A day rarely passes without some new environmental news and although it’s very sad we’re in this situation, it’s great to see that the awareness is high on the priority for many media channels and of course, on social media.
Water is running low and the shortage is expected to hit us hard, certainly in England, within 25 years.
The main culprit is climate change, according to most water companies, but there is of course the constant issue of leakage. Our old and worn out plumbing in the water works leaks a rather worrying amount. Water regulator Ofwat has reported that every day over 3 billion litres is lost just from leakage.
Although there is a target in place to reduce this by 15% and then ultimately 50%, it’s a massive challenge considering the huge necessary upheaval of our infrastructure.
In a recent speech, Sir James Bevan said from the Environmental Agency said, “We need water wastage to be as socially unacceptable as blowing smoke in the face of a baby or throwing your plastic bags into the sea!”.
So, with that in mind, how can you do your bit? Although households account for just 10% of the UK water usage (with agriculture taking the lion’s share), we can all make a difference.
Being water-efficient in your bathroom
There are some really simple things you can do that won’t impact your life too much.
Have a shower instead of a bath.
A shower is far more efficient than a bath. The wasted water in a bath is huge and although relaxing, it’s better to keep baths to a minimum if you can. Families with young children may struggle here with the bath being a core part of the bedtime routine, but every little helps.
Take shorter showers.
When you are in the shower, don’t delay in there too much. Don’t run the shower for too long before your shower (you shouldn’t need to) and when you get in there – get cracking! This’ll save you on your gas or electricty bill too.
Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth.
A really simple tip and one to apply in your kitchen when washing up, too. Turning off the tap is a simple and obvious way to reserve water and one you should encourage your entire family to do.
Fill your dishwasher up.
Don’t waste water by putting on the dishwasher with just a few pots and pans in there. Load it up fully to make the most of each time you use it. The same goes for your washing machine – although be careful not to overload it and cause damage.
Although these are positive ideas, the larger usage issues with bathing and flushing toilets are the products themselves. That’s OK though; the manufacturers are here to help…
Efficient bathroom products will make a bigger impact
There’s a strong push for the manufacturers to make more water-efficient products and you’ll have noticed this in recent years if you’ve bought a new toilet.
Cisterns are now smaller, but more efficient. The modern dual-flush toilets offer an eco-friendly option. Some new designs for cistern functions are even better though.
The Hippo is a simple and inexpensive gadget that’s added to the cistern to siphon off a proportion of water from the tank. Hippo say it saves 3 litres per flush! The only thing with this is if people put them in a modern cistern that has a reduced quantity of water in it anyway then the amount of water they save may not leave enough to flush the wc properly the first time so needs to be flushed again which therefore means you could be using more water.
You can even save water in your shower with water-saving options like the water-saving shower heads from Grohe. “Rainshower, Icon, Eco and Solo hand-held shower heads all feature a water-saving Eco button on the handle”, say leading bathroom supplier, Grohe.
Baths can still help you save water. Modern baths are now contoured, and this helps, not only the bathing experience, but because it needs less water in the bath in the first place. A simple slope at one end adds a more comfortable position for your bathing whilst also saving water.
You can also find water-efficient taps that use less water.
Regular maintenance and cleaning
Another simple way to save water is to ensure you’re not leaking water, yourself. A dripping tap or shower head will waste water so fix those as soon as you can.
Another area to look at is your cleaning. Regular cleaning will keep your bathroom looking great but will also stop you having to have too many ‘deep cleans’ and using far more water.
A clean and working bathroom is far better on all fronts!
Think like you’re on holiday…
When you go away for your holidays, you’ll most likely be confronted with signs in hotels and villas that encourage you to be water conscious. Examples are not washing towels after every use. In hot countries, they clearly have more problems with water supply than the UK, so thinking like they do will go a long way to saving water and doing your bit for the environment.
A lot of the products and designs are now governed by UK building regulations for water-saving, which is great, so some of the decisions are made for you.
If you’d like to talk about saving water, your bathroom, the products, or a new bathroom then please do pop into our Coventry bathroom showroom. We’d be glad to help you.