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Sustainable living: How to be water-wise

Here are some tips that will not only save water but also save you money.

  • Use the fridge to cool water: Instead of running the tap for half a minute to get a glass of cold water (you could waste up to 6 litres of water doing this), keep a jug or bottle of water ready-chilled in the fridge.
  • Fix leaky taps: Dripping taps can waste large amounts of water, from 4 litres a day in small drips to a steady dribble that wastes up to a litre a minute.
  • Wash the car and the house windows from a bucket: A hose can send out 15-20 litres a minute, so instead arm yourself with a 10 litre bucket, a rubber squeegee, a soft sponge and newspaper (for cleaning glass).
  • Water the garden with a trigger spray instead of a running hose: You can direct the water where it needs to go and not waste any in between plants. Water early in the day or at dusk.
  • Be toilet-smart: Use the half-flush button as much as possible on the loo. And don’t use the toilet as a waste bin; tissues and sanitary products can go out with solid waste.
  • Choose your appliances carefully: When you need a new dishwasher or washing machine, check out www.energywise.govt.nz to see which appliances are the most energy- and water-efficient. The more stars, the better (and cheaper to run) the appliance.

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