How much water do you use in a day? And could you save water at home? Those are two questions I got asked a little while ago, while joining in with Hubbub and Affinity Water’s #TapChat campaign. It turns out, I use a lot more water than I thought… And especially around the house!
Despite the UK being known for grey clouds and downpours, we actually often experience water shortages in London and the Southeast of England. We have the perfect recipe for these shortages: less rain, lots of people, and high water use. Yes, you heard that right – we’re all using far too much water!
So, I took it upon myself to find a few ways to save on water around my home – and hopefully, you’ll be able to do some of these too!
Where Does Our Water Come From?
First, I thought it would be worth explaining where tap water comes from. Surprisingly, most of the water we use in our homes comes from rain.
To ensure there is always enough, water companies source rainwater from three places:
- Groundwater reserves
Of course, all of these water sources are cleaned before they get to our pipes, taps, and faucets. But understanding that mix leads us onto the next issue…
Why Is It Important To Save Water?
Most of the time, the water we use is collected locally. That means for areas like London, there’s a lot more demand, and a lot more pressure to get water from our local environment.
When you look out the window, or go to your local body of water, you may think that there’s plenty of water to go round. However, the increased demand in water over time has led to environmental issues such as:
- Lower water levels in rivers
- Less habitat for fish and wildlife
- More strain on water systems
- More frequent water shortages now and in the future
And if we continue to use an average of 150 litres of water each day, it could lead to more water shortages in the future.
Plus, I have to add that the benefits of saving water are great: lower bills, more time out of the shower, and more money to spend on stuff that I actually enjoy!
Quiz: How Much Water Do You Use?
So, are you ready to find out what kind of water user you are? Take the #TapChat quiz to find out, and read on for tips on how to save water.
9 Ways To Save Water At Home
1. Choose The Right Flush
Ok, so sharing a flush (especially in a shared house) isn’t exactly the nicest tip to start us off with. However, you can still save litres and litres of water by simply choosing the right flush on a dual-flush toilet. Small = small flush, large = large flush. It’s simple and effective!
2. Spend Less Time In The Shower
Out of the 150 litres of water we use each day, around 25% is spent in the shower. I’m really bad for this – I love a long shower. Over the past few weeks, I’ve tried to find ways to reduce this.
My pro tip: put on a playlist when going for a shower. You’ll know how long you’re taking based on how many songs you get through, and you can try to take a shorter shower each time!
I also now time my showers more carefully – for example, I’ll time a hair wash for after a run, rather than taking two showers. (And natural deodorant goes a long way!)
And if you hate the cold water that comes before a shower, why not run this into a bucket or watering can? Your plants will thank you.
3. Hang Your Clothes Up After Wearing Them
Did you know, you can reduce how often you need to wash your clothes simply by hanging them up? Yup, every time you take off an item, give it the scent check and either hang it, fold it, or if you have to, put it for wash. Washing clothes less is a great way to take care of clothes, and save water!
4. Keep A Cup Handy
Are you like me, and you’ll use a new mug every time you make a cup of tea? Or perhaps you find yourself in a house littered with half-drunk water glasses? Yeah, I’m bad for this, and surprisingly it can waste a lot of water in the process. Try keeping one cup or one glass with you throughout the day, so you reduce on water waste, and washing up too!
5. Get A Laundry Basket
One area I’m actually pretty good at already is laundry. Washing machines use a lot of water – about 9% of our daily water use – so if you can, wait until you’ve got a full load before washing clothes. Our laundry basket is always full before we put a load on (often not by design…)
6. Report Leaks To Your Landlord
Something as simple as a dripping tap can waste 15 litres a day. A running toilet can waste between 215-400 litres of water a day. So, make sure to report those leaks!
My landlord already knows us quite well, having reported a water leak from our shower in June. This month, we had our kitchen ceiling and shower completely replaced – so fixing a leak can also save your landlord time and money too!
7. Turn Off The Tap When You Can
Did you know, 68% of people still leave the tap on when brushing their teeth? Yeah, don’t do that. Similarly, try keeping the tap off when washing your face. I like to use a cream cleanser, so I’ll apply this to my face first before then running the water to rinse off.
8. Only Run The Dishwasher When Full
If you’re a lucky soul and have a dishwasher at home, try only putting it on when it’s full. While dishwashers tend to use a little less water than hand-washing dishes, that can all be undone if you don’t fill it up first. It’ll save you on water and energy bills too!
9. Wash Up All Together
And whether you live in a shared flat or a family home, try washing up all together. Doing it all in one go can actually save water, especially if you’re using a sink bowl to catch the hot soapy water.