Essential water-saving tools you almost definitely own already!
We love learning about new water-saving technology, yet sleek engineering and digital bells and whistles aren’t always necessary. We can start making a big dent in our households’ water usage (and bills, if you’re on a meter) using a few common items found around the house.
Ready? Hoist your tools and let’s start saving more water…
Greasy drippings, crumbs and other food residues should never be washed down the sink as they clump with flushed bathroom waste into sewer-blocking fatbergs. After eating, portion up any leftovers, then use cutlery from your meal to scrape any last clinging bits of food, sauce, oil or fat into the kitchen waste bin or Bokashi bin. The scraped plates can go straight into the dishwasher or washing up bowl, no pre-rinsing required!
Save around five litres of fresh water every time you shower by placing a bucket beneath the shower head while waiting for the jets to warm up. By happy coincidence, five litres is about the right amount of water to flush a toilet so pop the half-full bucket next to the loo ready for the next, erm, number two.
If flushing with a bucket isn’t your bag, the saved water can be used for pre-soaking stained clothes, mopping floors, watering houseplants, washing the car or rinsing off a muddy bike.
An outdoor broom
Forget wasteful hoses or pressure washers. Sprucing up dirty, leaf-strewn paths and patios is an easy breezy job with a stiff brush and a bucketful of water harvested from the shower.
Open the cistern of your toilet and add four or five drops to the water inside. Wait ten minutes without flushing. If any coloured water appears at the back of the toilet bowl, get a plumber on the phone as you have a slow leak that could be dribbling away up to 60 litres of clean water a day. These can worsen in sudden and dramatic fashion when the leaky cistern seal finally gives out, so don’t delay!
A water jug
Thirsty? Don’t run the tap while you wait for tepid water to cool. Fill a jug and bung it in the door of the fridge for instant access, no-waste cold water.
Bored with the taste of tap water? Here’s how to make your tap water tastier.
Time to drop the old trick of defrosting meat or fish under running water. As you might imagine, it’s hideously water wasteful and not particularly efficient. Use the dedicated defrost settings on your microwave and you’ll be cooking up a storm in minutes.
The bath plug
If getting to the right water temperature for your bath always means fiddling with the mixer taps while the water runs down the drain, this water saving habit is for you! Twist or plonk that plug in place when the bath is empty and turn on the hot tap only. The initial burst of cool water from the hot tap cuts down on unnecessary steaminess, and as the hot water comes through the bath should fill to a comfortably warm temperature.