With the rising costs of living there has never been a better time to look at making energy efficiency savings around the home. As well as cutting down on costs and saving yourself some money, it helps the planet too!
The production of energy and water usage both have significant environmental impacts, such as greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. Mitre 10 is here to help us optimise resource use, reducing our impact on the environment.
As the population grows, so does the demand for natural resources. If we don’t start using these resources more efficiently, we may not have enough to meet our needs in the future. By saving power and water, we are working towards a more sustainable future.
Here are some helpful tips to save on your water usage and power at home.
In the bathroom:
- Don’t leave the tap running when you brush your teeth or wash your hands.
- Reduce your shower time to four minutes. Set a timer and create a four-minute shower challenge in your household.
- Consider switching to a water efficient showerhead – look at the WELS rating on the product to compare.
- Upgrading your single flush toilet to a dual flush system can save up to 80 litres of water per day.
- Check for leaks or slow drips.
In the kitchen:
- Install a flow-controlled aerator on your taps. They are inexpensive and can reduce water flow by 50 per cent.
- If possible, always use a dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand and ensure that your dishwasher is full before you run it – 4-star models use around 1 litre of water or less per place setting washed.
- Avoid rinsing the plates under the tap before placing them in the dishwasher.
- A running kitchen tap can use around nine litres of water a minute. Instead
- of running water to wash vegetables or rinse dishes, put a plug in the sink or use a bowl.
- Put suitable scraps into a composter rather than down the sink or garbage disposal.
- Choose an appropriate-sized pot
- for cooking.
- Use a reusable water bottle made from glass or BPA-free plastic. Not only will you be able to keep track of how much you are drinking, but it will also help reduce half-drunk glasses
- of water.
- Try alternative cooking methods (instead of boiling or steaming) such as roasting or stir-frying.
- Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need.
- Repurpose your ice – if you drop some ice on the floor, don’t throw it into the sink. Instead, give it to your plants, put it into your grey water container, or pop it in your pet’s water bowl.
- If you are waiting for hot water to come through, catch the water and use it to water plants, rinse dishes or wash fruit and vegetables.
In the garden:
- Water in the morning when evaporation is low.
- When designing your garden, place thirsty plants near one another to create smaller areas to water.
- Water the roots, not the leaves.
- Does your garden need to be watered? A moisture reader is a great tool to check.
- Remove the bottom of a 1.5 litre plastic drink bottle and bury the bottle so the neck is positioned well below ground level and angled so the neck sits below the root mass. Pour water into the upturned bottle. This deep watering encourages roots to go deeper to the water source.
- Create a shallow depression around
- a plant to encourage the water to go to the roots.
- Use a soaker hose.
- Use irrigation systems and timers.
- Try a moisture retention product like Water Storage Crystals or Saturaid.
- Harvest your rainwater:
- Rainwater is a free and renewing resource, giving you the freedom
- to use water as you wish, without restriction. Installing a rainwater tank is relatively simple and inexpensive, and the benefits are ongoing. Even if you’re connected to the mains water supply, you may want to consider using rainwater for your garden or for other household uses.
Check out Mitre 10’s water-saving products at mitre10.co.nz/savewater
- Energy efficient LED lights use less power and can last up to 15 times longer than standard light bulbs. They may cost slightly more to buy, but will save you money in the long term.
- Solar lights are a great option for outdoors because the batteries recharge using the power of the sun.
- Sensor lighting offers great security and only uses power when it’s needed.
- Turn off the lights. This sounds easy, but how often do you walk into an empty room and the TV and all the lights are on?
- Heat can be lost through the floor, walls and the ceiling. Good quality insulation helps keep the heat in during winter and out during summer. The priority for insulating your home should be the ceiling and underfloor, followed by walls.
- Using insulation wrap on your hot water cylinder and pipes can also reduce heat loss and save you around $80 a year. Insulated houses are easier and cheaper to heat, saving resources and making your home healthier to live in.
- Other ways to save power:
- Smart Home technology: timers on lights, sprinklers, heaters and other appliances.
- Unplug electronics when not in use.
- Wash clothes in cold water.
- Use a slow cooker or air fryer instead of an oven.
- Replace old appliances with energy efficient ones.
- Use a clothes rack for drying.
Remember: aim for progress over perfection. Every little action counts.
Check out Mitre 10’s energy efficient and power-saving products: mitre10.co.nz/sustainableliving