There’s no denying the scientific data: humans have a serious impact on the environment. But for those of you that are worried about your pool’s carbon footprint, however, don’t ring the alarm bells just yet. There are plenty of ways you can make your pool more eco-friendly – and as an added bonus, you’ll slash a hefty chunk off your running costs as well, though don’t forget to mind safety for children and people around the pool.
Cover the Pool
The first step you should take, if you haven’t already, is purchasing a pool cover.
The advantages are numerous. Firstly, you’ll prevent water being lost via evaporation, strong winds, and high temperatures. Not only that, but a cover will prevent debris and insects landings in your pool, minimizing the amount of cleaning products you need. Your pump pools and cleaners will also need to be called into action less frequently.
Energy Efficient Pool Pump
With the exponentially increasing interest in environmentally friendly products, the market has responded with force. It’s now possible to buy pool pumps that use less energy, while some are even powered through the use of solar panels.
In addition to buying a model that’s built with the environment in mind, also ensure that you get one that’s suitable for your specific pool size. Many people tend to buy units that are far too large. This can lead to a tremendous waste of energy on a daily basis.
Heat Your Pool? Use the Sun’s Energy!
Those summer rays are sometimes not enough to keep your pool’s temperature at a comfortable level, particularly if you like to take a dip during the off season. Instead of feeling guilty about switching on those heaters, why not go for solar energy as an alternative?
Solar heaters are so efficient these days that they often completely eliminate the need for gas or electric energy boosts – you can rely completely on solar. While they’ll cost a pretty penny to install, you’ll save money on your bills in the long run.
Use of Rainwater
Instead of having to top up your pool by cranking up your water bills, why not use natural rainwater instead?
There are systems that are incredibly easy to attach to you existing gutters and pipes. These divert water to your pool, while at the same time removing undesirables such as leaves or other debris, thus ensuring good health.
Clean Your Pool Manually
Most people rely on their pumps and filters to keep pools clean. Give these devices a helping hand by using a little bit of elbow grease – clean the pool manually to lower the use of energy.
It’s also a good idea to ensure your equipment is cleaned on a regular basis. Debris covering your pumps or filters will prevent them from working to optimum efficiency, meaning they need to use more energy to achieve the same results.
Buying the Right Filters
When it comes to going eco-friendly, one of the most important purchases you’ll make is that of your pool filter. There are various styles and makes available, all with varying levels of efficiency. We recommend opting for a cartridge filter (over sand models) as they use far less water. Salt filters can use up to 15,000 liters per year, which is a significant amount. In addition to going for a cartridge model, consider lowering the frequency of use. During the summer months, try and keep it running for less than 12 hours per day (under 6 if possible). During the winter you can turn it right down to 2-4 hours daily.
Minimize the Use of Chemicals
Chemicals are the worst culprits in terms of environmental impact. The easiest way to drastically reduce usage is by opting for a saltwater pool over a freshwater variety – the former requires far less chlorine to keep it safe for swimming. If installing a new fibreglass swimming pool, speak to your pool builder as they will be able to help you find an eco friendly option that still suits your needs.
Another tactic you can employ is the use of an ionizer. This system can reduce chlorine requirements by a staggering 70%. These devices require an upfront investment, but you’ll make it back over time by not having to purchase as many chemicals to keep your pool clean.
Taking the right steps to make your pool eco-friendly ensures you do your part in lowering your carbon footprint – and most of these steps aren’t that difficult to implement. Owning a pool shouldn’t make you feel guilty about your impact on the environment. Just make sure you put your pool to good use when those sunny summer days arrive!
The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from:
# Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions)
# Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman
# Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel
# Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky
# Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley
# Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke
# Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley
# Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea
# and more green living books to follow.
View all posts by greenlivingguy