Heatwaves Can Cause Water Shortages
The current dry spell in the United Kingdom has acted as a reminder that one of our most precious commodities, water, does not have an endless supply.
The month of June was exceptionally hot and dry and July has kicked off with days if not weeks of a mini-heatwave set to continue.
Fresh, clean drinking water is often taken for granted in western countries which can lead to careless use.
But you can make lots of little changes that will have little impact on your life but will ensure there is enough water for us all.
Don’t Be Selfish
Perhaps this is the most important point to make.
If you are selfish you may continue to over water your garden in spite of water shortage warnings, wash the car, leave taps or faucets running unnecessarily and throw water down the drain when it could be used elsewhere.
Becoming a savvy water user is not that difficult, it helps your community as well as your family, it can reduce your water costs and help prevent drought situations.
Consider having a water meter fitted.
In the United Kingdom residents pay an annual water tax, which has increased steadily since privatisation of our water supply and services.
However you can opt to have a water meter instead.
Most if not all new properties have water meters fitted but if you live in an old property you can usually get a meter fitted if you prefer that option.
Meters are free so it is worth checking this option out.
If you live in a property unsuitable for a meter you can get a water rate reduction.
But the great thing about having a water meter is if you economize on water you will directly save money.
It makes sense to harvest rainwater when it is in rich supply.
England remains a fairly wet country but demands on its water supply and mismanagement means we are never far away from a drought.
Make a Water Butt
You will need
Installing a water butt
Hints And Tips To Save Water
Some of this information has stayed with me since public information films about saving water in the 1970s. Extended periods of hot dry weather back then resulted in water shortages.
Perhaps governments should consider using such public information films again.
We can all save some water with thoughtful use of this resource such as:
Add soda crystals to a large watering can or bucket full of water. Sprinkle this mixture on any paths that have ingrained stains or need cleaning.
Leave the mixture; do not rinse away.
When rain does arrive it will wash away any residue.
This simple tip ensures brilliantly clean paths without the use of water conservation busting pressure washers.
Use your imagination but never compromise you or any other persons health and safety.
Use your water saving ideas outside of the home in your work place or school. Talk to your political representatives about local water improvements and green projects.
Once you decide to become water savvy you will be surprised how much water you can save.
You may also be shocked to realize how much water you have been carelessly wasting for far too long.
More water and summer reading
Environmentally friendly homes are the only sensible option these days. They will help save you money, save energy and, hopefully, protect the environment for future generations. Many of us these days unwittingly cause damage to the environment, for example, with our love of foreign travel and huge gas guzzling cars.
In the home we have so many gadgets and appliances that our energy bills are often through the roof. There are many changes we can make around the home, both small and large, that will help our homes to become more environmentally friendly and most will save you money too.
This is probably one of the biggest changes that you can make to your home's use of energy. It will involve some initial expense, and a little upheaval, but in the long run, should save you a fortune. Of course, as solar power simply utilises the sun's energy for fuel it is kind to the environment.
So if this option if not for you what else is available?
There are other home improvement options, which may help reduce your fuel bills, save you money and help the environment.
1 - Double Glazing.
Secondary glazing is a very cost effective way to save heat in your home. Even if you have double glazed window and door units already, if they are old they may not be as cost effective as you imagine. Consider upgrading to the latest energy efficient options.
2 - Cavity Wall Insulation
This is not suitable for all homes. However if your home is one of those brick built types that could have cavity wall insulation then go for it. Yes, there will be some cost but, in the long run, it will save you money.
3 - Loft Insulation.
Even if your loft or roof space is insulated it is possible that the insulation no longer meets minimum requirements. In the UK government grants are available toward the cost.
Update your appliances
Traditional white goods such as refrigerators, washing machines and cookers have come a long way in recent years. The newest versions are all manufactured with protecting the environment in mind.
They are energy efficient and use minimal amounts of water and energy. You may not be able to afford to replace such appliances immediately but you need to buy environmentally friendly options when you are replacing old goods. The initial extra cost will soon be recovered by the savings made.
Make sure that everything is in good working order
Leaking washing machines and faucets, or taps, will waste valuable resources and money. Be environmentally wise and repair such items sooner rather than later.
Energy saving light bulbs
Replace all of your light bulbs with the energy saving kind. This is a quick, cheap and easy way to save money and power.
Lower all thermostat settings
Make sure that thermostats for hot water, heating, air conditioning, freezers and the like are set at the lowest level as long as good results are still given.
Forget stand-by modes
Make sure that you switch appliances off at the wall. Leaving such appliances in stand-by mode wastes power and money. You will be surprised how much of each it wastes; most stand-by modes are not necessary and sometimes only leave an unnecessary clock still working.
Dimmer switches and lamps
Use a dimmer switch or lamplight to create mood lighting and cut down on the use of energy.
Stop using cleaning products that will damage the environment
Many of us have cupboards full of harsh cleaning products. The ranges available just keep growing. However if you research more natural and traditional cleaning agents, such as lemon, white vinegar and baking soda, you will find that they will clean a wealth of dirty objects without harming the environment.
Separate your waste products in order to recycle as much as possible. In England many local councils already offer different collection bins for paper, bottles and or tin cans. However, you can make your own recycling bins and then dispose of them as appropriate. Compost what waste you can in order to complete your green waste campaign.
Make do and mend
Think about items that can be traded, re-sold or re-used. For years we have been living in a throwaway society and we really need to change our wasteful habits.
Use your shredded paper waste for added bulk in your composter. Do not print documents and emails unless really necessary. Instead save an electronic copy on an external hard drive. Recycle old printer inks and toners.
Water butts are cheap and easy to install. Simply connect to your fall pipe. In times of low rainfall use washing-up water and the like to water your garden.
Invest in a battery charger and make sure that you use it.
Whenever possible line dry your laundry. Avoid using a tumble drier unless you really have to. Tumble driers should be used as an emergency not as a matter of course.
In the garden or yard
Opt for low voltage garden lights, LED or solar powered ones. Plants such as lavender will entice bees and butterflies into your garden. Even if you only have a small patio you can have some plants growing in tubs or pots. The world needs as much planting as possible, especially these days. Small garden plants are also good for the environment.
Once you start to assess your needs and your lifestyle you will be amazed at the improvements you can make around your home that will save you money and be environmentally friendly. Use your imagination, have fun going green and enjoy the extra cash you will now have!