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How To Save Water at Home

The following post was commissioned by Happier Homes.

I’ve never really given much thought to the amount of water we use just doing every day things around the home.  I am certainly conscious not to be wasteful, but with droughts in many areas of the world and global water demands forecast to increase in the future, it is essential that we do all we can to limit our water consumption and help save the environment.

In our house, every day is more or less the same.

The alarm goes off at what feels like the middle of the night, but it is actually already 5.45am when the Greek God(zilla) is on an early shift.

We take turns in the shower, a nice long one to bring us to life and warm our cold bones.  I tiptoe downstairs to unload the dishwasher containing every cup, plate, fork, pot, pan, utensil and wine glass used the previous day.

The kettle is filled and boiled.

I tiptoe back upstairs with a steaming hot mug of tea and leave it on the side to cool.

My presence is soon required in the 4-year old’s bedroom as demonstrated by calls of ‘MUMMY!’, which gain in both frequency and volume the longer I take to respond.

We take our time choosing our clothes for the day and are still debating reasons why it is not appropriate to wear a Batman costume to school, when the Greek God(zilla) waves us goodbye.

When we go downstairs for breakfast, I remember my tea still untouched by the side of the bed.

I boil the kettle again.

After cereal, toast and juice has been consumed, it is time to return upstairs to brush teeth.  I load up my son’s toothbrush with paste, turn on the tap, and then spend a few minutes chasing him around the top floor and coaxing him out from his hiding place under my bed.

Finally, with teeth cleaned and coat & shoes on, it is time for the school run before returning back to the house to tackle the piles of laundry.

Time for another lovely cup of tea.

In the blink of an eye, or that’s how it feels anyway, it is time for the next walk to school and back; before starting to think about what to cook for dinner.

While everything is bubbling away on the hob, we  do some reading practice until the Greek God(zilla) gets home from work, when we will all sit down at the table together.

Then everything is stacked back into the dishwasher again, while a bedtime bath is run for a little boy who will bargain with me that he will only get in it, if I promise not to wash his hair.  Er, no.

Once washed, dried and in cosy pyjamas, it is time for bedtime stories and averting 4,000 sleep delaying tactics.

And repeat.

Our dishwasher, washing machine, shower, sink, and bath are all in use every day.

Less than 0.5% of the world’s total water is freshwater available for humans.  97% of the water is salt water, and the other 2,5% is frozen in glaciers. If the entire world’s water was in a bucket, then the freshwater available for people would only amount to a teaspoon full.

Something to think about the next time I leave the tap running while coaxing a 4-year old out from under the bed to come and brush his teeth!

Happier Homes are trying to educate people in new ways to save water and energy.

A common misconception is that dishwashers use more water; in fact, these machines can be water savers if used efficiently.  In fact, you could use up to 11 times LESS water using a dishwasher than washing dishes by hand.  Phew…

Here are some other ways you can reduce your water footprint, by making a few small changes in your everyday life:

  • Scrape your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, don’t pre-rinse them with water.
  • Turn on your dishwasher and washing machine only when they’re full.
  • If you have to wash your dishes by hand, remember to turn off the tap while lathering them. Then rinse with cold or lukewarm water.
  • If you do the dishes in a bowl/sink, you are already doing well! Try to limit the amount of water changes by using the same water for lightly soiled items first, then the really dirty items.
  • Repair or replace leaky water taps immediately.  Dripping taps can waste up to 15 litres of water a day. Replace worn tap washers for a quick and cheap way of saving water.
  • Burst water pipes can cause serious damage as well as waste water. Ensure your water pipes and external taps are lagged in time for the cold winter months.
  • Take a short shower instead of a bath. If you take a long shower, it may use more water than a bath.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
  • When washing your hands turn the tap off until you are ready to rinse them – by doing this, each person could save about 7,000 litres of water per year.
  • Use a toilet cleaner in your toilet and don’t pre-flush before squirting cleaning liquid around the rim. This could save up to 1,300 litres of water per household/year.

You can calculate your own savings potential here using this Water Calculator.

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Disclosure: This post was commissioned by Happier Homes

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2 Comments

  1. We have moved and now have a water meter. It has made us more aware of what we use and how we can save. Over Summer we watered the garden by using the drags of glasses, baby bathes and kettle. It was amazing how much we wasted/saved.
    Sam recently posted…First day at nursery.My Profile

  2. I realised how much water I wasted when I moved to France and it was metered – that stuff is expensive! One tip I learnt from the French when washing dishes – lather up a washing-up sponge and clean the dish/pot etc using it in an empty sink, then just rinse it off, it cleans better and uses less water. I did have an ex-boyfriend in France who used to turn the shower off whilst washing himself and only turned it back on to rinse – taking it to the extreme for me!
    Franglaise Mummy recently posted…My twin girls, born 6 years apartMy Profile

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