However, many of us tend to take our high-quality water for granted ― we leave the tap running while we do the dishes and soap our hands, and when we shower. Needless to say, when our kids watch us squandering water, they will follow suit.
Water is one of Earth’s most valuable resources. However, as our population grows and we battle the impact of climate change on our fresh water supply, it will soon become scarce.
Raise your kids to be eco warriors by stressing the importance of conserving water in their daily lives. The following tips are simple enough for young minds to grasp and little hands to follow. Do this every day and it will soon become a part of their lifestyle.
After all, you’re doing this so that your offspring and the next generation will live in a world where clean sources of water will readily be available.
Infographic: Rachel Lim
TIP #1 Don’t leave the water running when brushing teeth, soaping hands, or lathering the body during a shower.
It’s easy to forget to turn off the tap while carrying out your daily activities and chores. Sometimes, it’s even tempting to leave it because it’s more convenient. Stress to junior that turning the tap off tightly, even for a few short minutes can help to save a lot of water. Even better, introduce a tumbler of water he can use to brush his teeth.
TIP #2 Finish the water in the cup or water bottle before you ask for more.
Playful little ones may keep asking for their water to be topped up even when their cups or bottles are only half empty. Keep obliging and they’ll never learn to finish their water before requesting more. The next time they do it, let them know firmly that they’ll have to finish up every drop of water before they can ask for more. You can even make a game out of it, “Make the water disappear!”.
TIP #3 To water the plants, use water collected in a pail instead of a hose.
Hoses are great fun for tykes who love splashing and playing with water, especially on a hot day. However, when you stop to think about, it’s alarming just how much water junior is wasting. The next time your tyke wants to play with water outdoors or help you water the plants, show him how to fill up and use a pail or a watering can instead. If you have a balcony or garden, leave empty pails out when it’s raining and use the water collected to water the plants and clean toilets. You can even encourage junior to collect leftover water from half-finished bottles and cups, plus cooled water from boiling food, to water the garden.
TIP #4 If you have a dual flush toilet, use the light flush when you do a number 1 (wees) and the heavy flush for a number 2 (poos).
This is a very important habit as flushing toilets is the largest single use of a household’s indoor water consumption. Many do this frequently and without thinking. Older toilets use up to 18 litres of water per flush. As dual-flush toilets are the norm these days, teach your tot to use each function correctly. The half flush releases about 3 litres of water, while you can expect 6 litres for the full flush. This makes a big difference in our water usage!
TIP #5 Take short showers rather than baths in the tub.
Reserve baths for special occasions, stick to showers and keep these short. Teach junior how to turn a tap on and off. Then encourage him to turn it off himself when you’re lathering his body and washing his hair. If your tyke loves baths, invest in an inflatable kiddie bathtub. Since it’s much smaller, you have better control over the amount of water used.
TIP #6 Don’t flush items like tissue, paper towels, plastic wrappers or your pet fish down the toilet! Flushing items down the toilet bowl has been a favourite pastime for kids for decades. The thrill of watching something disappear down the swirling of the water keeps them going back for more. However, this could cause an obstruction when items that are not meant to be flushed down the toilet end up there. A backed up toilet won’t work efficiently, which means that more water is needed to do the job. This could lead to a clogged toilet that may flood the entire bathroom ― a scenario you don’t want to happen or pay for!
Main photo: iStock
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