You may have heard that Hunter Water has placed Level 1 Water Restrictions on water supply network in the areas of Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Dungog and small parts of Singleton. If that includes you, you will need to take a few more steps to conserve your water than you might have done before.
For students, adding another thing to be mindful about can be super stressful. Amongst assessments and placements, who has time to fix a leak or worry about water-saving car washes?
But there are a few simple changes that you can make to your daily routines to save water, ones that won’t break the bank or take time out of your busy schedules (some that save time as well!) Here’s some tips for students to be more water aware.
Full load or no load
In most households, around 13% of water usage happens in the laundry. Washing machines alone can use up to 45 gallons (170 litres) of water, which is a lot if you like to wash your clothes every week.
The best way to curb this habit is to wait until you have a full load of dirty clothes to wash. This way, you will use less water than doing a half load of washing. If you’re in a share house, do your roomies a favour and wash their clothes with yours (granted you don’t accidentally shrink their favourite shirt!) This way, you can save water, time, and the planet.
Fix that leak
This one might be the most challenging for students on a budget, but fixing your old leak is good for water conservation, and for your sanity too. Nobody likes that constant dripping sound as a nagging reminder that you need to call a plumber.
If you really can’t afford it right now, placing a bucket under your leak to collect the water waste is the best solution. That way, you can use the water that was once washing down the drain on other things, like giving your garden some much needed moisture.
Wash your car with care
Students use their cars on the regular, which means they’re bound to get dirty. If you’re driving out of campus and can’t see through your rear window, it’s definitely time for a wash.
Hunter Water has declared that you can’t wash your car without a trigger nozzle on the hose you use, which is the best way to wash your car while saving water. You can also try a water-free car wash, wash your car on the lawn, or you can go to a commercial car wash that recycles their water.
Take a shorter shower
The next tip is a time saver as well as a water saver, a positive habit for students in a rush. Try cutting down your shower time, from ten minutes to four, and you can save up to 50% of the water you use in the home.
You can also purchase shower timers to help you keep track of how long you spend getting clean, which will also help with your time management skills as well. Bonus!
Cook student meals water-wisely
There’s a way that your weekly spag-bol can turn into a water-saving technique. After making your pasta, you can pour the pasta-water in your garden to give it a drink (if it’s not salted).
Cooking one-pot meals is also a way to save the water you use for washing dishes. Steaming food instead of boiling is a yummy twist on your daily veggies, as well as washing those vegetables over a bowl of water that can also be used for your garden. There’s so many ways a student can save water, and save money for their weekly cooking budget.
Support your plant obsession with a succulent
Everyone loves a houseplant. They’re a friendly addition to the home, and a little bit of responsibility to up your adulting game. But there’s actually a few houseplants that need more water than most, which can put a real dent in your water saving habits.
One safe and water-friendly plant is a succulent, those little potted beauties that sit in the corner and only need water every once in a while. You may also be interested in air plants, rubber plants (not made out of actual rubber as the name suggests) or ponytail palms.
Another tip is to put your plants in the bathroom or laundry, that way they can soak up all the moisture in the air and keep your house feeling fresh!
Apply these strategies to your everyday life and you’re on your way to being a water saving warrior!
To find out more about Hunter Water’s Water Restrictions, visit the Hunter Water homepage.
To get involved during UON Green Week, take a look at the Green Week Facebook event.
Feature image by LuAnn Hunt via Unsplash