Every drop counts – 25 ways to save water
Small adjustments can make huge impacts when it comes to saving water, we should all make big efforts to save water whenever we can. According to the Environment Agency, the average person in England and Wales uses 150 litres of water a day, by 2020 the demand for water is predicted to rise by 800 million extra litres a day. We need to push to work in a more sustainable manner, reducing our carbon footprint and taking up greener lifestyles.
We mainly use water when washing or flushing the toilet, we also use lots when in the garden, cooking and drinking, and the rise in household appliances has led us to using 50 per cent more water than 25 years ago.
The average British family uses 500 litres a day and that is equal to a whopping 1.5 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year. Not only will saving water cut utility bills and leave more money in your pocket but it will mean that there is more water in the reservoirs in times of drought. Making efforts to not waste water can benefit society as a whole and it is more important than many think.
We can really implement policies and change our activities, this will ensure future generations will have access to fresh water, our ecosystem will remain intact and also habitats for animals can be preserved with us producing less waste water.
We should look at our water consumption around all aspects of our lives and particularly when in the home. This extends to the kitchen, bathroom, in the garden and also when teaching young children. We have compiled 25 ways to really make sure you are making efforts to save water in your life:
General household tips
1. Buy a water meter
Buy installing a meter you can actually change the way you are charged for your water consumption. With a meter you will be charged for the exact amount of water you use and not a fixed tariff. This means you will become more frivolous with your usage and watch the amounts of water you are using. In Some areas water companies are looking at universal water metering which means everyone will be given a meter.
2. Check pipes for leaks
A small drip or leak in any pipe can waste gallons of water every day while larger leaks can result in hundreds of gallons being wasted. Have a scout around the house to see if everything is in order.
It may be advisable to contact a specialist who can come and survey your property, experts will be able to asses any leaks and undertake any repair work. A bill which shows a higher water consumption than usual might indicate a leaking pipe.
If you are on a meter it is advisable to keep a record of your monthly water usage so you can quickly indicate an anomaly or possible leak.
3. Only wash full loads when washing clothes
When putting a wash on you should use the appropriate amounts of water, around 90% of energy consumption used when washing is for heating the water before the wash. Use cool water when possible and wait until you have enough washing to make the wash worthwhile.
4. Report broken pipes to your housing provider
If you are living in rented accommodation or under a housing provider then you should report any leak you find quickly. This will ensure the problem won’t indicate and also the issue can be fixed quickly so that utility bills do not rise.
Tips for Kitchen
5. Turn the tap off properly
Turn off the taps in your kitchen properly, a dripping tap can waste lots of water. If there is an issue with the tap itself and there is a constant drip then fix it with a bit of DIY. If you can’t manage that then a plumber will get to the source of the problem.
6. Wash fruit and veg in a bowl of water, don’t keep the tap running
Rinsing food under running water can waste liters upon litres of water, by filling a bowl with a shallow amount of water you can save many litres.
7. Wait until the dishwasher has a full load before running it
Wait until you have enough dirty pots and pans before starting a new wash, this will mean you are putting the dishwasher on a lot less times and over a year the savings can be huge.
8. Wait until the dishwasher has a full load before running it
Don’t rinse the dishes before they go in the dishwasher, most new models are powerful enough to handle even the dirtiest of dishes and you will be wasting water by running them under the tap.
9. When washing the dishes by hand and don’t let the water run
If you have a double basin sink you can fill one side with soapy water for cleaning and the other side with clean water for a rinse. By filling up the sink once with water you will save water as opposed to leaving the tap running and it is also more economical than using the dishwasher.
10. Use one drinking receptacle per day
If you stick to using one glass or bottle per day to drink your water from you will save on water used on rinsing or washing
11. Keep a cold bottle of water in the fridge
This will mean there is no need to keep running the tap to fill up a new glass, this also ensures less wastage is created when waiting for the colder fresher water to begin running. Water which has been chilled in the fridge is also more refreshing than water straight from the tap.
12. Cook food in as little water as possible
This also extends to the thawing out of frozen food, instead of running it under the tap it should be placed in the fridge to defrost. When cooking pasta or boiling any vegetables using the optimum amounts of water, this will also save on cooking times and reduce utility bills.
13. Buy an energy efficient dishwasher
When looking for a new dishwasher look for an eco-friendly model, most dishwashers these days have a special energy efficient mode which uses less power. Energy efficient models are also excellent and cleaning the dishes and these days some only use as little as 6.2 litres of water to clean a full load (less than a sink of water).
In the bathroom:
14. Shorten your showers
One way to cut down water usage is when in the shower, by cutting down the length of time you spend cleaning yourself you can save. Speng less time there and even consider taking a radio into the bathroom and try to stay in the shower for one song or less. Installing a low-flow showerhead will save you money, initially there is an upfront cost but utility bills will tumble once it is being used regularly.
Challenge yourself to take shorter showers and reap the benefits later, one minute less in the shower won’t mean you smell. If you are really adventurous you can take showers together with your partner!
15. Take showers over baths
Showers use much less water than baths, while a bath can use between 40 to 50 gallons of water a 10 minute shower will only use 15 gallons.
16. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth
If the tap is running while you are brushing your teeth then you are literally throwing money down the drain. Turn the tap off for the duration of your brushing and consider how many minutes you are there for, there is no need to keep the tap running throughout.
17. Put a cistern in your toilet to save on flush water
Using a floating device will reduce the amounts of water used during a flush, even consider purchasing a low-flow toilet model. The low-flow models uses as little as 1.6 gallons per flush whilst older designs could use 5 gallons. The average person goes to the toilet 5 times per day so the amount of water you are using really adds up.
18. Rinse your razor in the sink
Much like when you use your toothbrush, when using a razor you should fill the sink with an inch or two of warm water instead of running the tap. Over a lifetime of shaving the amount of water you can save can be huge.
19. Turn off the water when washing your hair
By turning off the water when you are applying shampoo you will save lots of water. 2 gallons of water can be wasted per minute when you are showering, turn each shower into a “power shower” the difference to you bank account will be huge.
20. Drop tissues in the bin and not the bath, this will
Toilets will use less water and energy when flushing if there is no toilet tissues or paper in with the flush. Put a bin in the bathroom to encourage your family and friends to dispose of their paper differently.
21. Check your showerhead for leaks
A leaking shower head can lead to a leaky wallet, a small drip can waste gallons of water per day. 10 drips per minute will waste 500 gallons a year which is enough to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher. Most leaky shower heads can be fixed by ensuring connections are tight by using a spanner and pipe tape
Saving water when in the garden:
22. Don’t run the hose when washing your car
Instead of running the hose and wasting gallons upon gallons of water if is advisable to fill a bowl with enough soapy water to clean your car or cars. If you do insist in using a hose then make sure it has a trigger function, this will give it an automatic shut off and also will give you a variety of spray options which are more effective and efficient.
23. Dont water your lawn as regularly
Everyone wants a lush green lawn but there is no point in watering it if it is raining. Water your plants in the morning or the evening and not in the midday sun, the sun will evaporate any fresh water and it could dry out your plants quicker.
24. When you are giving your pet fresh water throw the old water over plants
Any left over water can be recycled and used to water any plants in the house or in the garden, you won’t then need to run a tap or hose again
25. Teach your children the value of saving water
Bad habits start at a young age so if you have children you should start teaching them the importance of saving water as young as possible. Incorporate fun and games or rewards into the process so it appeals to them. It might not seem like it but learning how to save water can be fun!
We use water for many reasons in our day to day lives, from going to the toilet to washing the car or doing the dishes. The costs can really add up as can the environmental impact if we don’t try to adapt our usage and try to save water. By following the 25 steps above you can directly have a positive impact on the environment and your bank account.
Most of the above can be achieved with a DIY approach but it may take a little more or the use of a plumber to check your pipes or if anything else goes wrong. It really is amazing how much money can be saved in the long run with the implementation of a water saving approach. Don’t just think about it, do it, afterall ever drop really does count!
To find out more about the services Conway Valley Plumbing & Heating offer, or to have a chat about what we could do for you, simply call us on 01492 554 000 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org