Different uses for water and a tap with the OPOH logo

How to save water at home

10 easy ways to save water today

Our world is at risk of suffering severe drought. Water shortages have already made masses of people migrate. And they will likely contribute to further regional conflicts . In the UK, summers are getting hotter, with 2020 already recording the sunniest May since records began. Now is the time to save water.

Being smarter with how you use water will save you money on water bills. And you’ll also be helping to preserve our most precious resource.

Flushing away water

Every flush of a western-style toilet uses up to 9 litres of water. In an average UK home, 1/3 of the daily water used by the household is sent straight down the loo. And almost half of UK homes could improve the water efficiency of their toilet with some simple measures:

  • Place a plastic water bottle filled with water in your cistern. This will reduce how much water the cistern uses
  • Installing a modern “dual flush toilet” (especially in new projects) could save 7-9 litres of water with every use

Remember, never throw anything but toilet paper in the loo, otherwise you’re helping to create giant “fatbergs” which have severe consequences for your home and environment.

Fix those leaky pipes

The UK water supply loses around 3 billion litres a day. The USA Environmental Protection Agency calculated 10% of US households leak away 90 US gallons (340 litres) of water a day! Leaky taps aren’t just bad for your sleep, they slowly erode away your money too.

If you’ve been putting off this task for a while, you may be surprised to find that a cheap and simple rubber washer replacement will save bucket loads of water.

10 ways to save water today

Saving water doesn’t require major investment and saves money if you pay for water using a meter. These 10 tips will save water:

  1. Keep the bath for treats

    Filling the bathtub for a soak requires around 100 litres of water, which is the same as having a 15-minute shower. And it’s not just the water usage – heating up 100 litres of water requires a lot of gas or electric energy too. So pamper yourself with a bathtub treat rather than your go-to daily routine.

  2. Power showers without the power

    This might be a tough one for some: try swapping your “power shower” for an ordinary one to halve your water use. Or better yet replace your power shower and use a product like the Smart Stream to supercharge the faucet water force for a relaxing but guilt-free shower

  3. Turn off the water whilst you lather

    An easy one – just turn off the shower taps while you spend time reading the miracles your new body wash is about to unleash on your skin! And the same applies to the teeth-brushers-in-the-shower-to-save-time people out there.

  4. Catch water in a bucket while you wait

    For homes with creaky boilers or electric showers that take a while to get going, why not catch all that tepid water in a bucket and use it to water the plants or flush your loo!

  5. New habit: turn off the tap when not needed

    It’s easy to let the tap run when brushing teeth, shaving or peeling veg. Make it a point to turn off the tap unless you need it and very quickly you’ll have a fantastic water-saving new habit.

  6. Cleaning veg in a bowl

    Rinse your vegetables in a bowl of water rather than running the tap. And the same works for bowls of rice, lentils or any foodstuffs that require a quick wash before consuming.

  7. Making the most of your washing machine and dishwasher

    Never run the washing machine or dishwasher unless it is full. Even modern washing machines can use around 70 litres of water per cycle. So make the most of that water by ensuring your washing machine and dishwashers are full. Always look for an ‘A’ rated energy efficient washing machine or dishwasher.

  8. Use a smart sprinkler system in your garden

    Garden sprinklers can easily consume excessive amounts of water if they are not managed properly. Using a smart water sprinkler lets you manage schedules from your smartphone so you know exactly how much water will be used. Learn more about the Rachio3 Smart Garden Sprinkler.

  9. Install a water butt

    Water butts are cheap and easy to install. In fact, they’re so useful a man in Surat, India has built his whole house around ‘grey’ water.

  10. Twinning your toilet

    And finally, twinning your toilet with a project in another country may not save water, but it will save lives. Charities like Toilet Twinning work in communities to build basic hygiene infrastructure

OPOH Recommends

Water wastage is a very local problem with global repercussions. For many of us water is a given, guaranteed to run each time the tap is turned. But there are billions of people who can only dream of wasting water. As a result, many communities struggle with contaminated water and poor infrastructure. We support the charity Toilet Twinning who work in various countries building basic toilet and clean water infrastructure.

If you twin your loo, you get a picture of your loo-twin to remind you of how precious water is with every flush.

Learn more about Toilet Twinning.