• Turn the shower on only when you’re ready to get in. If you’ve got a roomy shower, try collecting the showers initial cold water in a bucket and use that water for the garden.
  • Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth.
  • If it’s yellow, let it mellow. A three-person house flushes 165 litres of water down the toilet every day, which can be slashed if you don’t flush every time.
  • Instead of rinsing dirty dishes before putting them in your dishwasher, scrape food scraps into the compost bin. Most dishwashers are designed to clean very dirty dishes.
  • Break the ‘wear once and wash’ habit, so you do less laundry—and your clothes will last longer too.
  • Water plants early in the morning to reduce evaporation. Water deeply twice a week, and for no more than 30 minutes, to toughen plants and encourage their roots to grow deeper.
  • Accept a dry lawn over the summer. Brown grass is dormant, not dead, and it will recover naturally after enough rain.

Reduce Stormwater Contaminants

Stormwater is the water that runs off impervious (water resistant) surfaces such as roofs, roads, driveways and footpaths. In urban areas, runoff goes down drains into stormwater pipes or channels and is carried to rivers, lakes or the sea.

Here’s some tips from Smarter Homes to reduce the levels of contaminants that get into the stormwater system:

  • Pick up litter before it can wash into drains.
  • Clean your car on the lawn using biodegradable detergent or, even better, take it to a car wash that recycles water and detergent.
  • Sweep up leaves and grass clippings and put them on the garden or in the compost instead of hosing them down the drain.
  • Pick up your dog’s droppings.
  • Never tip paint, oil, thinners, insecticides or other contaminants down a stormwater drain (or any drain). Contact your landfill or paint shop about disposing of leftover paint, or give it to someone else.