The best tips to reduce your water waste (and save money)
31 Days, 31 Ways to an eco-friendly New Year
Day 15 - Save water
Humans depend on the tiny percentage of water on earth that isn’t contained in the oceans (97.5% and too salty for us to use) and in the ice caps (most of the remaining 2.5%). We use this water for drinking, washing, cleaning and in farming and production. This all puts a great strain on our water resources.
One of the biggest contributors to water shortage is climate change. And this will only get worse. According to the UK Environment Agency, we, in England, are facing shortages by 2050 unless we save water fast.
Here are 13 ways that you can start saving water, and as water becomes more and more expensive, money too.
- Turn off your taps. You can save 6 litres of water a minute just by turning off your tap while you brush your teeth. Leaky taps can also mean 60 litres of water wasted every week.
- Eat better and seasonally. Rearing animals for meat and certain crops like avocados are very water intensive. Eat less meat and instead consume more seasonal veggies.
- Save in the shower. A power shower uses up to 17 litres of water a minute! Take shorter showers and/or switch to a water-saver shower head.
- Save up your dirty clothes until you have a full load.
- Get a low-flush toilet or a water-saving bag for the cistern cutting your flush from 13 litres to 4-6 litres. With the average household flushing the loo 5,000 times a year, that’s a lot of water saved.
- Boil only the water you need in the kettle.
- Steam your veggies rather than boiling. Cut your water waste and retain more nutrients. If you do boil, you can use the leftover water as a stock for soups or let it cool and water your herbs and plants.
- Reduce your food waste. Your food has used a lot of water to get to your plate. More than half of the 7 million tonnes of food and drink binned in the UK every year could have been consumed. Plus this could save you £540 a year.
- Time your gardening. Water your garden in the early morning so the water doesn’t evaporate and water at the roots. Make sure you leave out a water container with stones in it for the birds and bees.
- Install a water butt. You could catch 5,000 litres of free rainwater a year.
- Use a dishwasher instead of washing up. A filled-up dishwasher uses less water than doing it by hand.
- Check your pipes. Especially in the kitchen and for slow leaks.
- Don’t fund the water-grabbers. There are companies and investors who buy up land and deny local people access to water, pollute the waterways and cause pollution. Be aware about where your savings and pensions are invested.