By Danielle King, Green Moves Australia
Unfortunately we don’t have an endless supply of water, so we need to be mindful of our water resources. And for those of you who may not have noticed, water also increased in price by 30% in July 2013. So it’s time to review what gadgets are out there to help us save and reuse water this summer
The simplest approach of course is not to use so much in the first place. This is actually very easy to do through minimising water use and using gadgets such as those below.
Gadgets that minimise water use include:
- Install flow restrictors (if not already installed) to reduce the amount of water coming through the tap. Particularly good for kitchen and bathrooms.
- The ‘Every Drop Shower Saver’ fits to the shower and enables fast and simple way to switch on or off the water while soaping up or washing hair.
- The Redwater valve fits to the hot water tap plumbing close to the outlet and simply diverts the cold water in the pipe (before the hot water gets to the tap) to another place, often a water tank of some kind.
- If you don’t have a dual flush toilet, fill a 1 litre plastic bottle with water and put it into the cistern. This will save 1 litre per flush! Or you could upgrade it, rebates still apply for this.
- There are waterless urinals available which are gaining in popularity.
- Composting toilets are and provide great fertilizer but many are not prepared to install them!
- Installing a new washer or tightening of the screws should fix any dripping taps.
- Got a garden? Mulch well, use water crystals and water directly to the roots at night to minimise how much you need. You can also install moisture sensors to irrigation systems that only waters when needed.
- Got a pool or spa? Ensure the cover is on when not in use, this helps keep it clean and reduces evaporation. Top it up using water from a rain water tank if you can.
- Choose water efficient appliances (i.e. dishwashers and washing machines) and only use them with a full load.
- Mains water monitoring is generally simple to install (but we’d recommend using a plumber) and many work wirelessly (like the energy monitors) to measure and monitor your water use.
- Water leak detection, the AquaTrip is fitted by a plumber and is an early leak detection device that monitors water flow. It can differentiate between normal use and a leak or pipe failure and automatically switches the water off.
Water recycling and collection gadgets
- The humble bucket has been a feature in many bathrooms over hot summers to collect and redistribute shower or bath water to the garden.
- The ‘Joey’ performs the same function as the bucket but is easier to use, particularly for the older generations.
- The Huggie Sink fits into your kitchen sink and is great for catching water used for rinsing vegetables etc which can then be poured onto the garden.
- Mobile wheelie bins or buckets can be used to collect and redistribute rain water from open downpipes.
- Grey water recycling units can take water from laundry and/or bathroom areas and divert the water to garden areas (ensure you only use grey water safe products if you do this)
- Rain water tanks that are plumbed into a toilet and/or laundry also provide good water reuse. It can be used for topping up pools, ponds and spas as well. There are all shapes, sizes and types these days so there is sure to be one that suits your situation.
- Dual flush toilets with built in hand basin at the top are good for recycling the hand wash water into the cistern for flushing.
With all these gadgets there’s really no excuse! How much can you save this summer?
About the author:
Danielle King is the Founder and Director of Green Moves Australia, a private company created to provide householders with a selection of sustainability services designed to help minimise a home’s running costs while reducing the environmental footprint. Danielle has an MBA, Dip. Management and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. She is also a fully qualified Home Sustainability Assessor listed with Sustainability Victoria and ABSA, and is BDAV Accredited.