Although electricity and water are included in the rent in TYS’s apartments, it is good to remember that energy consumption also has an impact on the environment and is also a cost for TYS. Saving energy is important for mitigating climate change, securing energy supply, reducing the need for imported energy, reducing energy costs and protecting the environment.
n Finland, we are used to abundant reserves of clean and drinkable water, but water is not something to be taken for granted. The production and heating of water require large amounts of energy. Housing and related energy use account for almost a third of the household carbon footprint. Therefore, in order to reduce the environmental impact of housing, it is essential to focus on energy, including water, saving. We also need water to produce the food, clothing and household goods we buy and to dispose of the waste. This water is called hidden or virtual water. In addition to food, virtual water is present in all goods, clothing, electricity, services and modes of transport.
We have compiled tips below on how you can in your own daily life you can easily save water and electricity and at the same time take part in combatting climate change.
Reduce the time you spend in the shower
The largest household water glutton, shower, which consumes a lot of water and heating energy. By reducing the time you spend in the shower, you can save tens of litres of water per shower, as one minute in the shower consumes approximately 12 litres of water. For example, by switching to a daily 10-minute shower that consumes 120 litres of water to a 5-minute shower, you will already save 60 litres of water per shower. Also remember to turn off the shower while soaping!
Few of us like cold showers and showering therefore, heating energy is also needed to produce the hot water used. For example, 4 kWh of energy is needed to heat 120 litres of water used in a ten-minute shower.
With the same energy
- you um your apartment for 4 hours
- you watch TV for 48 hours
- you use the computer for 28 hours
We are challenging all our tenants to reduce the time they spend in the shower down to five minutes per shower. Join the challenge and pick up your own five-minute hourglass from the TYS Housing Office (Student Village 12A, 20540 Turku).
Close the tap while brushing your teeth
You should also be careful about other bathroom water use habits. For example, you should close the tap during brushing your teeth. When running water for 2 minutes while brushing your teeth, approximately 12 litres of water/brush will flow down the drain.
Do not wash laundry or dishes under running water
The most energy-efficient way to wash laundry and dishes is to use a dedicated washing machine. Wash full loads and use rapid and saving programs whenever possible. However, not everyone has machines of their own. In this case, however, it is good to remember that dishes or laundry should be washed under running water. When running water for 1 minute, approximately 12 litres of water per minute flows down the drain.
Monitoring the condition of water fixtures
By monitoring the condition of your home’s water fixtures, such as toilet bowls and faucets, and reporting any leaks to TYS, you can save a large amount of water. A toilet seat bowl leak can consume a few litres per hour, making up to 30,000 litres a week, or 3,000 buckets. So if the faucet, for example, drips, tell us and we will fix the leak and water will not be wasted.
Monitor your own water consumption if your apartment has a water meter
Some of TYS’s housing locations (Aitiopaikka, Haliskylä, Yo-talot and part of the Kuunsilta) have apartment-specific water meters that indicate the amount of hot and cold water consumed. The meter allows the tenants to monitor their own water consumption and make changes to their own water use if necessary. For example, can you reduce your water consumption from last month, even just by reducing the time you spend in the shower?
Do not heat the apartment unnecessarily
TYS’s apartments are heated by water-circulating radiators, which therefore also need heating energy to produce the hot water used. At TYS, the temperature of the apartments is regulated by building automation, which regulates the water circulating in the radiators according to the outdoor temperature, so that when the radiator thermostats are turned to the “maximum position”, the thermostat aims to keep the room at +21 degrees. So, you can adjust the temperature of your home to be cooler and it’s worth doing if your home feels too warm. Lowering the room temperature by one degree saves five percent of heating energy. In the winter months, instead of using additional heat, such as electric radiators, a more sensible way to warm up is to use wool socks and other warm clothes when you are at home.
Save virtual water
Also optimize your indirect water footprint. Water, called hidden or virtual water, is needed to produce the food, clothing and household goods we buy and to dispose of the waste we buy. You can save hidden water, for example:
- Buy domestic, regional and seasonal products. The water footprint of Finnish products is smaller than that of those imported from abroad. For example, when you buy a kilo of rice from a store in Finland, you consume about 3,300 liters of water on the other side of the globe.
- Have a vegan / vegetarian day now and then. Meat production consumes a huge amount of water. Adding vegetarian days to your diet will reduce the amount of virtual water you use.
- Drink tap water instead of bottled water. The manufacture of the water in the bottle and the bottle itself consumes more water than tap water. In Finland, tap water is also top quality.
- Buy used or borrow. Save virtual water by favoring flea markets, and recycling when buying clothing, household items, and hobby equipment.
- Walk, bike and use public transportation instead of a car. Did you know, for example, that to produce one car consumes about 400,000 liters of water?
- Throw away as little usable food and products as possible. Do not throw food into the rubbish or sewer, but sort it into biowaste. Sell or give away usable unnecessary items, furniture and clothing.