Think Green This Year

Published July 19, 2012

There are many ways that you can conserve energy and save money in your daily routine. Whether it’s loading your dishwasher or just cooking cleverly, little changes can make a big difference in the environment as well as your pocketbook.

Conserving water is one area where we can make a difference. When you think about it, we use water everyday for all sorts of purposes and if we learn to be a little more “water savvy” as a group we can all be a little more eco-friendly.

Did you know that by installing a low-flow aerator on your kitchen tap you could reduce your water costs by as much as 50%? A low-flow aerator adds air to the water stream but maintains a nice pressure while doing so.

Your dishwasher is another culprit for water gluttony. Try to only run your dishwasher once a day and if you can choose the short cycle. If you are in the market for a new dishwasher then have a look at the high-efficiency Energy Star models that may save you up to 4000 litres of water per year.

Monitoring the thermostat on your hot water heater is another thing you can do to keep your water- heating bill from escalading. Be sure the thermostat is set at a comfortable level and not too high. You would be surprised to know how much cold water is required to cool down your hot water when necessary.

If you are a shower person, you can easily install a low-flow showerhead to save money and water. I know that many of you are thinking that these low-flow showerheads produce very low pressure but the newer models feature good pressure and are inexpensive. They also feature many different spray configurations.

Choose low-flush toilets if you are in the process of replacing an old, existing one. If you choose one that uses 6 litres or less per flush then you can reduce your water consumption by almost 50%. It’s also a good idea to routinely check for leaks in your toilet tank fittings. Plumbers recommend adding a small amount of food colouring into your tank. Wait approximately 15 minutes and if you see colour spreading to the bowl without flushing you probably have a leak that a plumber needs to repair.

I’m sure you are as guilty as I am of running the tap while you brush your teeth. If you remember to turn it off you could potentially save up to 15 litres of water per minute. It’s a simple and easy thing to do; we just need to remember to do it.

All of these things are easy to do on a day-to-day basis, but over time they can have huge impact on our environment.