Environmental issues are at the forefront of everybody’s mind these days as we look for a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle.
Whether that is in the way we think, act or encourage others to behave, saving energy and money is often a
preoccupation for us today. After we looked at 11 Things you Need to Clean Your Home in an Eco-Friendly Way, this is a post to explore methods by which you can save water around the home.
This article is not talking about obvious water-saving techniques such as taking short showers instead of bathing or recycling bath water to flush the toilet. Instead, it is about practical and physical solutions you can introduce into your home which will reduce your water usage and, in turn, make your home more eco-friendly.
Whilst having a shower does use less water than a bath under most circumstances, it depends on how long you shower for. Science Focus suggests that showering for 19 minutes will use the same volume of water as a bath, which means simply switching from one to the other is not enough. You can make your shower less intensive on your water supply by adding a low flow water-efficient showerhead. Typically, a shower uses around 11 litres of water per minute, but a low flow showerhead can reduce that by a gallon. All you have to do is buy one and screw it on your existing shower.
Working in much the same way as the low flow showerhead, a tap aerator fits on the end of your existing tap and reduces water usage in the same manner. A standard tap is responsible for up to 15% of a household’s water usage each year, and installing a low flow aerator could save 2,300 gallons or more. They can also help increase pressure, meaning the water comes out faster, despite using less.
Water Wise claims that 30% of the total water used in the home is consumed by flushing the toilet. This is the same water that is used when filling the kettle or cooking – high-quality freshwater. There are methods by which you can install a rainwater collector for flushing the toilet, but a water-saving cistern is much easier and likely to be cheaper too. A dual flush toilet gives the user the option of a soft flush or hard flush, with the former using around five litres of water, as opposed to 10.
There is a danger when fitting products to your system that you may exacerbate problems, or even create them. When fitting a showerhead or tap aerator, you are merely adding to the sharp end of a system and that is not too much of a worry. However, changing a cistern requires the water turning off and altering the existing plumbing, even if it is simply screwing and unscrewing. In that instance, it is recommended that you look at insuring the system against a breakdown or malfunction. That can, in turn, help provide you with methods of saving water.
HomeServe’s guide to plumbing cover explains how you can get varying levels of protection against leaking pipes, blocked drains, blocked toilets and sinks as well as blockages to your supply. If you can get quick and effective repairs carried out on a potential leak, then not only will you save money, but it will help stop water from escaping more effectively, therefore saving the environment.
Whilst these are just three installations that you can bring into the home that affect water usage, the market is saturated with products which can help. Some of the easier ones to fit, which we have covered, are great when implemented at the same time as water-saving techniques and behaviours. If you do want to drill down further, then rainwater collection systems and greywater diverters are great for becoming more sustainable. It all depends on the amount you wish to spend on your eco-friendly drive!
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