Thursday, 1 December 2016

5 easy ways to teach kids to save water

It’s easier to learn good habits when you’re young, and one really good habit to get into is saving water. In the UK, especially in winter, it’s easy to think that there’s too much water around anyway, but the fact is that globally we do use too much water. Learning how to save water in our everyday lives will help us, and our children, to conserve one of Earth’s most valuable natural resources.

Here are five simple ways that you and your children can save water every day.

1. Turn Off the Taps
Whether you’re washing your hands or brushing your teeth, don’t just let the water carry on running down the drain. If you turn the tap off while you’re not actually rinsing your hands or your toothbrush, you can save most of the water you would otherwise use.

2. Turn Off the Taps Tightly
Make sure that when you do turn the tap off, it’s off! Leaking and dripping taps can waste large amounts of water over time, especially if you don’t notice them at first. Get into the habit of checking the taps are tightly off before you leave the bathroom, and teach your children to do so too.

3. Bath Time for Babies
When it’s time to give your baby a bath, use only an inch or two of water. For safety reasons, you shouldn’t be giving your babies a deep bath anyway, so this is a great way to save water and to be really safe. As your children get older, encourage them to have quick showers, not baths - filling up a bathtub takes a lot of water. Set a good example by having showers yourself. Children will follow their parents’ example in all sorts of ways.

4. Save “Old Water”
Encourage your children to collect water from almost finished bottles, half-finished drinks or from boiling eggs - once it’s cooled down, of course. You can use this saved water to water your grass and your garden instead of using your sprinkler or your hosepipe. There’s a reason we have hosepipe bans in hot dry summers - they use a lot of water! If you save up your old drinks and cooking water, you will soon be keeping your garden green without breaking any bans. Also, using old water in a watering can is much more efficient than using a hosepipe.

Install a water butt under your drainpipe. You can’t drink the water (although the animals will), but you can use it to wash your car, water the plants and even wash your windows. Dirty water pumps can get water out of ponds, ditches and rain barrels to be used efficiently on your garden.

5. Don’t Flush
Sometimes you have to flush! But modern toilets are fitted with two sizes of flush to begin with. So train your children to use the lighter flush if they’ve only had a wee. If you have small children who use the toilet frequently, they don’t have to flush every time. Flushing your toilet uses up to five gallons of water every time, so frequent flushing can use up a lot of water, especially if you have a young family. You can also get a “cistern displacement unit” to fit in your cistern to reduce the amount of water used each flush. These are available from your water provider.

Using less water is energy-efficient. It takes a lot of energy to clean wastewater, or “greywater” as it is known, once it’s in the sewage system. It takes a lot of energy to heat water, so it makes sense to be frugal with your hot tap. If you’re on a water meter, then these five simple tips can save you a surprising amount of money.

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