The chances are your home uses more water than it actually needs. Fortunately, cutting down your use is easier than you might think.
Although most of Europe doesn’t live with the constant threat of drought, the threat posed by global warming means we need to start thinking about saving water now. Not only that, processing water leaves a carbon footprint, which has a direct impact on the health of the planet. If everyone can play their part in saving water, life will be a great deal easier for future generations.
So what can you do in your own home to preserve water? Well, quite a lot, actually.
1. FIX LEAKS
That annoying leaky tap you’ve been living with for years is the source of a huge amount of waste. The toilet that never stops flushing is wasting thousands of gallons of water every year. And you can eradicate these losses by simply fixing leaks as and when they arise.
If you need more of an incentive, think about your water bills. If you’re not already on a water meter, the chances are you’ll be moving to one in the next few years. Making small savings here and there by ensuring all your appliances and fixtures are working could save you a significant amount of cash over the course of a year.
2. GET SMART WITH YOUR CLEANING
Instead of filling your bath to wash it, using buckets of H2O to clean your floors, or spraying your car with a seemingly endless supply of tap water, use the power of steam instead. Shark steam cleaners are highly effective at delivering results with the minimum amount of water. Superheated steam cuts through dirt and grease with surprising ease. You can always tell water hasn’t been wasted by Shark steam cleaners, as surfaces are almost dry immediately after cleaning.
3. SWITCH TO WATER-EFFICIENT APPLIANCES
If you have a relatively old washing machine, it might surprise you to know that it could be using more than 40 gallons of water on every load. This could account for around 20 percent of your home’s total annual usage. By switching to a water-efficient model, you might be able to reduce by half the estimated 12,000 gallons of water a year some washing machines use. The same principle applies to dishwashers and toilets too.
4. INSTALL AERATORS ON TAPS
It is estimated that Americans use more than a trillion gallons of water every year via their taps — more than 15 percent of the total used in homes across the country. If you attach aerators to all of your taps at home, you could cut your usage by around 30 percent, which could make a massive difference to your annual water bill.
5. CONSERVE ENERGY
It might surprise you to know that just one kilowatt-hour of electricity takes, on average, around 25 gallons of water to produce. When you consider that your home probably uses around 11,000 kilowatt-hours in a single year, it’s easy to see how much water you can save simply by switching off appliances, gadgets and lights when they’re not in use.
6. WATER YOUR GARDEN WITH CARE
Believe it or not, Americans use around half of their tap water on their gardens! While the need for watering gardens is not as pressing in Europe, this statistic does demonstrate just how much water can be wasted on lawns and plants. Instead of setting off your sprinkler, make an effort to water your garden by hand. Most water from sprinklers either misses its target, is evaporated or lands on already water areas, so they’re a shockingly inefficient tool for keeping your garden looking lush.
7. GET RID OF YOUR LAWN
Of course, one way to instantly reduce the amount of tap water your lawn guzzles every year is to simply remove it. According to NASA, residential lawns are the largest irrigated ‘crop’ in the Western world, so removing them will make a huge difference to water reserves in some of the driest areas of the World.
8. TURN OFF YOUR SHOWER OR BATHROOM TAPS WHENEVER YOU CAN
When you’re applying your shampoo or shower gel, do you really need to have the water running? OK, this might mean turning off your shower for just 10 seconds, but doing this consistently over the course of a year has the potential to save an enormous amount of water. Similarly, don’t let the tap run when you’re brushing your teeth, which is a habit many of us have!
By switching to water-efficient appliances, changing our cleaning habits and generally being more conscious about the water we use, we might be able to make a huge difference to the environment if we all implement these changes together.