It’s happened before; it can happen again! Right now we are sitting in Stage 1 but with all the sunshine in the forecast, we could easily move up to Stage 3 water restrictions in Vancouver soon. No matter which stage we’re at, summer in Vancouver tends towards droughtish conditions, so it’s a great time to talk to your kids about where the water from the tap comes from and enlist their help in using less. Here are a few tips for saving water around the house and garden.
Use your pots. All of them.
Does the water from your kitchen sink take awhile to heat up? Stick a pot under that flow and don’t waste a drop. You can cook with it later, boil it for tea, water your houseplants. This goes for the bathroom too.
Cool drinking water
Store drinking water in the fridge, that way you avoid running the tap every time you’d like a glass and doing the stock pot dance. You can fill your container with nice slices of cucumber or strawberries too.
In the bathroom
Filling a regular bathtub can use up to 260 litres of water. A five-minute shower uses more like 40 litres, so those long soaks might have to wait a bit. Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving makes a difference too.
If you’re trying to keep your garden plants from wilting away, make the most of the hand watering we’re still allowed to do by trapping that water down in the soil. This is particularly critical for container plants. Top your soil with pine cones, straw, wood chips – whatever you can find that will give the soil a bit of a sunshade.
Check those pipes
Leaks add up quickly. Grab a wrench and peer under the cabinets and where your garden hoses connect. Tighten up those connections, and if you can’t fix it, stick a bucket under it.
Use that veg water twice
Try washing your vegetables in a basin in the sink, rather than under the running tap. When you’re finished, you can water plants with it. Dirt to dirt, and all that.
Check this handy chart from the City of Vancouver for what you can and can’t do under each stage of water restrictions.
What are your tips for conserving water?
Image credits: Erin McGann
Banner credit: Irene Dávila