The mantra is simple: Use less.
By saving water in the home, garden and at work you can save valuable pennies, even pounds over the course of a year!
By changing your habits and routines slightly you can make a huge difference to your annual water bill.
We currently use 50% more water than in the 1980′s. This is partly due to an increase in the number of washing machines and dishwashers in households, primarily because they are much more affordable.
It’s important to reduce the amount of water we waste, not only for environmental issues but also for monetary reasons. Even those on unmetered water should reduce their usage, as water costs will become cheaper for us all.
Read on for my Top 13 tips…
Save Water; Save Money
Top Tips To Remember
- 1. Turn off the tap whilst brushing your teeth – it’s a waste of water otherwise (in fact it uses up about 5 litres of water/minute!).
- 2. Don’t be a drip – fix any dripping taps inside (and outside) your house and save yourself up to 4 litres of water a day.
- 3. Wait till you have a full load of washing. Half load programmes use more water and energy than full loads. The same principle applies to dishwashers.
- 4. Only boil the amount of water you’ll need in your kettle. Depending on the kettle, it may be cheaper to heat up water in the microwave. You can buy an Ecokettle for £39.95 from Gizoo.co.uk that will let you measure and heat up the correct volume for 1-8 cups of tea or coffee.
Top Tip: Pour any excess hot water you boil into a thermos flask for instant hot water.
- 5. One toilet flush will use about 9 litres of water. Less so if you’ve a dual flush system and use the half flush. Save loo water by adding a hippo to the cistern which will reduce the amount of water that fills it by up to 33% (saving 3 litres per flush). Buy a Hippo from Ethical Superstore for £1.99, or a cheaper alternative is to put a water filled plastic bottle into the cistern.
- 6. When waiting for hot water from your taps don’t waste that running water, put a bowl in the sink and use it to water indoor plants, fill vases or your pets water bowl.
- 7. Getting cold water to drink from taps can take a couple of minutes. Keep a bottle or jug in the fridge for instant cold tap water – refreshing!
- 8. Fit a normal shower, not a power shower. Use it instead of a bath to save up to 66% of water. If you do have a bath, share with your partner for a romantic treat! Set the mood with these romantic spa bath lights for £4.99 from Play.com with free delivery (just don’t forget to use rechargeable batteries).
- 9. Wash your fruit and veg in a bowl so you can use the dirty water on houseplants and keep your garden drought-free.
- 10. Get free rain water by having a water butt in your garden. Collect between 100-700 litres of rain water for watering your garden or washing the car! The cheapest I’ve found online is £19.83 for a 100l one from waterbuttsdirect.co.uk but contact your local council to see if you can buy one at a subsidised rate.
- 11. Collect the water you drain off after cooking veg and use it to make a tasty base for soups, casseroles and stews. It’s a cheaper way of cooking. Try this delicious recipe for Vegetable Soup.
- 12. Steam your veg. You don’t need expensive steamers for this, just a saucepan, lid and small amount of water. Other alternatives include chinese style bamboo steamers – £9 from Amazon.co.uk (but cheaper from your local oriental store) or an electric steamer for £19.87 from Amazon.co.uk.
- 13. Fit a TapMagic device to restrict the water flow from taps and avoid wastage.
Everyone knows how difficult it is to make change but by doing just one of these tips a week and slowly building it up, it’ll feel like second nature before you know it.
Should You Be On A Water Meter?
A water meter records the amount of water you actually use rather than a fixed amount based on the rateable value (RV) of your home.
Being metered could reduce your annual water bill. A majority of homes (even when renting) can have a water meter fitted for free. Contact your water company to find out more.
Find out from uSwitch.com if having a water meter fitted could save you money.
The water regulator Ofwat calculates the average unmetered customer who switches to metered, saves an average of 5-10% on their bill. So if your annual bill was £500, getting a meter could save you £25-50.
The facts and figures about water wastage are pretty scary. At the end of the day it’s your money going down the drain so do something about it today.
Useful Sites For Saving Money And Water
- uSwitch.com helps determine if you could save money on your water bill. It also has a great tool showing you how much water your area uses.
- The Water Guide is a useful resource for everything you need to know about water in the UK.
- For those wanting to find out more about getting hot water economically and using it effectively, read the article Hot Water Simply from Countryside magazine.
- Find your water company for their advice on how to save water at home and get cheaper water bills.
- Find your local council for information on what help is available when trying to save water at home.
- Tesco Direct have this informative Guide to buying Water Butts.
(image by Snap® on Flickr)