Have you been frequently washing your hands with soap and water for 30 seconds to prevent the spread of the coronavirus? Great! It has been proven to be more effective than hand sanitiser. But is it also hiking up the water bill? Don’t fret! Here are 7 ways you can save water during this Circuit Breaker while you continue keeping your hands clean.
#1 Put a time limit during shower
The longer you shower, the more water you use. Even though everyone needs that moment in the shower to relax and contemplate, it’s best you put a time limit in order to save water. Plus, experts say showering for longer than 10 minutes can strip your skin’s natural moisture. Sometimes, less is more.
#2 Wash a full load of clothes in the washing machine
Depending on the size of your washing machine, one wash cycle can use up to an average of 100 litres of water regardless if you’re washing 1 shirt or a week’s worth of laundry. That’s equivalent to 212 cups of Starbucks’ grande-sized coffee! So unless your washing machine has a setting to determine water usage, do consider washing a full load of clothes each time for better water efficiency.
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#3 Fill up a water bottle and put it in your flushing tank
Did you know that toilets from the 1950s used up to 30 litres of water per flush? We have advanced quite a bit since then with modern toilet using only 1.5 to 7.5 litres of water per flush. Want to save even more? Here’s a nifty trick, fill up a small 500ml water bottle and place it inside the flushing tank. This is the amount you save each time you flush the toilet.
#4 Check for water leakage
You know that drip, drip, drip… sound you hear at night? That’s the sound of money going down the drain. Be sure all taps are properly turned off to avoid wasting water. Done? Check for any pipe leakage within the building, too. Every drop counts.
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#5 Turn off the tap!
Turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth, shampooing your hair or washing your hands. Yes, scrub your hands with soap and water for 30 seconds to prevent COVID-19, but don’t let the water waste for 30 seconds, too. Only turn on the tap when needed.
You should turn off the tap while doing the dishes as well. Or better yet, use a dishwasher. Washing your plates by hand can use up to 5 times more water as compared to a dishwater. Granted you load up the dishwasher fully. Have a maid at home? Remind her to use the dishwasher when there’s a lot of plates to be washed. Or wash as usual, but turn off the tap!
#6 Let your maid help you save water
And speaking of maids, the Public Utilities Board (PUB)’s household water consumption study shows that households with maids use 20% more water than those without. The reason is due to higher frequency of washing and cooking activities. For example, homes with maids are cleaned (by washing and mopping) 10 times a week, as compared to 3 times a week in homes without maids.
Your maid may not be aware of the importance of water conservation in Singapore. So it’s up to you to teach them how to save water and let them know how precious water resources are in Singapore as compared to their home country. Some suggestions include:
- Tell your maid to use water in basin or pail when mopping the floor or wiping surfaces, rather than constantly using water from the tap.
- Have them focus on cleaning the house more efficiently, rather than frequently.
- Remind them to turn off the tap while bathing your pets.
- Get them to soak pots and pans with water and detergent to get rid of grease rather than scrubbing endlessly under running water.
- Give your maid an incentive by letting them keep some extra money they help save from monthly water bill.
#7 Reuse water (wherever possible)
Not all used water are dirty. And not everything requires fresh new water. Place a bucket of water while you’re showering to collect some of the shower water. You can use that to flush the toilet. Have plants around the house or an indoor hydroponic garden? Water the plants using the water you saved from boiling pasta or washing vegetables.
Wa~ter you waiting for?
As Singaporeans, water conservation is a national duty. We have the responsibility to reduce water shortage, and we can do so by making small changes to our daily habits. While it is important to stay safe and clean at home, let’s save water in any way we can and share this blog post with your family and friends so they can conserve water, too.
Information is accurate as at 28 April 2020. This policy is underwritten by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd. (Company Reg. No. 201331905K). Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.
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