When it comes to living sustainably, we all know how to cut down our energy usage and reduce our carbon footprint, use green electricity providers, and even reduce our meat consumption to not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
But there’s another precious resource that we can reduce to be more eco-conscious. We’re talking about water, of course. When we reduce water consumption, we lessen the energy used and pollution emitted from treating it. It also helps reduce our water bills.
Singapore’s per capita household water consumption was about 141 litres per person per day in 2018. The goal is to reach 130 litres per day by 2030.
In water-scarce Singapore, the Government has long been building up our water supply through the Four National Taps. In fact, PM Lee even reminded us this year that conserving water should be a daily way of life as climate change and unstable weather conditions make reliable water supply harder to come by.
We can’t survive without water so it’s imperative to do our part by saving water wherever we can – starting from at home! Here are six water-saving tips to make good habits out of.
1. Don’t Leave The Tap Running
As the PUB campaign goes, Make Every Drop Count. Avoid leaving the tap on when doing dishes or when brushing your teeth, and resist the urge to take long showers. According to the PUB’s Household Water Consumption Study in 2018/2019, 29% of water usage in households comes from showers, while 16% is used in kitchens and 7% in basins.
Imagine how much you can save by simply turning off the taps in these areas when not in use. So don’t leave the tap on when brushing your teeth, turn off the shower when soaping yourself, and rinse your veggies in containers.
2. Switch to Water-Efficient Taps and Showerheads
Of course, it’s unavoidable that you’ll need to turn the tap on for your daily activities. To minimise your water consumption, switch to water-efficient, low-flow taps and showerheads. The PUB has a Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) that helps you choose more suitable products for your home.
Look for products with three or more ticks – four ticks are the most water-efficient! And for maximum savings, install thimbles on your taps and adjust the valves to reduce the flow.
3. Buy A Water-Efficient Washing Machine
Laundry accounts for 15% of all water usage in a household. Choosing a water-efficient washing machine is therefore crucial in helping you reduce your water usage. Using a water-efficient machine can save more than twice the amount of water as compared to an inefficient one!
Apart from shopping for a 3- or 4-tick machine, choose one whose capacity best suits the needs of your household, and one that has the lowest water consumption per wash. When using the washing machine, wash on a full load and choose the correct wash cycle.
4. Half Flush as Much as Possible
We all need to go to the toilet, but did you know that the most inefficient toilets in Singapore can use up to 9 litres of water per flush? If you still haven’t made the switch, change to an efficient dual-flush water-closet system, as this can cut your water usage quite significantly.
A more efficient system does not exceed 4.5 litres per full flush and 3.5 litres per half-flush, making it a no-brainer not to use the full flush unless absolutely necessary.
5. Reuse Your Water
Reusing items is one of the cornerstones of minimising waste, and this applies to water as well. For watering indoor plants or mopping floors, consider using water from your last wash cycle in your washing machine rather than turning on the tap or the hose.
6. Get A Free Water Saving Kit From PUB
Did you know that you can request a free water-saving kit from PUB? Each water saving kit comes with a set of thimbles that can help control the flow rates of your taps and showerheads. The water-saving kit also features stickers with tips on saving water, featuring PUB’s adorable mascot Water Wally – perfect for those with young kids at home.
Water Consumption Tips for an Eco-friendly Home in Singapore
What to do
Don’t leave the tap running
Switch it off when not in use
Switch to water-efficient taps and showerheads
Look for products with three or more ticks
Buy a water-efficient washing machine
Look for products with three or more ticks
Use the half-flush where possible
Cut your water usage in your toilet significantly
Consider reusing water for tasks like mopping floors and watering plants
Get a free water savings kit
Receive some useful thimbles and cute stickers for your family
Climate change is already a huge problem, and unless we do something about it, things are only going to get worse. The onus is on us to save the planet not just for ourselves but for our children. We must reduce the impact of climate change by cutting our consumption habits, especially at home.
More FAQs about Being Environmentally-friendly at Home
How Can I Reuse, Reduce and Recycle at Home?
Apart from water, you can look at reducing your use of electricity, paper and plastics by opting for energy-efficient appliances, buying reusable cutlery, choosing email over snail mail, or repurposing items in creative ways such as by sewing old clothes into bags or turning old bottles into storage items.
2. How Can I Eat More Sustainably?
Some tips for more sustainable food consumption are to eat more veggies instead of meat, avoid processed food and choose whole grains, which help to reduce pressure on the resources used to produce our foodstuff.
3. What Can I Do to Be More Eco-Friendly When Shopping?
When buying things, bring your own bag and buy in bulk where possible and avoid impulse purchases by making a list (and sticking to it) and borrow and swap when you can!
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This article was written by Audrey A.. She can’t wait to move into her own place so she can finally get a cat (or two) and an espresso machine to fuel her love for flat whites. For now, she’s saving up and dreaming of her next trip.