Saving water is crucial to the environment in a number of ways. We need to preserve stocks in case of future droughts, but there’s also the carbon element to think about. Sending water from reservoirs to your tap involves a series of processes that use up lots of energy — and many of these processes involve the burning of carbon-emitting fossil fuels.
By cutting the amount of water we use in our homes, we’re helping to tackle climate change. But if you have a water meter, you’ll also be slashing your annual water bill.
You don’t need to make drastic changes to your lifestyle to cut your home’s water usage — just a few tweaks here and there will suffice.
1. Turn off the tap!
Too many people leave the tap running while they wash their hands or brush their teeth. The average tap in the UK can dispense up to six litres of water every minute, so it’s easy to see just how much water can be saved by making this relatively painless change.
2. Fix drips
That dripping tap in the bathroom isn’t just annoying — it’s wasteful. A serious leak can be wasting up to 15 litres of water every day, so fixing it immediately is a no-brainer.
3. Take more showers
While most people enjoy a hot bath from time to time, doing so uses up to four times more water than the average shower. Try cutting down on the number of baths you have every week. And if possible, spend less time in the shower, as some power showers can use up to 45 litres of water a minute.
4. Water your garden with a watering can
There’s a reason why the first thing to be banned during times of drought is the garden hose. The average hose can dispense up to 1,000 litres of water in an hour — much of which is completely unnecessary. Slash the amount of water you use in your garden by switching to a watering can. Also, try to do your watering first thing in the morning or last thing at night in order to minimise evaporation.
5. Chill tap water down
Particularly in the summer, many of us leave the tap running for a few seconds so we get the coldest water possible. Instead of creating this needless waste, fill a jug with water without running the tap, and place it in the fridge to chill.
6. Ask for a water meter
While some areas have mandatory meters, others still don’t. A water meter tends to focus the mind, as it ensures that you pay for the water you use. If you’re still on old-fashioned bills, contact your water company and ask for a meter to be installed.
7. Use water-efficient appliances
Taps, showers, washing machines, dishwashers and various other appliances in the home can use a surprising amount of water. However, there are usually water-efficient alternatives available, which can cut water usage by up to 30 percent.
8. Wait until you have full loads
Whether you’re washing dishes or cleaning clothes, it’s best to wait until you have a full load to wash. Water usage isn’t usually affected by how much you have in the machine, so you can make water stretch further by washing more.
9. Use a displacement tool in your toilet cistern
Think, for a moment, about how much water is used simply flushing toilets in your home. You can reduce this amount by up to a quarter by placing a displacement device in your cistern — ensuring less water is used on every flush.
10. Use a water butt
Connect a water butt to a drainpipe, and collect water for outdoor tasks such as watering the garden, washing the car and cleaning the windows. This should save you around 5,000 litres of water every year.
If we all do our bit by cutting water usage in the home, we can make a real difference to the environment.