Water saving tips: how to save water in your home

It's easier than you might think to save water and reduce your energy bills. Take a look at our tips for saving water and find out how to cut down on the amount of water you use in your home.

Why save water?

Many people in the UK take a fresh water supply for granted. However changes in weather patterns means that rainfall is becoming more irregular, resulting in increased periods of drought and the need to conserve water.

Our modern lifestyles are also a contributing factor, as we increasingly use conveniences such as dishwashers and sprinkler systems. By making a few simple changes to your daily routine you could save water and money on your energy bills.

Saving water in your bathroom

The bathroom is where many of us waste large amounts of water. Find out how to save water in your bathroom without disrupting your daily routine.

  • Take showers instead of baths
    Showering uses much less water than filling up a bathtub. Aim to shower in as little time as possible (four minutes should be long enough). If you opt for a bath, make sure you don't over-fill it – you can always top up the water once you get in.
  • Turn off your taps
    Did you know that a running tap can use up to 6 litres of water per minute1? So don't forget to turn off the tap while you brush your teeth! Similarly, using half a sink of water to wash your face is more economical than using water from a running tap.
  • Check for dripping taps
    If you're losing water from a dripping tap, make sure you get this fixed as quickly as possible, as a dripping tap can waste up to 5,500 litres of water a year1Water insurance could help you to minimise the hassle of unexpected plumbing problems.
  • Use a Save A Flush bag
    Placing a Save A Flush bag into your toilet cistern could save up to a litre of water every time you flush. Some water companies provide these for free, so contact your local water company for further information.

    Saving water in your kitchen

    Over time, running a dishwasher and boiling a kettle can waste large amounts of water. Follow our water saving tips to reduce the amount of water you use in your kitchen.

  • Use a bowl for washing vegetables
    Leaving your kitchen tap running while you wash vegetables can waste a large amount of water. Instead, fill a bowl with water and use this to wash your vegetables.
    The same principle applies to washing your dishes. Avoid washing your pots and pans under a running tap, as this wastes water. Instead fill your sink half full of water and wash them this way.
  • Fill your washing machine and dishwasher
    Half-filling your washing machine and dishwasher uses more water than running a full load. So make sure you wait until you have enough pots and pans or dirty laundry to fill your appliances.
  • Only boil as much water as you need
    It’s easy to fill your kettle to the brim each time you make a cup of tea or coffee. But only boiling as much water as you need will ensure you don't waste water and help to reduce your energy bills. And whenever you use water for cooking (e.g. to boil an egg or steam vegetables) you can use this water once cooled to give thirsty household plants a drink.
  • Keep a jug of water in your fridge
    A simple trick to save water in the kitchen is to always store a jug or plastic bottle of drinking water in your fridge. This way you won’t have to run the tap until it's cold when you fancy a refreshing glass of water.

    Saving water in your garden

    Do you automatically reach for the hosepipe or turn on your sprinklers when the weather starts to get warmer? Take a look at our tips to keep your garden hydrated without wasting water.

  • Invest in a water butt
    Invest in a water butt for an ultra-economical way of watering your garden! Water butts collect and store rainwater, so you'll have no need to use tap water. Prices start from approximately £30 and many come complete with stands, lids and taps, making them easy to use.
  • Water your plants in the early morning or evening
    During warm weather, try to water your garden during the early morning or late evening, when the temperature will be slightly lower. At this time of day, you'll lose little water to evaporation.
  • Create a 'drought tolerant' garden
    Choosing plants which require little water will help you keep your garden looking healthy, even during periods of drought. Your local garden centre will be able to help you choose plants which require minimal watering.
  • Don't water your garden unnecessarily
    Always remember to check the weather forecast before watering your garden. If rain's predicted, hold off using your watering can, hosepipe or sprinkler system. Also remember to only water plants if it's really necessary – grass, trees and shrubs won't usually require watering.

    Other ways to save water around your home

    Here are a few extra water saving tips for your household.

  • Use a bucket to wash your car
    Instead of continually running your hosepipe (or as an alternative during hosepipe bans) use a bucket and sponge to wash your car. If you prefer to use a hosepipe, choose one with a trigger gun which will allow you to control the amount of water you use more easily.
  • Check for water leaks
    Don't forget to regularly check your water pipes for leaks, in case you're losing water from cracks or splits. There are a number of tell-tale signs of a water supply pipe problem - a drop in water pressure, your garden suddenly becoming waterlogged, pooling of water on your driveway or your water meter reading being higher than expected.

Further information

Find out how to save energy and make your home more environmentally friendly with our energy saving tips article.

1 Source: Energy Saving Trust 'Water-saving advice'

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