save shower water

Earth Day Special

by Carla Janzen

As a child I remember our family being very thrifty with water. I have great memories of going to my Grandmother’s house in the 50’s. Bath night was quite a ritual of events. My Mom and Aunt’s would pump water at the kitchen sink, heat it up on the stove and haul it to the big ole claw legged tub. We had a rotation of youngest to oldest and I was often the winner of first place. With each new person bathing more hot water was added to the tub. At the end of the evening the water was hauled out to water the garden, trees or the ditch.

Do You Love Your Morning Shower?

Now most people turn on the shower and walk away while the hot water makes its journey from the hot water tank. It’s so easy that you waste approximately 4 liters of water every time. Let’s say 500 people do this, which would total 2000 liters of water every morning.  To give you some perspective of how much that is an Olympic swimming pool will hold approximately 2,500 liters of water. If you have a shower every day for one year you are wasting 1460 liters of water. 

I’m not suggesting you hop into a cold shower to save water but you can grab a 4 liter pail and fill it up while the water is warming up. It’s great exercise holding that bucket and there are many uses for this extra water around your home.

  • Water plants
  • Use it to clean the bathtub or start filling the tub for your weekend or evening bath
  • Add it to a your top load washing machine
  • Use the water to help rinse dishes rather than running more water
  • Purchase a new low flow shower head

Does Your Dishwasher Really Save Water?

I remember saving up to buy my first dishwasher in 1985. I couldn’t wait for it to make my life easier. Many studies show that using a dishwasher uses less water than washing by hand but you could be using more water if you’re not careful. If you leave the water run and rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher you’ll be using more water. Running the water at your kitchen sink for 2 minutes uses 7 litres of water. The average dishwasher uses approx. 11.3 liters (4 gallons) of water so if your water is running for 4 minutes throughout the day you are using more than it takes to put through a load of dishes.

  • Use a spatula to scrape your dishes rather than rinsing them
  • Fill your dishwasher before running it through
  • Use the top only or bottom only cycle when running a small load

 5 Easy Ways to Save Water & the Environment

  1. How about outdoors? Do you have a drain spout that could use a water barrel this summer? Check with your municipality, they may have a program to receive a water barrel free or for a reduced price.
  2. Check for dripping faucets. You could be wasting up to 20,000 litres of water per year! Wow, I guess the amount truly depends on how many times it drips per minute etc. but those little drips do add up.
  3. If your toilet is more than 10 years old consider upgrading to a new water saving model.
  4. Turn the water off while you brush your teeth.
  5. Don’t flush the toilet every time you use it. You have heard the saying ‘if it’s yellow….”

It’s so easy to turn on the tap, but imagine if one morning you woke up, turned on the tap and nothing happened. How would your day be different? Celebrate Earth Day by limiting the amount of water you waste every day and you’ll be doing yourself and your world a great service for generations to come.

Carla Janzen can help you live a greener life with safe home cleaning products. She has raised two children with asthma and allergies and is passionate about inspiring you to make positive change for yourself and your world.  Sign up for Carla’s monthly e-zine stuffed full of home safe cleaning tips www.carlajanzen.ca