With many of us still working from home, spending more hours in our own houses, chances are our water usage has shot up. Saving water at home is just as important as in business and even small changes we make can have an impact on global warming and play a role in conserving water.
Understanding global warming
The impact of mankind on the environment is plain to see. Sea levels are rising, cloud forests are dying, and many species are becoming extinct. Greenhouse gases are at the highest level they’ve been in the last 800,000 years and without significant change it’s only going to get worse.
Global warming is the usual term used to describe these changes, but the Earth’s climate is being impacted in many different ways. Some areas are actually getting cooler over shorter periods, further disrupting the world’s ability to function as it should. Global warming effects everything from the extinction of animals to coffee plantations and will have a direct impact on our daily lives if we do not do our part to combat it.
Water conservation and the battle against climate Change
The risk of losing our supply of fresh water is very real, especially in less economically developed countries. Every small increase in global warming impacts the water cycle and further increases the risk of water scarcity.
Climate change impacts rainfall, leading to more instances of both drought and flooding. Changing the way we use water helps to strengthen the planet’s ecosystem and minimises the risk of extreme weather. Extreme weather not only disrupts our water, but it can also lead to pollution and lower levels of sanitation too.
Using less warm water in our homes can influence greenhouse gas emissions because less energy is used to heat the water.
Habits to conserve water at home
The average person in the United Kingdom uses around 150 litres of water every single day, which is the equivalent of about 2 full bath tubs – so we need to look at away to reduce this. Simple tips include:
Fixing leaks and drips: a single dripping tap can lead to 15 litres of water being wasted every day, so tightening up taps and locating leaks can help conserve water at home.
Brush without running water: getting into the habit of turning off the tap as you brush your teeth will save significant amounts of water every day.
Load up fully: always fully load your washing machine and dishwasher, cutting out unnecessary in between half loads and small washes which use up unnecessary amounts of water.
Shorten showers:while the luxury of a bath is great every now and then, a short, refreshing shower uses much less water. You can also install water saving devices such as an aerated showerhead or a regulator fitted to your shower which help ensure as little water is wasted as possible.
Install a water meter: a water meter is great for your budget as well as your commitment to saving water. You can fully monitor your water usage and look to make savings and minimise waste on reviewing each bill.
Consider a water butt: installing a water butt in your garden is an easy way to collect water for use in your garden, washing your car and windows. It collects rainwater which is perfect for keeping your garden hydrated.
Invest in water-efficient products: when it’s time to replace items in your home, including appliances, consider their water efficiency. Toilets, taps, showerheads and washing appliances are available with built-in water saving features.
Mindful water use in hot weather
In the summer when it gets hot, we have a tendency to turn on the hose, double our water drinking efforts and do everything in our power to keep cool. It is still possible to do this, but also be mindful of wasting water unnecessarily. Consider these hot weather water tips:
- Keep water in the fridge: fill up a large jug or bottles with water from the tap then you won’t need to keep it running unnecessarily, wasting water as you wait for it to go cold.
- Avoid sprinklers and hosepipes: these water-guzzling devices quickly drench the garden but can use as much as 1000 litres of clean water every hour. Instead, reuse dishwater or cooking water for your garden or use single watering cans instead.
- Water late at night: evaporation is less likely once the sun goes down, so consider watering your plants last thing at night.
- Mulch your plants: using bark chippings, straw or heavy compost can reduce evaporation too, minimising your need for more water for your garden.
Small changes such as more showers than baths and getting into the habit of switching taps off between brushing does make an impact on the environment. Protecting our water supply and being mindful of every drop we use it one step we can all take to help try and counteract the impact of global warming.