Switching to a more environmentally-friendly way of living is more important than ever these days, and reducing the amount of water you use is a great place to start. Although the world’s surface is covered in water, the majority of it is contained in seas and oceans where we can’t use it. In contrast, freshwater supplies are limited. By cutting our own water usage down, we can help protect the planet’s ecosystem, live more sustainably, and even save ourselves some money.
Below are some tips to help you use water more wisely. Some of them may seem obvious; however, the things we miss are often the ones right in front of us!
In the bathroom
- Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth – this can save a surprising six liters of water a minute
- Take showers instead of baths (or don’t fill your baths so high!) and keep your showers short. Switch to a more efficient showerhead to use even less water
- Use a cistern displacement device in your toilet tank to reduce the volume of water used in each flush. Some water companies provide these free of charge, or you can make your own by filling a water bottle or something similar with sand and putting it in the tank
In the kitchen
- Only boil as much water as you need when making hot drinks or cooking
- Don’t use your dishwasher until it has a full load, and use an eco setting if you can
- Cut down on eating meat and dairy, as these industries are extremely water-intensive
- Eat seasonal and local produce to make your diet even more environmentally-friendly
- Put lids on saucepans when cooking to avoid water being lost as it heats
- Use a washing up bowl instead of filling your whole sink with water when doing the dishes
- Fill up a jug with tap water and leave it in the fridge to avoid having to run the tap and wait for the water to get cold
Around the house
- Fix any dripping or leaking taps – this can save 15 liters of water a day. Certain air valves can also make water systems more economic
- Only use your washing machine with a full load of laundry, as this uses less water (and energy) than doing two half-full loads, and use an eco setting if you can
- Install a water meter to keep track of your water usage, and act as an incentive for you to use less
- Whenever you need to replace an appliance, try and go for an eco-friendly model
In the garden
- Install a rain barrel or two to collect rainwater, and use it for tasks such as watering your garden, washing your windows, and cleaning your car
- Use a watering can to water your garden instead of a hose
- Use mulch and bark to reduce evaporation by up to 75%, so you don’t have to water your garden as much. Watering your garden during cooler times of day will also help with this
- Choose drought-resistant plants for your garden that require less watering
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