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How to limit water use in the home

Whether cooking or showering, we use gallons of fresh water in our daily lives. Respecting water is important, so read on for ways to conserve water and help the planet.


Sink plug hole

Did you know...

  1. An average washing machine cycle needs 60 litres of water.

  2. A dishwasher cycle can use up to 30 litres of water.

  3. Washing your hands 12 times a week requires around 25 litres of water

Rain may interfere with braais, but water is critical to life as we know it. Learn how you can minimise water usage in the home, with these easy tips. 

Saving water at home

  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth.

  • Make showers shorter.

  • Choose efficient bathroom fixtures to reduce water usage. When you replace appliances, choose energy and water efficient models.

  • After cooking pasta, save and cool the water and use it in the garden and on potted plants.

  • Check for leaks or dripping taps and fix these straight away.

  • Make sure the dishwasher is full before running it. If the dishes are not very greasy, choose the eco programme which uses less water.

  • Always do full loads of laundry. Use the right amount of detergent and skip the extra rinse. If you need to wash a small load, choose the appropriate setting.

  • Hang towels up after bathing so they can dry out and be used again. In general, a towel can be used several times before it needs to be laundered.

In case you were wondering...

  • In many countries, domestic water supplies go through a series of processes, including screening, filtration and disinfection, before it emerges from the tap.

  • The amount of water on this planet does not change, though it does get recycled. Water you are drinking now may once have been available to dinosaurs.

  • More than 70% of your brain is water.

Myth or meaningful?

The Poll

Is eco-friendly cleaning important to you?

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  • Do you need eight glasses a day? Women of average size need about 2 litres, or eight glasses of water a day, and men should aim for around 12 glasses or 3 litres of water, though other fluids are acceptable too. If you are very active, you may need more water. 

  • Must you drink exactly eight glasses? Not necessarily, as food such as fruit and vegetables also contain water – up to 20% of daily requirements.

  • Is bottled water better? Not always - if the local tap water is of good quality, it may be fresher and more sustainable than drinking bottled water.

Water may look ordinary, but it is known as the “universal solvent” due to its ability to dissolve more substances, such as minerals, gases or nutrients, than any other liquid.

Originally published