The coronavirus pandemic has forced many of us to stay at home whilst practicing social distancing. It’s important that whilst more of us are spending more time at home and indoors, we are mindful of the amount of water we’re using to help tackle water scarcity. Whilst we’re spending more time in our homes, now is a better time than any to start thinking about ways you can cut down on your water consumption. Not only is saving water beneficial for the environment but it also cuts down your water bills too, saving you money.
The team at Pure Salt have brought you their advice on the different ways that you can save water around the house whilst in lockdown.
Why is it Important that We Reduce Our Water Consumption?
So many of us have become so used to having access to fresh and clean water that we take it for granted. Unfortunately, this has caused many of us to be wasteful with our water consumption. It’s estimated that the average American uses about 575 litres of water a day, while the average European uses around 250 litres of water. In comparison, people in developing countries have about 19 litres to use every day.
Many people don’t realise that water is a finite substance that will eventually run out. The United Nations has already warned us that five billion people could be affected by water shortages by 2050 because of increased demand and polluted supplies. Water scarcity is an issue that will affect us all, so it’s crucial that we all do our bit to help ensure it’s distributed fairly.
Around the House:
1. Water saving taps
Water saving taps run at a slightly lower flow than a regular tap to make saving water easy. If possible, consider switching the taps in your house to water saving ones. There are a range of water saving taps available on the market to suit a range of budgets.
2. Check your water meter regularly
Regularly checking your water meter is an easy way to keep on top of your water usage. If your water usage is higher than you expect, then this could indicate that you have leaks that need fixing or that you need to cut down on your consumption in other ways.
3.Fix leaks around the house
A huge amount of water is wasted due to leaks around the house; the average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year. Make sure you regularly check for leaks around the house and promptly get them fixed.
In the Bathroom:
4. Don’t throw tissues in your toilet
Try not to use your toilet for used tissues if possible. Instead, throw them in the waste bin. A toilet uses 10 litres of water per flush, which can quickly add up if you’re using it more than you need.
5. Minimise the number of baths you have
Limiting the number of baths you have is one of the most effective ways of reducing your water consumption. Baths use over double the amount of water as a shower; it’s far better for the environment to shower. Baths can be a nice and relaxing treat, but try to only have them on a rare occasion and not to make them too frequent.
6. Time your showers
Experts have said that for maximum conservation, a 5 minute shower is ideal but the average person spends around 8 minutes in the shower. If you find you often lose track of time in the shower, you can try timing your showers to minimise the water you waste. You can also save water by switching off the shower whilst shampooing and conditioning your hair.
7. Water saving shower head
Water saving shower heads run at a lower flow to a regular shower head to save water. Whilst a standard shower head will use around 12-22 litres of water per minute whilst running a water saving shower head can save more than 26 litres of water for an average 7 minute shower.
8. Don’t leave the tap running
If you’re using the sink for shaving or brushing your teeth, make sure that you don’t leave the tap running for longer than you need. Switching off the tap when you can is an easy way to cut down your water consumption.
In the Kitchen:
9. Only use your dishwasher when it’s full
To minimise the amount of water your dishwasher is using, make sure that you wait until the dishwasher is completely full before using it. If you find it difficult to fill up your dishwasher with dirty dishes, then maybe rethink the size. A smaller dishwasher might be better suited to your households and will use less water for each cycle.
10. Wash clothes less frequently and on a shorter cycle
Out of all your household appliances, washing machines use some of the most water. Try and limit the number of washes you do to one or two a week and when choosing a cycle to wash your clothes on, make sure you choose the shortest and most efficient cycle.
11. Drink from the same glass or water bottle
When consuming water throughout the day, try and drink from the same glass or reusable water bottle. This will prevent you from forgetting about your drinks and letting them go to waste.
12. Save and repurpose cooking water
Each person uses around 7 litres of water on average each day from cooking. Some of this water can be collected. You can collect some of this water when draining food through a colander, and this water can be used for watering your plants or garden.
13. Don’t rinse your dishes
If you’re someone who usually rinses each of your dishes before cleaning them or putting them in the dishwasher, then reconsider this habit. If you need to prewash your dishes, soaking them in the same bowl or sink uses a lot less water than rinses each dish individually.
14. Use the correct size pan
To make sure you’re using no more water than you need whilst cooking, make sure you’re using the right size pans. A large pan will need a lot more water and energy to cook food than a smaller pan, so choose your pans carefully.
In the Garden:
15. Collect and reuse rainwater
Putting a large barrel or water butt outside is one of the easiest ways of saving water. The rainwater you collect is perfectly fine for gardening, cleaning your cars and many other household chores, and it’s completely free too!
16.Hand water your garden
Try and refrain from using a sprinkler in the garden to water your plants and lawn. Using a sprinkler from a standard garden hose for one hour uses about 1,020 gallons of water. Watering your garden by hand might seem like a bigger effort, but it will save you a huge amount of water.
17. Look after your soil
By improving the quality of your soil, you can increase the amount of moisture that it’s able to retain and reduce the amount of water your garden needs. Make sure that you add organic matter to your soil regularly to improve its ability to retain moisture.
18. Garden in the evenings
Gardening during the day when the sun is hot can cause the water you’re using to evaporate quicker. This can cause your garden to need more water than usual. To ensure this doesn’t happen, try and do your gardening in the evenings, especially in the summertime.
19. Don’t over-water your plants
It’s easy to assume that your plants and flowers need more water than they actually do and for this reason, the majority of people over-water their plants. Make sure you know how much water each of your plants realistically need to ensure you’re not over-watering them.
20. Collect water from the roof
The average house roof collects enough rainwater in a year to fill around 450 water butts, which is water that can be used for cleaning your car or watering your plants. Drain the water from your roof to repurpose around the house.