Cutting back on how much water you use doesn’t just do your wallet a favour – it’s also better for the environment. Using less water reduces the strain on bodies of water and conserves. Here are some tips for cutting your water consumption in the home.
Switch to a water meter. If you don’t have a water meter, you might find that your water bills are a lot more expensive than they should be. For many households, water bills are based on estimated readings in line with how much water is being used in other houses in your area. If you don’t use as much as the average reading in your area, you may be much better off getting a water meter fitted so that you’re charged only for what you’re using. This can be a particularly good way to save money on your water bills if you live alone or are planning to take big steps to use less water in your home.
In the Bathroom
Over 60 per cent of water wastage happens in the bathroom so this is one of the main areas to examine your current levels of water consumption.
Switch to a more efficient showerhead. Having a bath is usually going to use more water than having a shower but that largely depends on how much water your shower is actually using. Power showers spray out a lot of water and aren’t very water-efficient. If you’re in the shower for more than 10 minutes, this type of shower can actually use more water than a bath. Where possible, opt for an aerated or low-flow showerhead which doesn’t waste as much water. Choosing a more water-efficient showerhead can significantly cut down on the amount of water being used during the average shower and it shouldn’t make for an inferior showering experience.
Get a shower timer. If you’re spending too much time in the shower, why not use a shower timer to help you cut back?
Fit a more efficient flush. A lot of water is wasted every time you flush the toilet but you can cut down on this by having a flush-saving device installed. Alternatively, a dual flush toilet is another good way to save water when flushing the toilet as you can choose to activate a shorter flush for when there isn’t “much” to get rid of.
Only run the tap when you’re using it. Many of us leave the tap running while we’re brushing our teeth but this is an unnecessary waste of water. Get into the habit of flicking the tap off again as soon as you’ve wet your toothbrush and leaving it off until you come to rinse it. On a similar note, make sure that you don’t have any dripping taps in your house.
Keep an eye on your bath temperature. If you do opt for a bath over a shower, it helps to keep a close check on the water temperature as it fills as this can mean that you don’t have to partially empty the bath water and fill it up again because it was too hot or cold.
In the Kitchen
Use appliances more efficiently. When you use the dishwasher, make sure that you’re cleaning a full load before you switch it on. If you’re only doing half a load, chances are that you’ll have to put on another load later in the day, which will use more water than a full load.
Taking some steps to cut back on how much water is being used in your home can have a big impact on your average water bill. You might be surprised how much money you can save. Plus you are doing something positive for the environment.
So, are you aware of your water consumption? What kinds of things can you do to cut back?
We switched to one of those new electronic meters. No more meter-reading man knocking at our doors when we are not at home!
Great point about replacing the shower-head. Newer shower-heads are very efficient while maintaining the water pressure. You’ll only notice the money saved!
Yes they have come a long way with the shower heads. The eco friendly ones used to really stink in the water pressure department. They are much better now. They haven’t rolled out electronic meters where I live yet. I am excited for when they do though.
I think I will be purchasing a separate shower timer and new shower head. I’ve been using another timer, but since it is all-purpose, I sometimes have to hunt it down if I want to use it for timing showers. Having a dedicated one would be sensible.
They don’t take a lot of space either. Small thing to leave in the bathroom. Glad you are taking the time to make some changes to your shower to save water. Mother nature thanks you.
My daughter needs a shower timer! We don’t water the grass during the summer. Granted it starts to look brown although this year made it through the end of July. Plus I save money on cutting.
Our grass went brown this year too. We had a really hot summer.
I think my brother is like your daughter and needs a shower timer. I swear he takes 45 minutes in there some days.
In southern California, we have to conserve water or we are penalized. We use low flow toilets, showerheads and watch our lawn watering. We probably should do more since we live in a desert climate.
I wish we had a law like that here. I find we are so behind where I live when it comes to this stuff. It is so frustrating. To me the only way people are going to change what they are doing is to add a consequence.
We use low flow toilets, irrigation system and water/energy efficient appliances to conserve water. That’s as far as we go.
That is nothing to scoff at. You are making more of an effort that many. I am glad to hear you are at least trying a few things. We really need to install some low flow toilets in our house. Next years reno list I guess.
My son moved out of the house so our water bill should be about half what it was!
That’s funny. He likes his showers huh? Must be a guy thing. My brother is the same way. Long showers.
Great topic Miss T. It’s east to underestimate how much water we use and waste, in our house it is our single most expensive bill. I have called our water provider and they confirm that we use less than half than the average user…astonishing. If we didn’t have a thirsty lawn we could use half as much again…I don’t appreciate tall fescue in our hot climate.
It is always interesting to hear others viewpoints isn’t it?! You think you are using a lot when in fact you are using half of the norm. These kinds of perception differences always astound me.
We had a hot summer this year and our lawn dried up. However by fall it greened up again. We just let it do it’s thing and didn’t water it. I figured nature would find a way to deal with it.
I’m really bad about taking a bath and either getting the water way too hot or having it be lukewarm and then I can hardly sit in it! I need to be more aware of my water consumption. I think the big thing for me is that I take a bath most of the time, so I could probably cut back a lot if I took more showers.
Thanks for the great post, it’s a good reminder for me!
I used to have baths once in a while but like you I would get frustrated with never having the water just right. Plus it cooled down so fast I found. I much prefer showers these days.
Great tips! Shower timer? Would you say the magic number to watch is 10 minutes? Before I ran the faucet even when I wasn’t using it. Guess with age, you think bigger picture. Way to protect our planet’s water supply!
I think the ideal time will vary based on water pressure and flow in your own home. Everyone’s is probably different. It is a neat way of getting data though and changing your practices accordingly.
We have low flow shower heads, which took some getting use to. No dishwasher at this house, and we have a rain barrel collecting water for the garden. Since we are on well water with out a water softner, I will use the rain water to rinse my hair. I think our well water is a little hard and it is sometimes difficult to get all the soap out of my hair.
I have heard rain water is great for your hair- makes it really soft. My inlaws live in the country and they use a water softener. I must say I don’t like it. I feel like my skin has a film on it after a shower.
Remember that using a dishwasher is actually greener than washing dishes by hand. You might want to look into getting one down the road.
I think we have implemented all of those suggestions at home, in fact most have been forced upon us. It isn’t a bad thing though, we live in an area that gets very little rain, so water is a precious resource (and is priced as such too).
I agree with you that this is a good thing. I think higher prices make us value what we have more and we tend to be less wasteful. I sometimes wonder that if things like water and food costs really escalated if people would make better choices on what they bought and used. Would they use less water and eat less? Would the buy healthier food to max out the benefit of their purchase? Would people start to loose weight and put the obesity crisis on hold? I wonder….