How to use less inside
Most of these tips are easy to adopt and will soon become life-long habits; and if we all change our daily habits we'll really make a difference. Don't forget that many of the measures you put in place at home can be used at school and work as well.
- Taking shorter showers is one of the simplest ways to save water. Use a shower timer to help you cut down your shower time.
- Install a 3-star rated shower head.
- Turn off the shower while you shampoo and condition your hair.
- Use a bucket to collect shower water while you wait for hot water to arrive - use the water collected for cleaning, window washing or in the garden.
- Turn off the tap while you're brushing your teeth.
- Don't shave with the water running; run a little water in the sink and rinse your razor in that.
- Use the half-flush whenever you can.
- Install a dual flush system or a water-saving device so your toilet only flushes for as long as you hold down the button.
- Check for a leaking toilet by putting food colouring in the cistern. If the colour starts flowing into the bowl you know you have a leak. (Flush straight after this test so that you don't stain the bowl).
- Don't flush unless you need to. Dispose of tissues or other rubbish in the bin, not the toilet.
- Only use your washing machine if you have a full load.
- If you must do a half load of washing adjust the water level to suit.
- Consider purchasing a 4-star rated washing machine. These use about two thirds less water than a traditional top loader. Check www.waterrating.gov.au to see how your appliances rate.
- Use the 'sud-saver' option on your machine (if you have it) when doing more than one load.
- Use biodegradable eco-friendly detergent for improved greywater for your garden.
- When washing clothes by hand, only run as much water as needed into the sink.
- Pre-treat stains to reduce the need to re-wash clothes.
- Only use your dishwasher when it is fully loaded and use the economy setting.
- Try to keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge rather than running the tap until its cold enough to drink.
- Wipe rather than rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
- Don't use running water to defrost your frozen food.
- When washing up by hand, don't rinse dishes under running water. Use the second sink, or a bucket.
- Soak pots and pans, don't scrape under running water.
- Wash fruit and vegetables in a bowl rather than under running water.
- Try composting instead of using garbage disposal units. Your garden will benefit and will use less water.
- Always look for appliances rather 3-stars or higher (for rating information visit www.waterrating.gov.au).
- Flow control regulators and aerators on taps will cut flow by up to 50%.
- Ensure sink plugs throughout your house don't leak.
- Insulate hot water pipes to reduce warm-up time and save water and electricity.
- If you have high water pressure, a plumber can install a pressure reduction valve at your property boundary.
A leak can waste a huge amount of water. Read your meter before you go to bed and again first thing in the morning. If it has changed while you have not used any water then you have a leak.
Water Efficiency Labelling System
The WELS label, or Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Scheme, allows you to compare the water efficiency of different products on the market. Keep an eye out for any water-reliant product. The more stars on the label the better!
Smart Approved WaterMark
Smart Approved WaterMark is Australia's outdoor water saving labelling program for products and services that help to reduce water use around the home. Products and services with the Smart Approved WaterMark label have been assessed by an independant technical expert panel. So look out for the Smart Approved WaterMark label when you're shopping to be sure that what you're buying really will save you water.