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Blog Post 23 April 2024 Updated 14 May 2024

Nine popular water saving tips – suggested by you

With warmer weather comes the need to think about how much water we’re using.

Being a bit more careful with your water use can help reduce the risk of a hosepipe ban in your area. But saving water also means saving energy, which helps lower your bills and your carbon footprint.

With that in mind, we asked for your best tips for saving water at home as part of a prize draw in collaboration with B&Q. Here are some of our favourites tips.

 

1. Spend less time in the shower

Your top tip: “Timing for children’s showers. We make a game of it – when the buzzer goes off your time is over!”

Many of the tips we had suggested showering for three to five minutes, and using an egg timer to make sure you don’t go over.

One tip was to find a four-minute song and end the shower when the song finishes.

Here’s a Spotify playlist of four-minute shower songs from WaterAid. Some of the highlights include:

  • The Final Countdown – Europe
  • Water Under The Bridge – Adele
  • Material Girl – Madonna
  • All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix
  • Your Song – Elton John

Rocking out in the shower for four minutes could save a typical household in Great Britain £55 a year, and £70 in Northern Ireland, on their heating bill.

2. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth

Your top tip: “Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth. Just enough on for a rinse.”

Another popular tip, and a simple one at that. Although most of the suggestions we got specifically mentioned brushing your teeth, it also applies while applying soap, shampoo or shower gel when you’re showering too.

Turning the tap off when you don’t need it saves the typical household 9,000 litres of water a year.

For more tips, take a look at our blog on saving energy in the bathroom.

3. Reuse water

Your top tip: “Wash your veggies in a bowl instead of under running water, then use the water to flush your toilet or water your garden.”

We had several clever solutions to reuse water, including:

  • Using water from the washing up bowl to water your plants
  • Reusing bath water to wash your patio
  • When waiting for the hot tap to warm up, collect the cold water in a jug and pour into the toilet rather than flushing
  • Reusing the water you boil vegetables in to make gravy

4. Get a water butt to collect rainwater

Your top tip: “Lots of water butts to collect rainwater so you never have to use the hose in summer.”

This was one of the most popular water saving tips. Take advantage of the less-than-perfect UK weather and store rainwater to use later.

You can attach a hosepipe to the water butt and use it to water your garden. Also, as Gardener’s World points out, you can use the water from the water butt even during a hosepipe ban. That’s so long as the water butt has been fed by rainwater and not from the tap.

Blond young woman stands at the kitchen window and pours some water from a kettle into a mug

5. Fill the kettle less

Your top tip: “Only boil enough water in the kettle that you need. Saves water, energy and money!”

If you’re making a cup of tea, fill your cup first and empty that into the kettle rather than filling it from the tap.

You can also get kettles with a ‘one cup’ function, so you don’t need to boil more than you need.

As well as saving water, it’ll help with your fuel bills too. Only filling the kettle with as much as you need saves the typical household in Great Britain £10 a year, and £14 in Northern Ireland.

6. Use full loads for your washing machine and dishwasher

Your top tip: “Don’t half fill your dishwasher – wait until it’s full before using.”

Wait until you’ve got enough to fill your appliances before switching them on. Not only does this save you time, but you’ll also be lowering your energy use.

Cutting out one weekly dishwasher and washing machine cycle saves the typical household in Great Britain £12 a year per appliance, and  £18 in Northern Ireland.

For more information, take a look at the top five energy consuming appliances.

7. Maintain your appliances

Your top tip: “Fix those dripping taps and running toilets.”

Having poorly maintained appliances leads to them not working as efficiently, which wastes water. So if you want to use less water, make sure everything is working as expected.

Some of the top tips we had were:

  • Fix leaky taps and toilets
  • Descale your shower head to maintain water pressure

8. Use the shower instead of the bath

Your top tip: “Use less power, take a shower!”

Spending a few minutes under a shower uses less water than having to fill up a bath. And while you don’t get the luxury of a good soak, swapping out one weekly bath for a shower will save you 4,000 litres of water a year.

If you don’t want to give up your tub time, some of the tips suggested sharing a bath.

9. Use water saving devices

Your top tip: “Getting an efficient and regulated shower head will reduce your water usage!”

Technology can really help when trying to save water. We had several suggestions for water saving gadgets, including:

  • installing a regulated or eco shower head
  • using hot water dispensers for single cups of tea
  • adding a rainwater diverter to your guttering downpipe to fill your water butt

For more tips, check out our blog on water saving devices.

This blog featured in the April 2024 edition of our Energywire newsletter.

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Last updated: 14 May 2024