Find out about small changes you can make every day not only to save water, energy and money but also to help protect the environment and future water supplies.
Most of us don’t know how much water we use each day. Our recent research shows that 46 per cent of people believe their household uses under 20 litres a day (roughly equivalent to taking a 2-minute shower) when the true figure is closer to 142 litres per person per day. This means an average family of four in the UK could use more than 500 litres each day.
By making small changes such as turning the tap off when brushing your teeth or swapping a bath for a short shower, you’re not only helping to save water but energy and money too, as well as protecting the environment and future supplies.
How to find out more:
Helpful hints to enjoy this summer in the garden
Reuse paddling pool water
Don’t forget to keep the water in your paddling pool for another day, or reuse it to water your flowerbeds.
Don't wash your car - or use a bucket
Be proud to have a dirty car this summer! Just washing your windscreen cuts your water usage dramatically. If you do have to wash your car, use a bucket rather than a hose. This can save approximately 220 litres of water.
Refill your paddling pool or hot tub less often
Use a Scum Balls in your pool or spa to help prevent the formation of scum lines and reduce foaming. Simply place the Scum Ball into a clean pool or hot tub to absorb more than 40 times its weight in body oils and lotions.
Wash the dog outside instead of a bath
If you own a dog, consider washing them outside instead of the bath during warmer weather. Excess water can be soaked up through the grass or be used to water the plants.
Find out how to grow plants successfully and reduce water consumption
Install a water butt in the garden
The average roof collects 85,000 litres of rain a year, enough to fill a water butt 450 times, so help your garden and your wildlife by saving your water from the drain. If it's going to rain, transfer the water in your water butts to watering cans or buckets to save even more water.
Use a watering can instead of a hose
A hose can use enough water to fill twelve baths every hour! So use a watering can when you can. Garden sprinklers and hosepipes left running can use between 500 and 1,000 litres of water an hour.
Plant drought resistant plants
Climate change means our summers are getting drier and so plant plants which tolerate drier conditions and relieve the pressure on our water and our environment.
Add mulch to save water
Adding mulch to your beds not only suppresses weeds and improves the soil, it also helps soil retain water in the summer (up to 75%), saving both water and the environment.
Stop watering your lawn
Wait for the rain to water your lawn. It’s ok to let your grass go brown during dry spells – it will bounce back as soon as it rains again.
Reuse your bathwater for watering
Reuse your bathwater to water your houseplants or garden (but not on fruit and veg or for water fights!)
Plant native plants
Plants native to the UK have lower water and fertiliser requirements and fewer pest problems than exotic or non-native plants.
Use a hosepipe nozzle
If you have to use a hosepipe, attach a trigger nozzle which will halve the amount of water used and help direct the flow to the root of your plants.
Use an Antimicrobial silver disc in your water butt
It keeps the water fresh and clean and germ free.
Water your plants at cooler times of the day
Water your plants early in the day or when the sun's gone down. At cooler times of the day water doesn't evaporate as much, so your plants will retain more moisture and won't need watering as much.
Double pot your plants
Stop water from dripping out of your plant pots with a second pot or tray to catch it. Don't forget to reuse the excess water soon.
Don't cut your grass too short
Shorter grass dries out quicker so needs watering more often. Watering using a hose or sprinkler uses enough water to fill 12 baths every hour. So water less by growing your grass longer.
Find out easy ways to save water around the house
Taking shorter showers
Baths and showers can use a huge amount of water – today, approximately 34% of our daily water use is our bath or shower. Switching from a bath to a shower will help, but the average showerhead still uses 12 litres of water a minute, so reduce your daily shower time to save water, and you’ll also save the energy used to heat it.
Turning off the tap when brushing your teeth
Remember to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth as a running tap wastes approximately six litres a minute which is 24 litres a day!
Use water twice in the kitchen
Try to reuse water whenever you can, for example using a bowl or jug to collect the water when rinsing vegetables. Keep a jug of water in the fridge to avoid running the tap until it is cold enough to drink.
Don't run your dishwasher unless it is full
Don’t use your dishwasher until it is full and save water and energy. There is no need to rinse first. Dishwashers are very efficient at cleaning and generally use less water than washing the dishes by hand.
Don’t wash your hair everyday
Don’t wash your hair everyday to save water – or use dry shampoo. Washing your hair too often can damage it by removing it's natural oils.
Have a less deep bath
Running your bath just an inch shorter than usual will save on average 5 litres of water.
Use bath water for watering
Use bath water to water plants, (but not fruit & veg) or flush the toilet with a bucket.
Use your dual-flush
Dual-flush toilets have two buttons that allow different quantities of water to flow. The lower flush typically saves two litres per flush. (And make sure it's not leaking!)
Wait for a full load before running your washing machine
Washing machines use roughly 60 litres per cycle, so only wash clothes when you have a full load and use the Eco button.
Cut down on utensils and cups
Use the same glass, mug or cup to drink out of all day to reduce the water you use washing up. (But don’t cut down on the amount of water you drink). The less pots/pans and utensils you use when cooking, the less water you need to wash up.
Easy tips to make your home water efficient
Do you have a leaky loo?
A single leaking toilet wastes an average of between between 215 and 400 litres of water per day! You can easily check if you have water leaking from the cistern to the pan. Add a few drops of food colouring into your toilet cistern, leave it for an hour and if the water has changed colour in the pan you have a leak! The good news is that your water company may be able to fix it for free but if not it’s a simple fix for a plumber.