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Water Saving Ideas for the Family
Water is an essential resource which is often taken for granted, yet over use can have serious consequences. While England’s notoriously rainy climate might indicate an abundance of water, there are parts of the country with water shortages, as odd as that may seem. Also, water usage is closely connected to energy usage, with all that entails regarding climate change. The Environment Agency reports that using hot water in the home (for cooking, cleaning and so on) contributes about 35 million tons of greenhouse gases a year.
Turn Off the Taps
Leaving a tap running while cleaning one’s teeth, or washing fruit and vegetables can waste about nine litres of water a minute. Here are some ways to cut down on wastage:
- save the cold water that comes through before a tap runs hot, and use it to water plants
- keep a jug of water in the fridge instead of waiting for the tap to run cold
- turn off the taps when you’re brushing your teeth or shaving
- wash fruit and vegetables in a washing-up bowl full of water instead of under a running tap
Flush Less Water Down the Toilet
Toilet flushing typically accounts for about a third of household water usage. There are however easy ways to reduce this:
- install a water displacement device (or ‘hippo’) in the cistern of a higher flush toilet – these reduce the amount of water used for each flush by one or two liters
- when buying a new toilet, choose a water-saving, low-flush or dual-flush version
- fit a variable flushing device to existing higher flush toilets – this will give you a choice of flush volumes to help save water
Take Shorter Showers
While showers generally use less water than a bath, high volume power showers use more. Cutting a minute off the time of a shower would add up to substantial savings over the course of a year. Using aerated shower heads reduces the amount of water in the flow, maintaining pressure by mixing air in with the water.
Fix Leaks and Dripping Taps
Fixing a dripping tap can save as much as 5000 liters a year, a substantial saving. Fixing leaks is essential in any case as they can seriously damage property.
Use Water Efficient Appliances
Buying a water-efficient dishwasher and washing machine can save on money, energy and water.
The amount of water consumed by dishwashers and washing machines can vary. All new dishwashers and washing machines have a European (EU) energy label, which tells you how efficient the appliance is at using energy. A is most efficient and G is least efficient. Similar information is not readily available concerning water efficiency, so Waterwise have ranked all washing machines and dishwashers in the UK according to their water efficiency.
Save Water in the Garden
Invest in a water butt to collect rain water, and use a watering can rather than a hose.