Saving Water and Electricity: Small Changes, Big Rewards

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Yes, we are all aware that the resources of planet Earth are limited. We know that we cannot go anywhere to replenish them if we use them up. We are especially aware of that in South Africa, the country with limited electricity (remember the blackouts of 2008!) and water assets.

And yes, we would all like to contribute to the preservation of natural resources. However, all our noble pledges that entail something we see as deprivation are doomed to end up in the “unfulfilled resolutions” file.

That is why we bring you a practical guide on what you can do to save the planet without going out of your way to do it.

10 Water Saving Habits 

  1. If you have small children, bathe them together. (Grown-ups will, of course, head for a shower.)
  2. Shower water too hot? Do not turn up the cold water tap; turn down the hot water tap instead. Shower water too cold? (By now, you know what to do.)
  3. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth.
  4. Turn off the taps tightly after using them and fix leaks as soon as they occur.
  5. Collect the water that runs off your roof in a barrel and use it to water your plants or to wash your car.
  6. Learn to wash your car with one or two buckets of water. Never use a hose!
  7. Have a sprinkler? Adjust it so that only plants get the water, not your house, pavement, or street.
  8. Cleaning the fish tank? Use the nutrient-rich water for your plants.
  9. Drop tissues and other litter into the wastebasket. Do not flush them down the toilet.
  10. Use your washing machine and your dishwasher only when they are filled to capacity. This also reduces energy costs.
10 Electricity Saving Habits 

  1. Avoid opening the fridge every five minutes. (Yes, your Mom is right!) When you open it, do everything in one go, without closing and opening the door (that fans the warm air in, and cold air out).
  2. Adjust the fridge thermostat to low in winter.
  3. Keep the freezer as full as possible; however, do not overfill the fridge.
  4. Set your washing machine to wash with warm or cold water (not hot).
  5. Feel like a cuppa? Boil only as much water as you need at a time.
  6. Avoid opening the oven door to check how the cooking is progressing.
  7. Use pots the same size as the stove plate. And keep the plates clean.
  8. Whether you are cooking in the oven or on the stove top, turn off the knob five minutes before the food is done. The retained heat will keep it cooking to perfection.
  9. Unplug the charges and adapters and actually switch off devices (TV, laptop, DVD player) when not in use. (Those little coloured lights visible in the standby mode also use power.)
  10. Set your geyser to a lower temperature and switch it off when you are away for a longer period of time.

Small as they are, these habits will contribute to preserving our environment. You can adapt them today, without changing your lifestyle. In return, you will feel good about yourself. Plus, you will be overjoyed when you see the positive effect on your monthly utility bills.

Once you take notice of how much electricity and water you have been squandering needlessly, you will also notice other things you are wasting. And, hopefully, do something about that too.

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