10 Ways To Lower Your Water Bills

Pixabay. CCO Licensed.

Just been hit by an expensive water bill? While other utilities can often cost us more overall, water is an expense that can still have a tendency of sneaking up on people (especially given that many of us pay it in annual or bi-annual installments).

Fortunately, water bills are one of the easiest utility bills to reduce. It’s largely a case of reducing your water consumption in and around the home. Here are just several ways in which you may be able to spend less on water.

Fix any leaks

A leak could have a significant impact on your water bill. This could be anything from a dripping tap to a corroded pipe to a damaged seal on a washing machine.

Most leaks are easy to pinpoint – it could be a simple case of following the dripping sound or looking out for water damage. In other cases, a leak may require a bit of detective work to solve. A plumber should be able to help you find the source. Indications that there may be a leak besides unusually high water bills include unexplained damp, unexplained trickling sounds or low water pressure.

Upgrade old plumbing fixtures

You may also be able to reduce your water consumption by upgrading any old water guzzling fixtures. Old toilets, old washing machines and old showers could all be worth replacing.

Sites like Plumbers Stock sell modern toilets and showers that can help you to save water. You can meanwhile shop at appliance stores for energy-efficient washing machines. While buying new fixtures isn’t cheap, you’ll likely save money in the long run. This could be particularly the case if old fixtures are already starting to leak.

Don’t leave the tap running

Do you leave the tap running while brushing your teeth? Or do you leave it running while doing the washing up? If so, you could be wasting unnecessary water.

You only need to run a tap while rinsing your brush. As for doing the washing up, it’s much more economical to fill a bowl with water and wash all your utensils in this bowl rather than to wash each utensil under a running tap. This can be a hard habit to kick, but could save you some money.

Buy a dishwasher

On average, most people use up more water when washing dishes by hand than they do when using a dishwasher. As a result, these appliances can be worthy investments.

A decent dishwasher should be able to clean all its contents with one cycle. Some machines have economy settings, but these may not always provide a thorough clean. You can find guides at sites like Expert Reviews that list the best dishwashers on the market.

Certain utensils such as pots and pans may still benefit from being soaked in hot water to get rid of tough food debri. It’s best to leave pans to soak immediately after cooking so that food has less of a chance to harden up.

Wash full loads

In order to reduce water consumed by your washing machine, make sure that each load is full. If you’re only washing half loads, you’ll be having to use your washing machine twice as much to get through all your laundry.

Don’t worry too much about separating colors – it’s a good idea to separate whites and to be careful with new clothes (they’re more likely to run), but otherwise most colors won’t affect each other.

It is possible to overload a washing machine, but generally this involves stuffing it until nothing else will fit. Fill up the drum, but don’t try to squeeze clothes into it like a suitcase.

Shower more, bath less

You can also save water by taking less baths and more showers. The average person uses 30 gallons when filling a bathtub, while the average 10 minute shower uses up no more than 20 gallons.

If you prefer longer showers, then baths may be more economical. However, for most people showering uses up less water.

Avoid ironing

If you do a lot of ironing, you could be consuming water every time you fill it up (although admittedly not a lot in the grand scheme of things). Ironing isn’t always necessary – if you hang up clothing to dry immediately after washing, you can usually prevent most creases from setting in. Besides, ironing is a chore that most people don’t want to do anyway. So why do it?

Use your vegetable water

Most of us chuck away the excess water when boiling or steaming vegetables, however there are times when it could be reused. Vegetable water makes a great base for broth and it can even be used to cook pasta in straight after, helping to add flavor.

There’s also the option of letting it get cold and using it to water plants with – it will be full of nutrients that could benefit your shrubs.

Harvest rainwater

When it comes to watering your lawn and plants, you can save a lot of money on water by harvesting rainwater. While you shouldn’t drink rainwater without purifying it first, it can be ideal for watering plants with and will save you using your mains water supply.

You can collect water by using a rain barrel. Many of these have taps attached from which you can fit a hose or simply fill up a watering can.

Consider recycling greywater

It’s possible to re-use waste water from your taps and shower for toilet flushing. This could help to save you a lot of water and a lot of money. Fitting a greywater recycling system isn’t cheap so this is definitely a long-term investment, but one that could be well worth looking into if you plan to stay in your home for the foreseeable future.

Please follow and like us:

Africa-Inspired Food Choices For A New You

Pixabay – CCO License

 

With the new year well and truly underway, many of us are fully into our body transformation plans. We want to improve the way we look AND eat more sustainable at the same time. Fortunately, those two things go hand in hand. 

 

Want to know how to remove fat without surgery? Easy: either go for non-invasive surgery or just eat right. Here are some fat-melting recipes that are good for your health and also the planet. 

 

Ethiopian Peanut Stew

 

Ethiopia probably has the most exciting food heritage of any country in Africa – even more so than Moroccan, thanks to the role Addis Abbaba played in trade centuries ago. The land we see today was once an essential stop-off for merchants as they carried spices from the near and far east. 

 

The country is famous for its teff bread, but it also makes a mean stew too. 

 

Ingredients for up to six people: 

 

  • One onion, chopped
  • Three cloves of garlic, chopped or crushed
  • Tbsp olive oil
  • Two 450g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • Three tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 6 cups of stock
  • Diced sweet potato
  • Chickpeas
  • Fresh parsley
  • Whole, roasted peanuts
  • Greens of your choice
  • Chopped red pepper
  • Salt and pepper

 

Method

 

Making this receipt is easy. 

 

First, fry the onions and garlic in the olive oil in a large pan on a gentle heat until they turn translucent. 

 

Next, add the tinned tomatoes, stock, sweet potatoes, chopped red pepper, stock, chickpeas and peanut butter. 

 

Leave to simmer for 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are cooked through. 

 

Next, add the greens and the parsley until wilted. 

 

Meanwhile, put the peanuts on a tray and roast them in the oven for a couple of minutes. 

 

To assemble, use a ladle to spoon the soup into bowls and then sprinkle the roasted peanuts and whole parsley on top. 

 

If you’ve never tried this recipe before, you’re in for a treat. It is unlike pretty much anything else out there. If you want to bulk it up a bit, serve it with crusty wholemeal bread or teff pancakes if you can find them!

 

When food tastes this good, making healthy choices is easy. Often, all it takes is a little experimentation to discover all of the flavors out there. You don’t have to stick with regular diet foods. They’re manufactured products cooked up in western labs. It’s much better to delve into the food cultures of other civilizations to see what they ate and how they kept the pounds from accumulating in the past. 

 

What you’ll find, almost invariably, is that they centered their diet around traditional staple foods. In Ethiopia, they got their calories from teff and another grain called sorghum. To that, they added a range of fresh local vegetables and beans. 

 

The native Americans ate a diet of quinoa and corn, as they believed that these foods gave them the energy and vigour they needed to survive a harsh, nomadic existence.

 

And in the far east, the Japanese ate mostly brown rice and sweet potatoes, again with a bit of veg thrown in for good measure. These foods kept people slim and healthy, and they can do the same for you.

Please follow and like us: