How to save water - small steps make a big difference
Water is all around us, but it remains one of our most precious resources. Here are 12 tips on how to save water, and be as savvy as possible when it comes to our consumption.
- Pick your cup
If you're often headed to the kitchen to make drinks, stick to the same cup. This will save you using multiple vessels and reduce washing up at the end of the day. Keep a refillable water bottle on hand too, and top this up as you need instead of using lots of glasses or, even worse, plastic cups.
- Load the dishwasher
Dishwashers use a lot of water and energy. It’s so important that you fill the dishwasher completely, even if this means waiting a couple of days before you run it.
- Tend to drips
That annoying little drop you hear after you turn off your shower or close the door on your toilet can rack up your water usage – just one small drip per minute equates to almost 53 gallons of water wasted per year.
- Fill the drum
Only run your washing machine once the drum is full – try and limit the number of cycles you put on each week and collate all the washing of everyone in your household. Need something urgently? Hand wash in a bowl and dry separately.
- Upgrade your shower
Love the feeling of being blasted by the water in your shower, but hate the environmental impact? Switching your showerhead to an energy-saving one will reduce the water you use, but maximise its impact. Try the Jetstorm Shower Head (ecocamel.com).
- Switch off while you soap
The aim of the game is to cut the time your shower is running, so by turning the water off whilst you apply soap, shave or lather your hair, you’ll save around two-thirds of your total water usage.
- Save your shower water
Every minute your shower is running uses up to 17 litres of water. Place a bucket under the head while it's heating up and use this water around the rest of your house - water your houseplants with it or take it into the garden to give parched grass a boost.
- Prevent leaks
Turn off the water at the source before going on holiday. You never know what's going to happen when you go away, but coming back to a burst pipe or leak is a surefire way of kickstarting the holiday blues.
- Ditch the sprinkler
It's lovely to see a lush green lawn in summer months, but running a sprinkler is a terrible drain on resources. Instead, wait until evening when the ground is cooler and the heat of the day has passed, and use a watering can instead of a sprinkler or hosepipe.
- Set a timer
It's easy to languish in a hot shower, but setting a timer will help you speed things up. Aim for five minutes, then reduce to four and then three. You could even get your family a little competitive on this one - whoever is the quickest (and cleanest!) gets the glory.
- Wash your hair less often
Somewhere along the lines, it feels like we were brainwashed into believing we needed to wash our hair every day. This is simply not the case. If anything you do more damage to your hair and strip its natural oils. Aim for every 2-3 days.
- Soak dishes
If you've ever opened your dishwasher to find your plates or pans less than sparkling, try giving them a quick soak in a washing up bowl with a little water. It's also more economical than scrubbing them under a flowing tap.