Hacks to Turn Water Saving into a Habit

John Lucas, Founder of explore4knowlege and a Cape Union Mart Environmental Ambassador, spoke recently about the devastating drought sweeping the Western Cape – the worst the province has seen in decades. According to Lucas, although Capetonians are making every effort to ease the plight – with one in two being active water savers – by 2025 one in three will have access to just 25 litres of water per day.

He has attributed this to a global shift in weather patterns, an increase in the population and an ever increasing use of the dwindling resource.

Lucas shares: “We, as Africans, need to be innovative and adopt a water saving lifestyle that will be handed down from generation to generation.”

Together with Cape Union Mart, he offers the following water saving tips:

Shorter showers

Under the current Level 6B Water Restrictions, Capetonians have had to cut their water consumption to less than 50 litres per person per day. Those who have used the City of Cape Town’s online Think Water Calculatorwill see that showering can quickly use up the 50 litre allocation – a six minute shower can use up to 60 litres! Showering tips to help cut down your water consumption would be to reduce water pressure and listen to a short song as a timer to ensure that you don’t get carried away when ‘Singin’ in the Rain’.

Support sustainable businesses

While the calculator can give you a rough idea of your water usage, your footprint extends to the products you purchase from stores. For instance, one takeaway cup of coffee bought at a restaurant takes 200 litres of water to make (from growing the coffee beans and sugar, to manufacturing the paper cup and sleeve). Purchasing from sustainably conscious businesses that use water efficiency strategies in their manufacturing process can assist in saving water. (Also, remember to take along your own travel mug the next time you need to get your on-the-go cup of Joe and help cut down on the number of paper cups used).

Clever cleanliness

Ever thought about how many times a day you wash your hands? According to the City’s calculator, even just washing them once can use three litres! With Capetonians being urged to preserve precious drinking water, using a hand sanitiser may be the solution. Keep Clean 200ml Hand Sanitiser (R40), made with Aloe Vera, moisturises hands whilst helping to protect against germs and bacteria. Another option for keeping hands clean is Busby Outdoor Wipes (R30). These handy anti-bacterial wet-wipes are enriched with natural extracts and formulated to cleanse. Plus, they provide soothing relief for inflamed and irritated skin.

Outdoor showers made easy

With the water restrictions taking a toll on gardens, taking outdoor showers may just be the water wise solution for keeping them alive. With the UST Solar Shower (R275), all the grey water will go directly into the garden. It is incredibly easy to use too! Fill the bag with water and place in the sun for a few hours to absorb the heat. When ready, use the built-in handle to hang it on a tree branch or pole and enjoy a warm, outdoor shower. The bag holds up to 18 litres of water (less than what’s used by a regular two-minute shower) and with the water saving nozzle, multiple showers can be enjoyed per use.

Less waste with a reusable bottle

Opting for a reusable bottle to drink from can help cut down on the number of glasses used and washed throughout the day. Using water from the bottle while brushing your teeth automatically reduces the time the tap is left running and can help to further reduce water waste.

A helping hand

While handwashing laundry and dishes are helpful when it comes to saving water, why not go the extra mile by using rain or spring water too. The UST Water Carrier (R99) is able to hold up to 10 litres of liquid and can be hung above a sink from its sturdy wooden handles. It also features an easy-to-use spout that allows for one-handed operation and conveniently rolls up for easy storage.

“We are not facing a water crisis as much as we are facing a consumer realisation that a product we have taken for granted has become non-renewable to a degree, forcing us to reconsider our utilisation of this life-giving resource that could determine the wars of our future. It is no longer a matter of conserving water for the short-term goal of avoiding ‘Day Zero’. Rather, it is a mind-set and behavioural change that must be acted upon to ensure a future for us, our children, our city, our continent and our world,” concludes Lucas.

Please note, all the above mentioned products are subject to availability.

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Additional Day Zero-defeating products from Cape Union Mart include:

Cape Union Water Purifying Tablets (R45) This is the must-have treatment for potentially harmful water sources. One tablet treats one litre.
Coghlans Collapsible Water Container 5g/20L (R299) A convenient way to transport and use water wherever you need it, this BPA-free container features a removable on/off spigot for easy filling, along with moulded handles for effortless carrying. When empty, it folds flat for easy storage.
Lifestraw Personal Straw Water Filter (R399) Worried about water quality? The Lifestraw filters water straight from the source. Originally developed as a way to provide drinkable water to disaster areas in emergency situations, the unfiltered water gets sucked through the LifeStraw and the filter inside delivers fresh, filtered drinking water.
Lifestraw Go Bottle Filter (R699) Using the same technology as the Lifestraw, this helps you to take unfiltered water with you and transform it into drinking water while on the go.
Medi-Health Claritabs (R45) A single tablet is all that’s needed to purify one litre of water.
One Drop Water Purifier 30ml (R60) or 200ml (R199) When making use of water from natural sources such as lakes and streams, One Drop Water Purifier helps to kill cholera, e-coli and other water-borne pathogens. Simply treat the water, allow it to stand for 30 minutes and then pour it through a cloth filter to remove the precipitate and ensure safe consumption.
Coghlans Solar Shower 5g/18.9L (R199) This lightweight, non-toxic PVC camp shower stores enough water for up to four showers. Despite being super compact, it has a 20 litre capacity and is easy to use with its handle for hanging.
Aqua Salveo 30ml Water Disinfectant (R99) Kill any nasties and enjoy clean, safe drinking water by treating up to 300 litres with 30ml of Aqua Salveo.