The ECO-nomist and water conservation

Image via Thinkstock
Image via Thinkstock

Tips to save on water and your hydro bill

By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor

We all know water conservation is important, but did you know it could save you money? Though the drought may be over, water conservation should still be on everyone’s mind. After all, it is one of Canada’s greatest natural resources. There are many easy and simple ways to make sure your hydro bill doesn’t go through the roof, and best of all, you’ll be helping the planet too—so you can build up all that good karma for later! I’ve gathered what I think are the most accessible tips for saving water, whether you live alone, with a roommate, or you’re still at home.

Don’t flush away money! Using your toilet to dispose of anything besides bodily waste is basically the same thing as flushing money down it. I will admit I was guilty of this, especially when I had leftover soup or when I had a cold and my house was littered with tissues. Constantly flushing and refilling the bowl in your toilet costs money, and it’s wasteful. That water now has to go through the sewage system, and eventually a treatment facility all because you were too lazy to throw a cotton ball in the trash. Doesn’t make sense when you think about it like that, does it?

Put plastic bottles in your toilet tank. Now I know this sounds really odd, but if you fill two plastic bottles halfway with sand and/or rocks, and then fill them the rest of the way with water before putting the caps back on, and place them in your toilet tank away from the mechanical parts—it will save a lot of water! Basically how this works is it reduces the amount of water it takes to fill your toilet tank so that the flushing mechanism will work. This will save about 37 litres of water a day, especially if your toilet is older. This in turn will save you money—just make sure that at least 11 litres of water are still available in the tank. Any less, and this trick might affect functionality.

Reduce your shower time by at least a minute. For women this is a tricky one; I mean, we have so much to do in the shower! But if you can cut down on your time by even the smallest amount on a consistent basis, you will see a noticeable difference in your hydro bill. A good way to achieve this is to pick and choose what you’ll do in the shower. You shouldn’t wash your hair every day, and it’s fall, so you can go without shaving your legs for a day. For men, rinse your razor in the sink rather than running it under a tap. This will reduce the amount of water you’re using, and it’s just as effective.

Chill your water pre-emptively. Now, I don’t drink tap water, mostly because I live in Mission so it all tastes like chemicals. But for people in Vancouver or Coquitlam who are budget conscious and don’t want to use bottled water or a filtration device, storing drinking water in the fridge will actually save water. Basically, when you go to get a glass of water, you have to run the tap a bit so that it cools. This wastes water, and a very simple way of preventing this is to store drinking water in your fridge. That way, it’s always the perfect temperature.

Like with anything, it’s the small stuff that will garner you the most satisfying results. So whether you want to save the world, or maybe just your wallet, doing little things around your house can help a lot.