When you live in a country like the UK it may be hard to imagine that saving water can be important but even with our amount of rainfall, the earth is still warming, we are beginning to see hotter summers and more unusual weather patterns which is all leading to a water shortage and, if we don’t act now, it is predicted that by 2050 we will see real struggles. Here are 10 water saving tips that you can easily do each and every day in your own home that will help the environment.
Turn off The Tap
It’s something we’ve all been told as children and have all said to our own – turn the tap off whilst you brush your teeth. It is a really simple step that you can take but it can make a big difference. Leaving a tap running for 2 minutes twice a day, quickly and surprisingly builds up and it is estimated that you can waste 12 litres of water each time you brush! Not only is this costing our environment it is also costing you.
How you choose to collect rainwater is up to you – water butt, buckets, old sinks, barrels – but it is so important that we try to. This water can be used on your garden instead of your hose and can save up to 5,000 litres of water each year.
Taking quick showers rather than using a bath is a sure way of saving water. The more you can get done in a few minutes in a shower, the better it is for the environment. However, having said that, if you fancy a long time in the water, 30 minutes in the bath will always be better than 30 minutes in a shower. If you have a power shower, this can also add to the amount of water you waste so it is always worth weighing up the options. Short and sweet showers will always save.
Fix Leaking Taps
Did you know that a dripping tap can waste15 litres of water a day which can result in up to 5,500 litres of water a year?! Get that plumber booked in asap.
Choose Eco Settings
The eco settings on your washing machine and dishwasher may be off-putting due to the longer cycles but these will use less water so are a far better option.
Use The Dishwasher
You may think that washing up by hand would use less water but in actual fact, if you fill your dishwasher up each time and (as mentioned above) choose an eco option, you will save water. If you do want to wash up by hand, add a washing up bowl to reduce the volume of water required (see below for what else you can do with this water).
Wash Less Often
Reducing your wash loads by only washing what is truly dirty and smelly will not only reduce your workload but will also reduce the amount of water that your household uses. I have some tips on how to achieve this in this blog post here.
Cistern Displacement Device
This came up during my research and I was really surprised that I’d never heard of one before. This is basically a device (usually a bag) that sits inside the cistern of your toilet resulting in less water filling it up. Using one of these could save up to 3 litres of water for every flush! Top tip, check if your water supplier gives these out for free before shopping around.
I have 2 tips here, first off, only ever boil the amount of water that you require. This will not only save on water wastage but it will also save on electricity. My second tip is to boil a full kettle and then put this into a flask. The flask will keep your water hot all day and you can make your tea and coffee this way instead of always reaching for the kettle. Anything left over could then be used if you like to make your own cleaning products as I show in this page here.
Don’t Pour It Away
And that last point leads on nicely to this one, try your best not to pour water away, there may be another use. Water left over in a glass from the day before? Use it to water the houseplants. Water in your reusable water bottles from a day out? Pour it into the water butt. Water from the washing up can be used to water plants in the garden. Some people even place a washing up bowl in the shower with them to collect for the garden too. Once you begin looking at your options, you will find a whole array of water saving solutions.
Saving water doesn’t have to be tricky, it will just take a little change in behaviour and a little more awareness. I found some great water facts over at Waterwise which really highlights how much we take water for granted in some countries:
- The average water used per person per day is 143 litres in England and Wales, 165 litres in Scotland and 145 litres in Northern Ireland.
- In 2010 the UN recognised the human right to water and sanitation, meaning everyone has the right to sufficient, continuous, safe, acceptable and affordable water.
- As well as the water that comes out of our taps and toilets, there is hidden water in the products we buy. For example, one cotton t-shirt has about 2,700 litres of water embedded in its production, which is around 49 baths full of water!
- Although the Earth is often called the blue planet, out of all the water on the planet there is less than 1% accessible freshwater for us to use. The Antarctic ice sheet holds about 90 per cent of the freshwater that exists on the Earth’s surface.
What else do you do to help to save water? Let me know in the comments.
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