- Fix leaks as soon as you can. This will save water and could save you a lot of time and money repairing damage to beams, ceilings, paintwork, etc.
- Only wash clothes when you need to. Use your eyes and nose to decide whether something needs washing, rather than washing things just because they’ve been worn. This simple step will save water and energy.
- Do less washing up. If you drink from the same mug all day, you can save water by doing less washing up. Think about other items you wash up too. Does that saucepan lid really need cleaning?
- Use two bowls when washing up by hand. Using a bowl to wash up in saves water because the bowl is smaller than your sink. Add cold water to a second bowl to rinse. This will save water and energy compared to rinsing in running hot water.
- Take shorter showers. Allow yourself one song on the radio or set a timer to remind you to keep it short. A short shower is just as refreshing as a long one! Turn off the water when you’re applying shampoo or soap, or when you’re shaving, to save even more water.
- Turn off the tap when you’re cleaning your teeth. With millions of people all doing the same thing, this will save a lot of water.
- Flush sparingly. You’ve heard the saying, “if it’s yellow, let it mellow…”. Get out of the habit of flushing the toilet every time you go. Instead, consider whether it’s necessary. When you do flush, save water by using the low flush option, or add a brick or bottle full of water to the cistern to reduce the amount of water used. Alternatively, fit a dual-flush handle to your existing cistern.
- Buy water-efficient appliances. Look for washing machines, dishwashers and showers that use less water.
- Wash your car when it’s raining. Use a bucket for the soapy water, and let nature rinse.
Save more water at work
A lot of water is used in our workplaces. Become a ‘water champion’ in your workplace and see how much water you can save.
Choose just one of the suggestions listed below, action it and then revisit the list to choose what you want to do next. It’s perfectly natural to try to do everything at once, but we recommend taking one step at a time to avoid overwhelming your employer!
- Report leaks as soon as you notice them. If you notice a dripping tap, leaking pipe, or toilet/urinal that’s constantly flushing, report it to your facilities manager straight away. Keep an eye on it and chase them until the problem is rectified. This could save a lot of water, as small leaks are often not reported until they become a major issue. Once it is fixed, remember to thank whoever organised the repair.
- Suggest that movement sensors are fitted to urinals. Urinals used to be designed to constantly flush through with water. Fitting movement sensors linked to the flushing mechanism can save a lot of water by only flushing when the urinal is used. This will also save your employer a lot of money.
- Make suggestions. Take a look at the processes you use at work. Is there any way you could save water by doing things differently? Could less be wasted, or more recycled? Is there any need to use water at all for that particular purpose? (Some companies are now even washing potatoes with streams of air rather than water.)
- Check relevant policies. Is saving water mentioned at all? If not, ask your employer to implement a water efficiency policy. Emphasise to them how much money would be saved, as well as water.
Save water in your garden also
Are you one of the millions of people in the UK who loves gardens and gardening? Our gardens can be wonderful oases of beauty, but a lot of water can be used in their maintenance. Gardens are therefore ideal places to save water.
If you want to save water in your garden, choose just one of the suggestions listed below, action it and then revisit the list to choose what you want to do next. It’s perfectly natural to try to do everything at once, but we recommend taking one step at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
- Choose plants wisely. If you live in a particularly dry area or have very sandy soil, choose plants that do not need much water to thrive. This will save water used to keep them alive, as well as saving considerable time watering in the first place. If you’re not sure what plants thrive in dry conditions, ask at your local nursery or garden centre.
- Fit water butts to guttering downpipes. This allows you to see how much water you’re using, which will encourage you to save water. Rainwater is also better for plants than tap water, and using rainwater does, of course, save potable tap water.
- Use a watering can. This will encourage you to save water by aiming carefully and only watering plants that absolutely need it.
- Don’t water plants unless they need it. Unless it’s very dry, most established plants will survive perfectly well without being watered. What a great way to save water and time!
- Water well. If you do need to water your plants, you can save water by giving them a long drink, but doing so less frequently. This encourages plants to send their roots further down into the soil, rather than staying near the surface where they’ll dry out more quickly.
- Use mulch. After rain, or after you’ve watered, apply a layer of mulch (grass cuttings, compost, well-rotted manure, etc) to the soil. This will help to keep the moisture in and save water by reducing the need for watering.
- Water when it’s cooler. Watering in the morning or evening saves water because it has a chance to soak into the soil where it’s needed rather than evaporating.
- Raise the blade on your lawnmower. Longer grass is more resilient than shorter grass, so if you set your lawnmower blade a few centimetres higher, this allows you to save water and gives you a greener lawn.