Did you know that less than 5% of an average household’s water consumption is drinking water? Almost a quarter of the water you use in your home gets flushed down the toilet, and nearly a third is used for baths and showers, according to figures from Thames Water. There are lots of water-saving ideas on the Internet, so we’ve compiled 10 of the best for you.
In the kitchen
- Don’t rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher – modern dishwashers can cope with the dirt. Scrape off as much food as you can into your bin, then put them straight in the dishwasher. But remember, don’t put your dishwasher on until you have a full load. A half-full dishwasher uses as much water (and energy) as a full one.
- Keeping a large bottle of tap water in the fridge ensures you can have chilled water all the time. Waiting for the tap to run cold can waste more than 10 litres of water a day.
- If you accidentally drop ice cubes, don’t throw them in the sink – drop them into the top of houseplant pot instead.
In the bathroom
- Have a Navy shower. Water is scarce on board a ship so a Navy shower involves turning off the water while you are lathering up and shampooing your hair. It saves water, and energy that’s heating the water if you're using a combi-shower.
- Take a shorter shower. One minute less could save up to 7 litres of water.
- Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth. This saves up to 6 litres of water a minute.
- Fit your toilet with a ‘hippo’, a bag (available free from your water company, usually) that could help you save up to 3.5 litres of water per flush.
In the garden
- Up to 85,000 litres of water falls on a property’s roof every year, which is enough to fill 400 standard water butts. Install water butts on your drainpipes, and keep your garden green for free.
- Water your plants early in the morning or in the evening to reduce evaporation, and water them only when they need it – more plants die from over-watering than under-watering. Check it’s not forecast to rain before you water, too.
- A hose with the tap turned on full can use up to 320 litres of water in half an hour: try washing your car with a bucket and sponge instead.