|Ideas for Action : Save, Recycle and Do Not Pollute (IIRR, 1992, 146 p.)|
Deforestation, pollution and periodic droughts in the Philippines give urgency to the need for water conservation. Today, drinking water is a precious commodity; everyone must do his/her share in water conservation, so that more water is available for all.
· Conduct periodic checks of faucets in your home (especially before retiring for the night), in the office or in the workplace. (This will also help to reduce your water bill.) To check if there are leaks in the internal plumbing and fixtures, shut off all faucets. If the water meter continues to run, the fixtures need repair or there is a leak in the water supply system.
· Replacing washers of dripping faucets will help save water. One drip per second can waste 700 gallons of water each year. If it is hot water, fuel, as well as water, is wasted.
· Look out for faucets which leak at the base. The whole faucet may have to be replaced, not just the washer.
· Avoid unnecessary flushing.
· Check the toilet for leaks, not just the leaks from the bathroom pipes and faucets but leaks from the water closet. A normal toilet should not leak water from the water tank into the bowl until the flush is pulled. To check, put food coloring in the water tank. If the coloring shows up in the bowl a few minutes later, your tank may be slowly and invisibly leaking gallons of water away. Repairs are urgently needed.
· Place a brick or a larger plastic bottle filled with water or adjust the floater to reduce the amount of water entering the tank. This lessens the amount of water used to flush a toilet.
· Recycled water from other chores can be saved in a bucket and used to flush the toilet.
· Taking a shower instead of bathing in a tub consumes less water. If done correctly, the balde at tabo system consumes even less water. When taking a shower, turn off the water while shampooing and soaping; turn it on when you are ready to rinse.
· Recycle soapy water (except those with strong detergents) for flushing toilets and cleaning drive ways. During dry spells, recycled water may even be used to water plants.
· If you have a bath tub, shut the drain, allow the water to accumulate during the shower and then scoop it into a bucket for recycling.
· Another way is to bathe within a wash basin so the water is automatically collected in the basin and can then be saved for later use.
Washing and shaving
· Shut off the faucet when not in use. Do not leave the tap running while brushing your teeth. Instead, use a glass filled with water.
· When washing hands or face, use a basin to catch splashing water which can be recycled.
· Just as in bathing, you can save the water used in washing your hands and face or even brushing your teeth by placing a small bucket in the basin.
Washing and shaving
· Accumulate a large amount of water swiftly by using wide containers. A shallow plastic basin is preferable to a deep bucket.
· Catch the water that comes down from rain gutters on the roof of the house. You can fill an entire barrel just by catching the water that would normally go down the drain.
· Use collected water for bathing, cleaning and watering the plants. Between rains, empty the barrel to keep mosquitoes from breeding.
Households with a non-pipe water system can still follow the tips given above. They have greater advantages in water conservation provided they adapt the following suggestions:
· Fill containers with water and place where they are needed, as in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry area.
· Provide a tabo to scoop the water from containers to be used and a basin to catch used water.
· Save recycled water for later use.
· Water the garden early in the morning or after sunset. This minimizes the water that is lost due to evaporation.
· Use soaker hoses instead of sprinklers which let the water soak into the soil.
· Use mulch. Mulch is any big-degradable material, such as nut shells, straws, pine needles, clipped leaves and grass which is used to cover the soil. It reduces evaporation and keeps the roots cool, lessening the need for water.
· Select and use plants that need less water.
Doing the dishes
· Do not keep the water running while washing dishes.
· Minimize the use of water first by rinsing the dishes in warm water to remove grease. Then, fill a bowl with a mixture of washing liquid and hot water. Dip a brush or scrubber into this mixture and use it to scrub the dishes. Start with glassware, then cutlery and plates and, lastly, pots and pans. Set all the scrubbed but unrinsed dishes aside until they are all done. Then, rinse them all at once in cold running water and allow them to dry in a dish rack.
· Another way: First, wipe the greasy dishes with crumpled newspapers. Prepare a basin half-full of tap water. Dip the cutlery first, then plates and, lastly, pots and pans to easily remove food residues. Transfer the used water into a bucket. In a bowl, prepare a mixture of dissolved detergent and a tablespoon of vinegar. Soap the dishes and kitchen utensills, starting with the nongreasy ones (e.g., glassware are first, then utensils starting with the nongreasy ones (e.g. glassware first then cutlery and plates and, lastly, pots and pans). Put clean water into the basin and rinse the dishes accordingly. Save the used water and rinse the dishes again until thoroughly clean. Always save used water for future use.
Doing the dishes
Doing the laundry
· Soak very dirty clothes first to easily remove the dirt.
· Use a basin or washtub.
· Do not let the basin overflow under a running tap.
· Use the right amount of detergent so that less rinsing is required.
· Save the rinse water for flushing the toilet or for cleaning the garage.
How Green is Your Home? A Filipino Primer on Home Ecology. 1991.
Water Saving Tips (MWSS).
Ideas for Action:
A Technology Information Kit, November 23 - 28, 1992