Most of us are so used to having constant access to fresh and clean water that we take it for granted. Unfortunately, what many of us don’t realise is that water is a finite resource and one day, it will run out. The United Nations has already warned us that five billion people could be affected by water shortages by 2050, so it’s crucial that we change the way we use water and find ways of cutting down our consumption.
It’s important that we reconsider how much water we are using in our day to day lives and try to reduce our consumption where we can. It’s important to remember that the little things add up to make a big difference! In this article, the team at Pure Salt have outlined some easy ways that you can start to reduce your water footprint around the house.
5 ways to reduce water usage in the kitchen!
- Wash clothes on a shorter cycle
Washing machines use an average of 55 litres of water per cycle which is 39% of what the average person uses per day! You can cut this down however by running your clothes on a shorter cycle that will use less water and also limiting the number of washes you do to 1-2 times per week.
- Only use the dishwasher for full loads
Your dishwasher is another water-heavy appliance. Each cycle uses an average of 15 litres of water – 11% of the water you use every day. To make each cycle as water-efficient as possible, make sure that you’re only running the dishwasher when it’s completely full. If you find that you struggle to fill the dishwasher completely, maybe consider downsizing to a smaller appliance that’s better suited to your needs.
- Reuse your cooking water
When draining pasta, rice or potatoes, make sure that you catch the water that goes through the colander. Allowing this water to go down the sink is a waste – this is water that could be used elsewhere. Your leftover cooking water can be used for gardening, watering your plants or cleaning your car.
- Avoid rinsing dirty dishes
Rinsing your dirty dishes before putting them in the dishwasher might seem like a good idea however this is an unnecessary use of your water that quickly adds up. Instead, scrape any leftover food into the bin and then put the dishes into the dishwasher – the machine will be perfectly capable of taking care of the rest of the work!
- Use the right size pans when cooking
When cooking with larger pots and pans, it’s easy to overfill them with far more water than you actually need. To avoid this, always use the correct size of pan to ensure you’re not wasting water whilst cooking.
5 ways to reduce water usage in the bathroom!
- Take showers instead of baths
Running a bath uses more than two times the amount of water than having a shower does. Switching from baths to showers is one of the easiest and most effective ways to cut down your water consumption. Having an occasional bath is okay, but try to only have them as a treat and not on a regular basis.
- Get a water-saving showerhead
Water-saving showerheads run at a lower flow than a regular shower head and in doing so, cut down the amount of water you use, without you even realising. Whilst a standard showerhead will use around 12-22 litres of water per minute whilst running, a water-saving showerhead can save more than 26 litres of water for an average 7-minute shower.
- Get water-saving taps
Like a water-saving showerhead, water-saving taps run at a slightly lower flow so that you can save water without even realising you are.
- Turn off the tap whenever you can
A running tap uses 6 litres of water per minute, so leaving on the tap whilst shaving or brushing your teeth quickly adds up! Whenever you’re not using the water, make sure to switch off the tap.
- Time your showers
It can be easy to lose track of time in the shower, but those extra minutes can quickly add up! To make sure that you’re not spending more time than you need in the shower, use a timer to keep your showers as efficient as possible. For maximum conservation, it’s recommended that you spend 5 minutes on average in the shower, so use your timer to try and stick to this allotted time.
5 ways to reduce water usage around the house!
- Fix leaks as soon as you find them
Make sure to regularly check around your home for leaks and promptly fix any leaks that you do find. The average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, which is a huge amount!
- Regularly check your water meter
Your water meter is a device in your home that measures the amount of water you’re using. A really easy way to reduce your water consumption is to regularly check your water meter and monitor your consumption to ensure you’re not overusing without realising. If your water consumption is unusually high, it might be an indicator of leaks in your house that you haven’t identified yet.
- Drain the water from your roof
Did you know that the average house roof collects enough rainwater in a year to fill around 450 water butts? This is a huge amount of water that can be repurposed to clean your car or water your plants.
- Drink from the same glass or a reusable water bottle
Getting enough water throughout the day is essential for your health. However, often the glasses of water we pour ourselves end up unfinished and go down the sink at the end of the day. To avoid this from happening, start drinking from a reusable water bottle or from the same glass throughout the day to reduce your number of unfinished drinks.
- Minimise using the hosepipe
Using a hosepipe for cleaning the patio or steps outside might seem like the most convenient way to clean however hosepipes use lots of water. Where you can, use a dry broom and brush to clean your patio and a bucket of water for scrubbing any marks or dirt.
5 ways to reduce water usage in the garden!
- Collect rainwater in a water barrel
Getting a water barrel for your garden is a great way to quickly catch a huge amount of water after a rainfall which can be repurposed for watering your plants and lawn. This means you don’t have to get this water from a tap or hosepipe, reducing your water footprint.
- Only do gardening in the evenings
Gardening during the day when the sun is at its hottest can cause the water you use on your plants and lawn to evaporate quicker. This means it will take more water to keep your plants healthy. If you garden in the evenings, you avoid this from happening and the water you use on your plants will go further.
- Take care of your soil
Looking after the soil in your garden by adding organic matter will help it to retain moisture and reduce the number of times you need to water your plants and flowers.
- Use the right amount of water
You might be surprised to hear that the majority of people actually over water their plants and flowers in an attempt to help them grow. Not only is this damaging to your plants but is also a waste of water. To avoid overwatering your plants, research the amount of water that your garden actually needs and don’t go above this amount whilst gardening.
- Water your garden by hand
Using a sprinkler from a standard garden hose for one hour uses about 1,020 gallons of water on average. Instead, hand water your plants and lawn. This will massively cut down the amount of water you’re using in the garden.
Katie Myers is an English Literature graduate and content writer for Pure Salt. She produces a range of visual and written content on a variety of topics, and some of her favourite things to write about include the environment, gardening and mental health. When she isn’t creating content, she is usually either reading, running or buying plants.