Zero Waste – How to Save Water

May 30, 2018 Environment
save water

Water in the home

We take water for granted in the UK. When we turn a tap on we just expect it to be there. Water is essential for us to live and we need to start thinking about how we use it and how we can save water.  We need to start saving water to ensure we safeguard it for our future and children’s future.

The amount of water we use each day has increased significantly over the past 200 or so years.  In the 1800s one person in the UK would have managed with 18 litres a day. By 1930 the amount this had risen to 126 litres. 

We are using more and more water in the home.  This is a result of more people having appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. Each person in England and Wales now uses an average of between 135 and 150 litres of water every day.

Water is used for so many things.  We don’t just use water for drinking. We wash in it, clean with it, and use it to produce everything from clothing to food. Fresh water supplies are being used faster than ever for food production, growing crops and feed for livestock.

Why do we need to save water?

In the latest report from the UK Environment Agency – The State of the Environment: Water Resources it says that climate change and demand from a growing population are the biggest pressures on the availability of water. Without action to increase supply, reduce demand and cut down on wastage, many areas in England could see significant supply deficits by 2050 – particularly in the south east.

The report highlights unsustainable levels of water abstraction (taking water out of the ground), leakage from water companies – currently estimated at 3 billion litres per day – and demand from industry and the public as three of the issues to tackle in order to protect the water environment. 

So, what can we do as “the public” to help save water.

We can all do our bit to help save water and by doing so we could also save money.  In the UK each household uses on average around 330 litres each day. Heating water for showers, baths and hot water from the tap can add up to on average about £80 a year.

What Can we do to save water?

So, what can we do as “the public” to help save water?

If we all make a few small changes to save water it will all add up and make a big difference.  And, don’t forget by doing so we could also save money.  In the UK each household uses on average around 330 litres each day. Heating water for showers, baths and hot water from the tap can add up to on average about £80 a year.

Have a look below and you’ll find 10 ways to help save water.

Save water

10 Ways to Save Water

Taps

Turn off your taps and save water.  If you leave the tap running when you’re brushing your teeth that can use up to 6 litres of water in a minute.

Showers

A power shower can use up to 17 litres of water a minute, keep it short.

A good option for saving water is to use a showerhead with an eco-setting. This means you can choose when to put it into water-saving mode. You may opt for the eco-setting when you’re having a quick shower but select normal mode when you’re washing your hair.

Washing your Hair

Save time and water by reducing the number of times you wash your hair each week and use a dry shampoo in between instead.  Aveda do a great dry shampoo.

Get a low-flush toilet

How many times a day do you flush the loo?  The average UK household flushes the loo 5,000 times per year. Just in one day the amount of water you flush away is probably more than you drink in a month. 

Old style loos use around 13 litres of water per flush.  If you’ve got a modern dual-flush loo they use a lot less, just 6 litres – or 4 with a reduced flush.

If you have an old-style loo but can’t invest in a new one, get a water-saving bag for your old-style toilet.

Save water washing up

It is so much better to fill up your dishwasher completely each time you run it, you’ll use less water than you would doing the washing up. 

If there aren’t many of you in the family think about getting a smaller capacity dishwasher or you may end up running out of cups and plates waiting for them to be washed!  

Washing Machine

Save up that pile of washing.  Washing a full machine load of clothes uses less water and energy than 2 half-loads. You’ll save money as well as you’ll be using less energy.

Cooking

Steam your food to cut water usage and retain more of the natural nutrients.

If you do boil, try using the leftover water as a tasty stock for soups but I would only do this with organic root vegetables, otherwise let it cool and use it to water plants.

Reduce Food Waste

It takes a lot of water to produce our food so don’t waste it.

For tips on how to reduce food waste why not check out my Easy Tips to Reduce Food Waste Blog

Gardening

If you must water the plants in your garden, then do it in the early morning or at the end of the day. This stops water immediately evaporating in sunlight and heat.

Water onto the soil rather than leaves so that the liquid goes straight to the roots, where it’s needed and mulch.  Up to 70% of water can evaporate from the soil on a hot day so adding a layer of mulch really helps stop the moisture escaping.

Choose your pots carefully, clay ones are porous and will lose moisture, choose a glazed pot that will retain moisture.  You can also add some water retaining crystals to your potting mixture. 

Save rainwater

Make use of all that rain we have and install a water butt.  It can save up to 5,000 litres of water a year.  You can use it to water your plants, indoors and out. 

What will you do to save water?

If we all do a little bit it will save a lot.  Why not think about how you can start saving water today?

11 Replies to “Zero Waste – How to Save Water”

  1. Wow I didn’t realise how much water was used doing the dishwasher and the washing x

  2. Jenny says:

    We never water the garden (my hose broke) so it makes us very careful to use native plants instead. We have two massive rainwater tanks but unfortunately last summer my toddlers found them and turned the taps on…so waiting for them to refill again! Some great tips here.

  3. Melanie says:

    Never thought about my water waste before. Good point and will be trying to cut down x

  4. Jenni says:

    Some great tips here! I didn’t know about the showers – I’d only ever been told showering was better than bathing to save water.

  5. Scarlett says:

    Fantastic article, I think it is very important to safe water. Thank you for sharing your tips.

  6. Great tips here. We are always trying to be careful with water, especially since we moved to a house with a water meter. I never really thought of saving rainwater though, until now 🙂

  7. Claire says:

    There’s some fab tips here. I do most of these already but I’d never thought about having a water butt outside for watering the plants etc and I’m definitely going to do this! Thanks!!!

  8. My dad always used the rainwater. So natural and yet easy to do right? I must say that I am sometimes guilty of having long showers…

  9. We are becoming more aware of our water consumption since moving to Portugal. We also only water our garden at night (via irrigation) to reduce evaporation. However some neighbours water during the day which as you’ve pointed out is bad, especially during summer.

  10. Sophie says:

    These are all so helpful and simple! If we all do a little bit to save water, it will make a big difference. My tip is always – get leaks looked at by a plumber as soon as you notice them. A leaky tap or toilet will waste a LOT of water.

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