An environmental group advocating zero waste has joined government officials in urging the public to conserve water.
In a statement released on Monday, the EcoWaste Coalition called on all water consumers to reduce consumption and wastage of water, an indispensable but finite resource.
“We should not wait for the water levels in Angat, La Mesa and other vital dams to reach super critical levels during the long dry spell before we act to conserve water,” said Aileen Lucero, EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator.
As summer temperatures soar, the EcoWaste Coalition gave some water conservation tips to help consumers reduce their water use.
The coalition advised consumers to check pipes, faucets, showerheads, hoses, toilet and water tanks for leaks and have them fixed at once. Replace worn out sapatilya (washers) without delay, it said.
“Do not let the water run while you brush your teeth,” the group said. “Wet your toothbrush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing. When washing your face or hands, turn the water off while you lather.”
Take shorter showers and use just enough water, EcoWaste advised, and turn off the water while you shampoo your hair or soap your body. Also reuse towels a few times before putting them in the laundry basket, it said.
“Place a bottle filled with stones or water inside the toilet tank to reduce the amount of water in every flush,” the group added, and “place used tissues in the bin rather than in the toilet bowl, and avoid flushing the toilet needlessly.”
When washing clothes, keep a bucket in the bathroom and laundry area for the grey water that can be used to flush the toilet, clean the laundry area and car port or dampen dusty road.
“Organize your laundry schedule and wait until you have a full load before using the washing machine. Match the water level to the size of the load and use laundry water for cleaning used bottles, cans and other recyclables, blinds, rugs, doormats, and car wheels.”
In the same vein, “collect water dripping from air conditioners and use it in washing mops, watering the plants or flushing the toilet. Do not hose down your driveway or footpath. Use the walis tingting (broomstick) to sweep the place clean,” the group said.
Wash fruits and vegetables in a basin instead of under running water from the tap and reuse the water for watering the plants.
When cooking, “do not throw hugas-bigas (rice washing) down the drain; use it for washing dishes or watering plants. Thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator overnight, not under running water. Use fewer cooking and dining utensils and dishes to cut down on the water needed for dishwashing. Pick the proper pan and pot size for cooking as bigger ones may need more cooking water than necessary,” it said. “Never waste water served during meals; drink it up!”
Do not let the water run when washing the dishes, fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water, and do collect the grey water for other purposes, the ecological organization said. Do not scrape pans and pots in running water; soak them first to reduce water use, it said.
“Harvest rainwater through the spout and use it for your essential needs,” EcoWaste urged. “Water the plants after 5 p.m. when temperature is cooler to minimize evaporation and water them only when necessary. Leave grass clippings on the lawn as this cools the ground and holds in moisture. Spread a layer of mulch around plants and trees to retain water and reduce evaporation.”