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8 Simple Ways to Conserve Water At Home
Our Top Tips For Conserving Water In & Out of the House
Guest blog written by Millie Fuller
As populations around the world continue to grow, and climate change is rapidly becoming a more pressing matter, many of us are looking at ways we can become part of the solution rather than adding to the problem.
Since water is a valuable natural resource, trying to conserve water is a great place to start. Unbelievably, the national campaign Water’s Worth Saving notes how in the UK we are using nearly twice as much water compared to 60 years ago.
Not only does conserving water benefit the planet, but it also benefits our bank accounts. The less water we use, the lower our bills will be - it really is that simple!
There are many ways each and every one of us can lessen the amount of water we use in our daily lives by making small changes. Let's look at some of the easiest ways to conserve water in and outside of the home:
Reduce Your Shower Time
So many of us are guilty of hanging around in the shower for far too long. Daydreaming or planning out the day ahead while we enjoy the rush of water streaming over us is a luxury that’s unfortunately costing our planet.
An average showerhead uses a huge 12 litres of water each minute. This means if you could reduce your shower time from 8 minutes to 3 minutes you can save over 60 litres of water per shower. We recommend stopping the water flow when applying shampoo and soap to reduce your water wastage.
Cutting down on the time spent in the shower helps to conserve water, and in turn will also lower energy and water bills. There is also growing evidence that a short, cold shower could have significant health benefits which include boosting your mood, improving circulation, and strengthening the immune system.
Increasingly hot and dry summers are resulting in enthusiastic gardeners using enormous amounts of water to irrigate the garden. But by carefully selecting the types of plants you grow, you can minimise the amount of water you need to keep them alive.
For example, drought resistant plants, trees and shrubs will survive just fine with minimal watering. Alternatively, invest in a water butt which will store rainwater which you can then use to water your plants during dry spells.
Mulching plants can also help to conserve water because it prevents the evaporation of moisture from the soil, making the water last longer around the roots of the plants.
Reduce Washing Machine and Dishwasher Usage
Some of the biggest culprits for water usage in family households are the washing machine and dishwasher. If you have young children, it can feel like these appliances are constantly running to clean the clothing and dishes they seem to get through at an exponential rate.
To help reduce the water used by washing machines and dishwashers, be sure to only put them on for full loads. Also make use of the ‘eco’ setting now available on modern appliances, which will select for you the most energy efficient and water efficient choices.
Check for Leaks and Drips
f you’ve been putting off dealing with a dripping tap, now is the time to deal with it. Besides being a minor annoyance, a leak in a pipe or tap is a constant waste of water.
It might seem small, but the tiny drips can add up to a substantial amount of water when left for a long period of time. In fact, a dripping tap can waste more than 5,300 litres of water a year.
This is having a negative impact on the planet, and it also means you’re paying for water that you’re not even using.
If you want to be proactive about conserving water, then a water tank or rain harvesting system for the home is an excellent option.
Water tanks are used to collect rainwater which can then be reused for domestic tasks, such as window cleaning, toilet flushing, and garden maintenance.
Rainwater harvesting systems can help save up to 50% on metered water costs, according to Tanks For Everything. Although there will be an initial set up cost, you will actually save money in the long run while knowing you’re doing your part to benefit the environment.
Keep Water in The Fridge
Who doesn’t love a refreshing drink of ice-cold water on a hot day? If you’re guilty of running the kitchen tap for a while until it gets cold enough to drink, then keeping a jug or reusable bottle of water in the fridge will eliminate this wastage.
If you can get a cold drink directly out of the fridge, you’ll never again have to leave a tap running and waste valuable water.
Be Lawn Savvy
Contrary to popular belief, lawns do not need to be watered every day. The climate, and of course rainfall, will affect whether you need to irrigate your grass, so you can save substantial amounts of water by only watering the lawn when it really needs it.
Avoid watering the lawn when rain is expected, and water less during cool weather. During hot spells, water in the evening when the water can absorb deeply into the soil. If you water grass during the heat of the day, it is more likely to evaporate and be wasted.
You can also help to water your lawn less by keeping your grass longer. Shorter grass dries out quickly so needs watering more frequently.
Turn Taps Off
Groundwater Governance notes that “a faucet that runs for a few minutes will use between 3 and 5 gallons per minute”. If we can remember to turn the taps off while brushing our teeth, shaving, or washing, we will be significantly cutting water usage.
If you wash dishes by hand, fill up a washing bowl rather than washing them under a running tap, and remember to use an eco dish wash soap to protect the water system.
Filling a standard washing up bowl will take on average just 95 seconds of running water, compared to running a tap continuously for many minutes to wash dishes directly under it.
Do you know of any other water saving tips? Let us know in the comments!