Energy & Water Conservation Hacks
I believe we can all agree that this circuit breaker has definitely racked up our household utility bills with the entire family cooped up at home. Concerned, my family and I took some time to uncover energy and water conservation hacks that were simple enough for lazy people like us to practice regularly, in an attempt to remedy the situation.
According to the Energy Market Authority, 95% of our electricity is generated from natural gas, a non-renewable resource we purchase primarily from Indonesia and Malaysia. While there is debate over the longevity and sustainability of these natural resources, we should never abuse it because the reality is that it will run out eventually. In 2015, the World Resources Institute also shared that Singapore was ranked to be one of the top 7 water-stressed countries worldwide, with all 7 tied at #1. It projected that, by 2040, we would be one of the most vulnerable countries to any disruptions in our water supply.
It took me close to the entire duration of this stay-home measure to adopt these changes and it was so worth it. With collective effort, my family managed to reduce our overall utility consumption by almost 15%. While this may sound fairly insignificant at the moment, I’m certain that we’ll be able to gradually conserve much more with time, as we get more conscious of our actions and adept with these practices. CB or not, we’ll surely be practicing these 6 simple but life-changing tips, and you should too.
1. Limit the contents of your fridge to 80% of its full capacity
This may sound counterintuitive, but having your fridge filled is actually a good thing. When the items get chilled, they help insulate and keep the interior of the fridge cool, which then means that the mechanism of your fridge can chill too (pun intended). However, this only works when there is a consistent circulation of cool air, which as you might imagine, would be impossible if it’s filled to the brim. This prevents your fridge from overworking, which means less energy consumed.
And you know what that means—savings.
2. Get FOC water conservation thimbles from PUB
I recently learnt that all households are entitled to FREE water conservation thimbles from PUB. These thimbles are plastic button-like accessories that you replace the rubber washer in the faucet aerator with to help you reduce your water consumption. It moderates the amount of water dispensed while maintaining the strength of the stream. Get this: these thimbles can help you cut your water consumption by up to 70%!
If you haven’t already, you can request for a set on the PUB website. This set—the PUB Water Saving Kit—comes with 6 thimbles each; 4 for your taps and 2 for your shower heads.
3. Run your washes on a lower temperature
Set your wash temperature to ‘cold’
Heating up water consumes 75-90% of the energy a washing machine actually uses, so you can only imagine how much energy can be conserved by washing your laundry with cold water instead. Additionally, washing your clothes with cold water prevents bleeding from dyes, shrinking and even wrinkling. Now, that’s a double-win when you gotta settle a load with denim in it.
Of course, there are numerous factors to consider, including the material of the garments and stains present, for the temperature does affect the performance of the wash. But a typical load will work fine and dandy at a low temperature.
4. Use the dishwasher if you have one
Of course, not all of us have the luxury of owning one. But if you do, utilise it! Doing the dishes by hand consumes approximately 40 litres of water, while a dishwasher is able to get the job done using only a quarter of that. It’s a great way to conserve gallons of water, provided the dishwasher is set to run only when full.
If, like me, you don’t own a dishwasher (but are saving up for one), you can play your part by collecting water in your sink and doing the dishes with just that amount, in the meanwhile. That challenges and trains you to wash your dishes with as little water as possible. And trust me, it’s possible.
5. Paint your walls white or with light colours
This might also be an investment, but I can surely vouch for it since I live in an apartment where every wall, floor and ceiling is painted a blinding white. In addition to making your home #aesthetic, it allows natural light from the sun to bounce off the walls in the daytime.
With your walls serving as a natural reflector, you won’t need to switch the lights on till sunset, which means lower consumption of energy and more savings.
6. Avoid throwing waste into the toilet bowl
I know, I know. This might sound like a stretch, but more often than not, we instinctively smash the flush button the moment anything goes into the toilet bowl. It is a natural human tendency to desire keeping our possessions “clean” and “sanitary”. Furthermore, we’ve been conditioned to flush the toilet immediately after using it, so no blame there.
However, each flush costs us (and the planet) 5 to 6 litres of water and committing this mistake 10 times could amount to a volume enough for an entire shower. We need to nip this problem in the bud and avoid tossing trash into the toilet bowl in the first place. If you ever find yourself subconsciously trashing, say, a used tissue, then let it be. One used to wipe your perspiration or blow your snort into doesn’t need to be flushed IMMEDIATELY. Flush it down with your next number one or two.
Play Your Part In The Conservation Of Energy & Water With These Hacks
The circuit breaker might be ending soon, but we’ll likely still be spending a significant amount of time at home—at least, for now. So, do your wallet and the environment a favour by practicing these 6 energy and water conservation habits. Don’t say good things never share!
Cover image: Source