“But the Earth is covered in water” is something we often hear when talking about saving water and using it sensibly. Whilst over two thirds of our planet is indeed covered in water, less than 3% of that is fresh water and most of that is frozen or deep underground.
That means that just 0.007% of the water on Earth is in fact usable fresh water, and with a global population currently at 7.5 billion (a 700% increase in two centuries), that’s not enough to go around.
The average person in the UK uses 142 litres every day according to the Energy Saving Trust. The average household uses 349 litres daily, or around 130,000 litres annually.
In the UK, the Environment Agency has warned that demand could outstrip supply within 25 years and urged us to use water more responsibly. Here are a few ideas on how…
1. Don’t run the tap and flushing the loo
Whether you’re washing the dishes or brushing your teeth, only use what you need and turn the tap off in between. When flushing the toilet, if (like 50% of the country) you have a dual flush, pressing the smaller of the two buttons will use up to 40% less water each time.
2. Share a bath
Be it a romantic soak or jumping in after and topping up the water after your partner or children have taken a bath. An average uses 80 liters of water.
3. Shorter showers
An average shower lasts seven and a half minutes and uses half that amount of water. Take shorter showers (aim for under five minutes) to save even more water and consider fitting a water saving showerhead. This are sometimes available free or cheaply from your water supplier so start there.
4. Full up
If you’re using the washing machine or dishwasher, running it with a full load is the most efficient option. Set the temperature to 30oC and use eco mode to also save energy. We recommend Ecoleaf dishwasher tablets and the Eco Egg for washing clothes.
5. Watering plants
From house plants or hanging baskets, capture used water and reuse it to water your plants.
6. Ban the hose
Speaking of plants, use a watering can in place of a hose to water your garden. You’ll avoid wasting a lot of water.
7. Consider your diet
Food production is responsible for 65% of the world’s freshwater usage. For example, it can take over 8,000 litres of water to produce one pound of beef. Consider a more vegetarian or flexitarian diet.
8. Fast fashion
The manufacturing of clothes also requires a significant amount of water. According to National Geographic, it takes 12,200 litres of water to make a single cotton t-shirt. Buy fewer clothes, mend those you have or shop second hand if you can.
9. Toilet roll
A hot topic in the news at the moment but did you know that it can take 168 litres of water to produce one toilet roll? We recommend The Cheeky Panda or Greencane Paper, made from Bamboo and/or sugarcane. The next best option is to buy toilet rolls made from recycled paper, which takes far less water to manufacture.
10. Don’t pay for something that’s free!
Give up buying bottled water. Incredibly, it takes three litres of water to produce every litre of bottled water. Fill up at home to save pennies and our planet.
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