering thirsty plants at the same time as soaking the kids.

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