Awareness of environmental issues is becoming increasingly important to homeowners across the UK, not only in terms of saving the planet but saving money too.
The news is filled with images of green protestors, climate change activists and well-meaning politicians making carbon pledges. At home, we recycle, buy energy-efficient appliances and ensure our homes are insulated to save energy. Every aspect of our life has an impact on the world around us and many people are focused on lessening that impact and living cleaner lives.
One aspect of the home which can be particularly wasteful is our water consumption. A study shows the 80% of UK residents waste water, and not necessarily in ways you might imagine. With the average yearly water bill coming in at around £413 per household, there are significant savings to be made, as well as lessening the impact you have on the world around you.
Here is some practical advice for reducing your water usage, and some physical changes you may make to your home that can also help.
How we use water is one aspect of our lifestyle we can examine and that has a part to play in how much water we use, but so does the general upkeep of our homes. A dripping tap could cost you up to £6 per month, which may not sound a lot, but equates to £72 per year. Imagine if you fixed that tap, you could have your money back within a few months and still be saving water. The same goes for leaky pipes and other aspects of your system. If these repairs are left, they may result in a larger escape of water, and that can cost even more money, especially in terms of repairs, but also the water used.
It might be worth considering insuring your system, to cover you for such eventualities. By protecting your plumbing system, you are ensuring any problem that arises is fixed quickly and easily. HomeServe outlines how plumbing protection may not only cover your system but other areas of the home which have an environmental impact too, such as your heating. By having 24-hour callout in place as standard, you ensure any problems are dealt with quickly, and not allowed to escalate and waste water or money.
There are many methods by which you can seek to save water inside, some of which will appeal to you, others which may not. For instance, simply turning off the tap whilst cleaning your teeth can save you a significant amount over a period of time. Staying in the bathroom, running a small sink of water to wash your face, rather than leaving the tap running, can also be helpful. You can even save water by creating your own low-flush toilet, as we explained in our article A Thrifty Guide to a Greener Home.
In the kitchen, even a little change in the way you use water can have a big impact. If you do a lot of cooking, the likelihood is you use water to boil vegetables and to prepare food, but do you reuse that water, or keep running it fresh? A couple of pans a day, or even a week, will add up over the course of a year. Think about how much you fill the kettle too, not only can you save money on the water you use, but also the power needed to heat it up.
Whilst internally you can save water all-year-round, there are ways to cut back outdoors which apply more to the summer than anything. In the British climate, rain often blights a spring or summer day, but it can be turned to your advantage. Try to harvest rain from your gutters using water butts or something similar, as that can be used to irrigate your garden when the sun finally does come out, which is a significant saving. The Royal Horticultural Society estimate you could fill 150 water butts per year with rainfall, even in dry areas of the UK. That equates to 24,000 litres of water you would otherwise simply have wasted.
Also, when it comes to washing your car, try not to do it at home. It might save you a couple of quid, but you also use far more water doing it yourself than the professionals. A typical garden hose uses 10 gallons of water per minute, so a simple 10-minute car wash could use 100 gallons of water. Typically, a self-service car wash uses just 11 gallons. Can you get your car cleaned in a minute?
Your water bill may not be the largest outgoing you have, but it can be impacted in a positive way. That means a little more money in your pocket, but crucially a reduced impact on the environment, which means you can sleep a little easier at night, too.
This post was written in partnership with guest writer Joshua Woods and may provide affiliate links.