Humans in their quest for commercialisation and material needs have blatantly abused and exhausted the limited natural resources. That is why it has come down to each one of us to start saving the most valuable resource – water. It is a universal truth that there can be no life without water. It is the elixir which propagates all life forms ranging from plants and humans to animals, birds and insects.
The Struggle Is Real
We have failed to understand the value of freshwater supplies, and this is the reason why running taps while brushing and leaking faucets don’t pain us much. What if, we tell you that taking a long shower could become a luxury in the coming few years.
Believe it or not, but the way we are wasting water, that day is not too far. Shortage of water is a grim reality which is rearing its ugly head across the world. From Cape Town, Mexico City and Michigan to Kabul and Asian metropolitan areas, the water crisis is gradually covering the whole of the earth.
Melbourne is no stranger to this situation as it experienced the worst period of water shortage during the Millennium drought, which continued from 1997 to 2009. The dry spell was overcome by reducing the per capita water utilisation of every household to half and adopting water recycling methods throughout the city.
How About Getting Water From The Oceans?
To counter this argument, many people state that there are so many voluminous water bodies present on the planet, so why is there a scarcity. The simple answer to this question is that most of this water is salty and unsuitable for drinking.
We have only 3% of this water which can be utilised for drinking, and from this meagre percentage, only 0.5% is available as the rest is fixed up in glaciers, soil and the atmosphere. With so less to consume and such a vast population waiting to quench its thirst and wash its utensils and clothes, we are just racing against the time when we will be left with zero levels of groundwater.
That is why water conservation is not an obligation but a distress call to survival. We need to save water in every way possible through its judicious and careful usage. The maximum consumption usually takes place during the cleaning chores and this where we can make a difference. So here are eight ways of conserving water while cleaning which will set you on the path of a sustainable future.
Measures Taken By The Victorian Government
To ensure secure water supply, the Victorian Government has been stressing on conserving water, reusing and recycling and avoiding polluting of water bodies. All Melbournians including individuals and businesses are playing a significant part in the process. Queen Victoria Market, which is among the top 200 water-using organisations, has been working on the same.
The Market installed a rainwater harvesting system in 2008 which helped in the reduction of the demand for potable water and decreased stormwater discharge. A similar initiative was started by the Royal Botanic Gardens which has brought down the use of mains water for irrigation by up to 40%.
Ways To Conserve Water While Cleaning
Cleaning dishes and washing clothes is an everyday household chore which consumes a lot of water. However, you can reduce this daily spending by switching to water-efficient appliances which have high energy ratings such as the front loading washing machines. They utilise half of what is consumed by the traditional top-loading machines.
Similarly, you must buy water-efficient dishwashers that are easily available in Melbourne. They not only conserve water but also save energy and money as your utility bills get slashed. Also, it is recommended to wait till you have a bag full of laundry and sink full of dirty dishes to get the machines started. Some of these devices also come with the economical mode, which can save a few more dollars for sure.
Most people don’t bother closing the tap water while they are cleaning the walls, sink or the faucets. Whether you live close to the Royal Botanic Gardens or are located in the proximity of Queen Victoria Market, the basic rules of water preservation remain the same. Stop squandering by filling up water in a bucket when you are using a washcloth to clean your home walls and fixtures.
Every time you open the tap to rinse and wring the cloth, you end up using a lot of water. To avoid this, use the water in the bucket to clean the cloth and use it again for wiping the dirty areas. Also, you must undertake smart shortcuts to clean your rooms faster so that you don’t use water to get rid of the dirt. Regular touch-ups will maintain the cleanliness in the house and reduce the dependency on washing.
Use brooms and vacuums to clean flooring as often as possible and avoid mopping. Consider the use of water only when you witness stains. The same rules should be followed for paths, concrete, tiles, driveway, timber decks etc.
When you finally decide to clean these surfaces, you must use high-pressure water cleaning equipment to make it quick. If you cannot find the machine, then take advantage of a hand-held hose with a trigger nozzle or a bucket and a mop. Make sure the hose is not leaking from anywhere to avoid wastage.
Toilets use up a lot of water in a day as all the family members use them a couple of times within 24 hours. You can decrease the usage of water by installing water-efficient dual flush models in your Melbourne homes. It can be installed by replacing the flush or the cistern or the whole toilet.
For the traditional single flush users, the best way to get started is to place a water displacement device in the toilet tank or a water-filled plastic bottle in the cistern. On the other hand, if you have a dual flush toilet, then use a half-flush whenever possible and utilise recycled water for flushing to save water.
Greywater recycling is a smart way to reduce your water footprint. The recycled water from the shower, kitchen sink and washing machines can be utilised in the flush.
When you are cleaning your home, you must check for wear and tear and maintenance work requirements. It is especially significant when you are planning to undertake end of lease cleaning in Melbourne.
If there are leaking taps, pipes or sinks, you need to get them repaired immediately as these can lead to bigger problems like seepage, cracks in pipes and moulds. It can give the property manager a justified excuse to hold back your deposit. So when you are cleaning your bathrooms and kitchen, you must check them for leakage to avoid wastage of water and save your bond.
Some common changes in our lifestyle can help in water conservation, such as cleaning the bathroom while taking a bath. First, you need to switch to a bucket instead of enjoying the shower so that you do not end up wasting water unnecessarily.
Secondly, the water which is falling down in the bathtub can be used to wipe the floors. If you use natural soaps, then the soapy water can be used to clean the sink, showerheads, glass doors and faucets.
Replenish your gardens and indoor plants using rainwater just like Queen Victoria Market, which is using rainwater harvesting to stop wastage of the scarce resource. You can collect the rainwater falling on your roof into a container and use it for watering plants or in the toilet or keep it for later use.
Only 26% of Australian homes own a rainwater tank and more such systems are needed for efficient water management. These tanks have filters which remove the leaves and other debris flowing with the water. If you wish to utilise it for drinking, you can install carbon filtration in the tank. The untreated rainwater can also be used for cleaning windows and mopping the floors.
A smart way to keep a tab on your water consumption is to install a water meter which helps you to calculate how much you have utilised after every cleaning activity. Check the meter before and after the cleaning procedure and try to bring down the usage gradually with an integrated water management plan such as the one employed by the Royal Botanic Gardens.
It has allowed them to bring down their water usage in Cranbourne Gardens and Melbourne Gardens and utilise stormwater for irrigation. Thus using less water for the same task can make a lot of difference. For example, when you are washing your car, using a bucket of water or lesser than that is what can bring down your cleaning water consumption.
Cleaning is a regular chore which never stops and is essential for maintaining the hygiene and health of the family members. Whether you are embarking on end of lease cleaning or following your daily routine, ensure that you minimise wastage and take advantage of the tips mentioned above to save water.
It will go a long way in fighting drought-like situations and preserving the environment. So strive to make water conservation a part of your everyday life today and ensure to have a better tomorrow.