Reducing the amount of water you use in your home is a highly effective method for being more environmentally friendly. When you own your home, you can simply make these water saving improvements as you see fit. It can be a little more complicated when you rent your home though, as you might need permission from the property owner before any modifications can be made. So what are some of the easiest ways to save water at home? And what are your options for when you don't actually own your home?
Ask your landlord or real estate agent about the type of showerhead already installed in the bathroom. They might not necessarily be able to tell you if it's an older property, but their maintenance records could hold the answer. If one isn't already in place, ask for permission to install a low flow showerhead. In most instances you simply unscrew the existing showerhead before replacing it with its water saving counterpart, so it's not as though you need to call in the plumbers. If permission is not granted for whatever reason, simply buy and install a water flow restrictor. These clip straight onto an existing showerhead and can be easily removed at any time.
Old toilets tend to be quite generous with the amount of water they use when flushing. A lot of the time, this excessive water is not needed. You will of course need your landlord's permission before a dual flush toilet can be installed. This type of toilet allows you to select a half or full strength flush, greatly reducing the amount of water that is needed. To overcome any hesitation on their part, look for things that will sweeten the deal. Contact your water provider to find out about any rebates that might be on offer when installing a dual flush toilet. If the price is low enough, your landlord might be interested, particularly since it will add value to their property. Once permission has been granted, the toilet can quickly be installed by a certified plumber (but please check to ensure that installation is included in the price). The price of the toilet can be absorbed into your rent, or you and your landlord might wish to make some other arrangement.
Installing a greywater tank can be problematic in a rental property when you consider the number of devices and sinks in your home that will drain into it. Again, there might be some rebates on offer that can sweeten the deal. If your landlord doesn't feel that a greywater tank will add enough value to their property, then you'll need to improvise. Use biodegradable soaps and detergents and then collect the greywater in buckets (such as when you shower). Your washing machine can drain into an appropriately sized sink, allowing you to deliver the water to your plants with a watering can before draining what's left over. It's not the easiest way to collect greywater, but it doesn't require your landlord's permission.
For more information, contact a plumber in your area.