Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Conservation tips

  1. Introduction
  2. Water and energy resources on our land are god’s gift to all mankind. Clean water flowing from our taps, electricity illuminating our homes and guiding our way on the streets at night, cooking our meals with gas, these are some of the blessings and comforts that we should not take for granted.

    Energy and water resources in the UAE and around the world are slowly depleting as demand increases, and it is up to us to work hard to conserve what we have.

    The UAE is one of the major consumers of electricity and is the world’s third largest per capita water consumer after the USA and Canada. The UAE has planned strategies to conserve our resources over the years, increase the efficiency of water and electricity consumption and develop and promote the use of renewable energy sources such as solar power.

    Contrary to what many think, our resources will not last forever. So it is in every individual’s hand to be responsible and do his or her part in helping us conserve our water and energy, so that generations after us can have what we have.

    Whether you are a doctor, engineer, labourer, waiter, salesman or student, let us work hand in hand in creating a better tomorrow for everyone. Remember that every person counts. Every drop counts. Every light switch counts. Every action no matter how small counts.

  3. Important conservation tips to follow at home
  4. Turn your lights and air conditioning off when you step out of the house.

    • Keep your thermostat set at 24 degree Celsius; or higher, and on "auto". Each degree can mean up to 9% savings on cooling costs.
    • Clean your A/C filter monthly so your A/C runs efficiently. Replace the filter if damaged.
    • Have all CFL or incandescent lamps replaced with LED lamps
    • Re-use fish tank water on household plants-it also acts as a good fertilizer
    • Keep blinds and curtains closed to reflect heat away from the house. During late afternoons or early evenings, open your blinds or curtains to let light into to minimize the need for switching on indoor lights for young children who don’t like sleeping in the dark, use a night light in the room
    • Watch TV together as a family instead of separately, it will save you energy and promote a healthy family relationship
    • Make sure you unplug your mobile phone charger when it is not in use
    • Unplug personal computers, electronic devices and chargers when they aren’t in use; most electronics use electricity even when switched off
    • When buying a monitor, consider getting an LCD screen as it is 66% more energy efficient
    • Benefit from natural daylight as much as possible.

    • Rooms
    • Use task lighting; put your light where you need it most instead of brightening the whole room
    • Clean your light bulbs regularly. Dirty and greasy light bulbs can reduce the light output by around 10%
    • Install dimmers in areas like the dining room or the bedroom
    • When buying ceiling lights or chandeliers, try to choose ones that do not have a large amount of lamps
    • Make sure all your house windows and doors are properly shut when air conditioning is on; this will make the air conditioners more energy-efficient
    • Replace air conditioner filters at regular intervals
  5. Bathrooms
  6. Avoid long showers. Shortening your shower by a minute or 2 can save you up to 150 gallons a month.

    • Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving and save more than 5 gallons (19 liters) a day per person, resulting in over approximately AED 50 per month. Install water saving devices on all water outlets.
    • To minimize the amount of water used for a bath, plug the drain first and fill the tub only 1/3 full. Initially there will be a burst of cold water, but that will be warmed when hot water comes through
    • When adjusting water temperatures, turn the water flow down instead of increasing it to balance the temperature
    • Close your water heaters in the summer. The water gets naturally heated at that time of year
    • Don’t throw waste down your toilet. It leads to unnecessary flushing and increases the risk of your toilet getting blocked
    • If your toilet flush handle regularly sticks in the flush position letting water run constantly, consider fixing or replacing it
    • When you wait for water to heat up after turning on the tap, save it in a bucket or empty bottle and use it to water your house plants
  7. Kitchens
  8. When washing dishes by hand, use the least amount of washing liquid possible. This reduces water needed for rinsing. If you have an automatic dishwasher, operate it only when it is fully loaded. If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing your dishes before you put them in the washer. Newer models clean more thoroughly.

    • Don’t let the tap run when you are cleaning your fruits or vegetables. Fill a pan or half the sink with water and use it for rinsing. After you’re done, don’t throw the water down the drain; use it to water your plants
    • Reduce the number of times the refrigerator or freezer door is opened
    • While cooking or boiling water, cover your cooking pan with a lid, this makes water boil at a faster rate and your food gets cooked in a shorter time
    • Try and do all you’re cooking in one go instead of at intervals. Pans that are flat instead of rounded at the bottom are better conductors of energy
    • When baking breads, pre-heat the oven or pan 5-8 minutes before placing the bread. As for frying and roasting, don’t pre-heat your pan or oven for a long time
    • Turn off the oven 5 to 10 minutes before cooking time is up. The trapped heat will finish the cooking
    • For small meals, use toaster ovens, small electric pans or the microwave rather than large ovens. You will save a third to half as much energy
    • Use high-pressure cookers as they use less energy than normal cookers
    • Make sure you clean your fridge and freezer often and defrost it. Frost buildup increases the amount of energy to keep the motor running
    • When buying a fridge or freezer, buy one that is efficient rated or has the best energy rating
    • Don’t keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. It is recommended to keep the fresh food compartment of your fridge 4ºC and the freezer-10ºC
    • Regularly check the rubber strip around the door of the refrigerator
    • Clean the cooling filters behind the refrigerator every six months at least
    • If you accidentally drop ice cubes when taking some from the freezer, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead
    • Try to use appliances that are small in size rather than large appliances
    • Don’t use running water to thaw frozen meat and food. Defrost it overnight in the refrigerator or if you have a microwave use the defrost setting
    • Always use the right size of pan for your cooking ring and put a lid on it. This will help save energy as it will cook quicker.
    • When boiling vegetables use just enough water to keep them covered.
  9. Laundry
    • When doing your laundry, try and operate the washing machine only when you are doing full loads. Set the water level to the appropriate size of load you are using
    • When buying a washing machine, try to go for high-efficiency models. These use less than 27 gallons per load
    • Wash your clothes in warm rather than hot water; this will decrease your consumption by 50%
    • Wash dark clothes in cold water. It will help clothes keep their colour and also saves on water and energy
    • Don’t dry your clothes in the dryer more than necessary. You will save 15% in energy consumption. When possible, use a clothesline instead and let your clothes dry naturally in the sun
    • Dry heavy and light fabrics separately since it will minimize drying time
    • Always check and clean the lint filter in your dryer before each load
    • When buying a dryer, look for one with a moisture sensor that automatically shuts off the machine when your clothes are dry
    • Squeeze your washed clothes out of excess water before loading them in the dryer or hanging them on the clothesline
    • Consider buying an iron that has an auto switch-off in case you forget to turn it off. It is easier to iron creases on clothes using a steam iron or spraying water on your clothes while ironing
    • Powder or liquid detergents are generally better than laundry soap bars because they are better performers in various types of water. Some are also combined with bleach or fabric softeners so they perform more than one task, and save time and energy
    • Periodically, use the long nozzle tip on your vacuum cleaner to remove the lint that collects below the lint screen in the lint screen slot of your clothes dryer
    • Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire. Manufacturers recommend using rigid venting material—not plastic vents that may collapse and cause blockages.
  10. Gardening
  11. Water the plants and gardens (balcony) before 6 am or after 7 pm, in several short sessions (three ten minute sessions spaced 30 minutes to an hour) to allow your lawn to better absorb moisture than one straight 30 minute session.
    Over watering promotes shallow root growth making your lawn less durable.

    • To help plants retain moisture, spread a layer of organic mulch around them. This will save water, time and money
    • Your garden does not need to be watered daily. Check the soil moisture 2 to 3 inches below the surface, if the top 2 or 3 inches of soil are dry then it requires watering
    • Use drip irrigation system for shrubs and trees so that water goes straight to the roots, preventing run-off
    • Regularly check your sprinkler system valves for leaks
    • Houses that use sprinklers consume 35% more water than houses that don’t
    • Re-set the flow of your automatic sprinkler systems over the various seasons to suit the needs of plants and your lawn
    • Put an automatic shut-off valve on the sprinkler system so that it shuts off when it rains
    • Water your plants at short intervals to help it soak up the moisture
    • Avoid growing plants in areas where it will be difficult to water them. Consider planting in spring, autumn or winter when requirement for watering is less
    • Ask your local nursery about plant selection and placement; certain plants require less water than others
    • Group plants that require similar amounts of water together, so that some plants are not over watered or others under watered
    • When mowing your lawn, don’t cut the grass shorter than 2.5 cm, so that it is protected from the blazing sun and reduces evaporation
    • Water roots, not leaves
    • Position sprinklers so that your lawn gets all the water, not your sidewalk, driveway or paved areas
    • Compost your yard trimmings. It helps to retain moisture in the soil so you will not need to water as much
    • Remove weeds or dead plants from your garden; they unnecessarily take up water
    • Consider using garden lights or spotlights that run on solar energy
  12. Outdoors
    • If you have a pool, use a pool cover. This will help cut down on evaporation, and will leave your pool cleaner and minimize the need of chemicals
    • Run your pool pump during off-peak hours and not during the afternoon
    • If you use an inflatable pool, make sure you re-use the water later on plants around your house
    • If you have a fountain at home, make sure it is equipped with recirculating pumps so that water is re-cycled
    • Wash your pets outdoors on the lawn so that the grass gets watered as well
    • Use a broom to clean your driveway or side-walk of sand or dry leaves, instead of washing it off with a hose
    • Make sure you clean water tanks in the house regularly so that they stay clean and hygienic
    • Choose a fuel-efficient car. It takes 44 gallons of water to refine one gallon of crude oil

    • LEAKS
    • Monitor your water bill and meter. Unusually high bills may mean you have leaks that need to be checked. Call our Customer Care for help
    • Leaky faucets that drip at the rate of one drop per second can waste up to 2,700 gallons of water per year. Plug them immediately

    How to check if you have a leak:

    If you’re unsure whether you have a leak, read your water meter before and then again after 2 hours when no water is being used. If the meter does not give exactly the same reading, you probably have a leak.

    A leaky toilet can waste about 200gallons of water every day. If you’re unsure your toilet has a leak, place a drop of food coloring in the tank; if the color shows in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak.

  13. Water and Energy saving devices and appliances
    • Drip irrigation system for trees and shrubs in the garden
    • Light dimmers
    • Energy star or high-efficiency home appliances
    • LED/LCD monitors
    • Window and door frame foam/rubber seals, to stop air escaping or coming in
    • Sensor lighting or light timers
    • Solar powered garden or walkway lights
    • Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LED)
  14. Conservation tips when you are away on holiday
    • Make sure you switch off all air conditioning and lights in the house, and it is very important to check taps and pipes for any dripping or leaks before you go away. A leaky tap or faulty pipe can possibly cause flooding in the house if left unattended
    • Unplug all power outlets and switch off the main switch
    • Close the water supply to your appliances. Make sure the main water line valve is shut off
    • Turn your water heater off
    • Install sensor or light timers, so that boundary lights and other lighting that need to be turned on in the house are switched on during the hours that are needed only
  15. Some eco-friendly tips
    • Many household chemicals are toxic, so try and choose less toxic or non-toxic alternatives if available
    • Do not throw unwanted household chemicals and cooking oil down the drain. It can disrupt your septic and drainage system
    • Use phosphate-free detergents

  17. Work together with us
  18. No matter who you are be a role model and help promote conservation

    • If you notice any water leakage, broken pipes or open hydrants when you are out, or any electrical wiring that is sticking out or not in place, be a helpful green citizen and report it to our Call Center immediately, so that swift action can be taken to repair the faults and save our water and energy
    • If you see civil personnel engaged in repair work around your house or in your area, please be considerate to them; they are working for you and for your benefit

    • Share conservation tips with family and friends and help spread awareness
    • Kids learn fast, so teach them how to implement energy and water saving measures in their daily life. Praise and reward them when they follow your directions, it will encourage them to repeat it. Discuss with them topics on the environment and the effects of conservation
    • Talk to domestic staff about water-and energy-saving techniques. They may not be aware of conservation methods
    • Be effective. Participate in events and important dates such as World Environment day or Earth day.
    • If you have any new suggestions to help conserve our water and electricity please share it with us, we would love to hear from you

    • What's your water footprint? Click here to know
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