This week is Water Saving Week, an online event dedicated to educating people about water wastage. Hosted by Waterwise, the event highlights ways we can all save water and help the planet. So, what are some simple steps landlords and tenants can take to save water?
- Why is saving water so important?
- How can I save water at home?
- How can I save water when I’m washing?
- How can I save water when I’m cooking?
- How can I save water while doing the laundry?
- How can I save water in the bathroom?
- How can landlords save water?
- How can tenants save water?
Why is saving water so important?
Did you know that three billion litres of drinkable water are wasted daily in the UK? Yep, three billion! Shocking, right? That’s enough water to hydrate an entire country. The average person in the UK also uses 150 litres of water daily, including heated water, and about 30% of the average household gas bill is spent on heating. Imagine how much money landlords and tenants could save on bills by reducing water usage!
We’ve all been guilty of wasting water at some point in our lives, whether taking too long in the shower or running a half-full dishwasher. But although Earth is 71% water, only 1% is available for us to use. So it’s vital to preserve all the water we can.
So, how can you save more water?
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How can I save water at home?
There’s no need for your water consumption to get out of control. You can save up to 6 litres per minute and up to 200 gallons per month by turning off your tap when you’re brushing your teeth!
We Brits wash our hands many times a day – more than ever thanks to Government Guidance. Please don’t stop washing, but do stop wasting. It’s possible to save at least 6 gallons per day by turning off the tap while you’re washing your hands. This may not seem like much but it all adds up.
We may have lots of hot summer days ahead (fingers crossed!) but don’t let that affect your water drinking habits. When running the tap for a glass of water, please don’t wait until the water gets cold enough; instead, fill a bottle of water and keep it cool in the fridge.
Check your water is safe with our Legionella Risk Assessment.
How can I save water when washing?
Here’s a fun fact for you: the average shower in the UK lasts 8 minutes! A not so fun fact: an estimated 60 litres of water are used in that time. Keep your showers short and sweet by setting a timer on your phone. You can also save water by turning off the shower while lathering-up.
Switching to an efficient showerhead is another way you could save water. Showerheads restrict the volume of water that flows through them, and some newer models can reduce the volume of water used by half. This allows you to lather-up in less water, meaning you’ll save water and save money on water bills. It’s a win-win!
Landlords, if it’s time to install a new shower in your rental, bear this in mind! If you’re a tenant, you can always ask your landlord if they’re happy for you to change the showerhead and swap it back when you leave.
How can I save water while cooking?
Steaming your food uses less water than boiling, while retaining more natural nutrients and flavour, which is a definite perk. If you do boil your food, use as little water as possible to save both water and energy. And use any leftover water as tasty soup stock or to water plants.
Another way to save water while cooking is to ensure you’re using the correct pan size. This not only conserves water but also saves time, as you won’t be heating unnecessary surface area. And the smaller the pan, the less water needed for cleaning. Pretty good, huh?
How can I save water while doing the laundry?
96% of UK homes have washing machines, running an average of 220 standard wash cycles each year. This uses thousands of litres of water and a whole lot of energy.
Two half-loads uses more energy than a single full load, so it’s worth filling the laundry basket before putting on a wash. If you don’t fill the machine, it’s a massive waste of electricity and water. If you really can’t wait for a full load, take advantage of your machine’s half load setting, if it has one.
Landlords, think about investing in a water-saving washing machine so tenants can save more water when doing their laundry. There are some great options here.
Planning some spring cleaning? Read our article on 21 Life-Changing Hacks Every Landlord Should Know.
How can I save water in the bathroom?
Around 30% of household water is used for flushing toilets. Bear in mind, this is the same high-quality water you drink.
A cistern holds all the water needed to flush the toilet. A cistern displacement device (CDD) reduces the volume of water flushed and saves up to 3 litres of water per flush. In one year, this could save households over 5000 litres of water!
These devices come in an easy-to-fit bag containing a super absorbent polymer called potassium polyacrylamide, which is non-toxic and environmentally safe. They last for years and only need replacing if damaged. You can get a cistern displacement device from your water provider and they’re usually free!
Water-saving tips for landlords
- Install taps that are easy to turn on and off without much risk of leaking – mixer taps (with an easy handle) work well for this.
- Check toilets and taps when you visit the property for mid-term inspections – there may be a leak the tenant hasn’t noticed that needs fixing.
- If you have a void period where your property is empty, pop round to ensure all taps are turned off.
- If you let an HMO or student home, put up signs in the kitchen and near the washing machine detailing the advice in this article. While you’re at it, share this article with your tenants!
Water-saving tips for tenants
- Check you don’t leave the garden tap dripping in summer months.
- Tell your landlord if you have a leaky tap or shower so they can get it fixed as soon as possible.
- Fill a jug of water and put it in the fridge for when you want a cool drink.
- Turn down thermostats on water heaters. This doesn’t directly impact your water usage, but it will save money on your energy bill.
Reducing water isn’t just good for the planet, it’s also good for your bank account. According to Water UK, the average annual water bill is £415! Think of all the money you could save.
Got any water saving tips?
So, there you have it. Five ways you can save water. Do you have any water-saving tips? We’d love to hear them. Please share in the comments below.
If you’re interested in finding out about more about #WaterSaveWeek or would like to get involved, click here.