Calgary may not be known for its hot summer heat, but it doesn’t mean we don’t want to take full advantage of the pleasant months ahead. Tending to the garden, washing the car, and giving the exterior of the house a thorough cleaning all require gallons of water. This summer, lower your water usage and save money by following these easy tips:
Watering Your Plants is All About Timing
It might seem counterintuitive, but giving your plants and vegetables a pleasant drink of water when the sun is beating down on them is a bad idea. When water droplets stay on your leaves, they act as magnifying glasses—and we all know what happens when you mix a strong sunbeam and a magnifying glass. This will not only burn your leaves, but the high heat will make water evaporate faster, which means that you’ll have to water your plants more frequently. The best time to water your plants is in the early morning or evening, and when it’s not too windy. You don’t have to water your plants every day; in fact, some plants thrive on drought, so be sure to test the soil before you turn on the hose.
Limit Your Showers
This idea often makes people cringe. Since heat makes us sweat more, we often take more showers than usual in the middle of summer. While this may be the case, there are still ways to limit the duration and frequency of your showers in order to conserve water. Here are a few examples:
If you just need to wash the sweat off you, keep your showers less than four minutes. Even a really short shower can use up to 40 gallons of water.
If you know you’ll be working hard and sweating throughout the day, omit your morning shower and wait until the end of the day, if you can.
When possible, cool off in the pool or at the beach.
Leave the Car Washing to the Professionals
It might be tempting to pull out the old buckets and sponges and spend an afternoon thoroughly washing your car and giving it the TLC it really needs. However, hand washing a vehicle can use over 100 gallons of water. If you really want to give your car a minty clean look, consider taking it to a professional car wash. It’s faster, uses much less water, and may actually be cheaper than buying your supplies.
Check for Leaky Faucets
While your leaking hose might be working wonders to hydrate the neighbourhood cats and raccoons, it’s an incredible waste of water and money. This summer, it’s important to stay extra vigilant when closing your taps, both inside and outside, to ensure that unnecessary leaking doesn’t occur. If you let your kids use the hose, remember to teach them the rhyme “righty tighty, lefty loosey,” and make sure they understand that the tap is only closed when the water stops running. A leaky faucet is an easy fix, but if left alone, it can cost you hundreds of dollars a year.