It’s 2021, so we think it’s the perfect time to refresh our water-saving advice and bring some new tips to the table. Recently, we discovered the delicate process of getting water into our homes. Showing just how vital every drop is and why we can’t take it for granted. With that in mind, we want to equip you, our readers, with every water-saving tip possible. This week we’re pulling out all the stops and bringing you all the best water-saving tips for 2021.
Use soap bars not shower gels
We know what you’re thinking – how is this going to save us water? First of all, a very brief and very basic science lesson. When you’re scrubbing with soap, a foam or lather will appear. The most popular ingredient that causes this is Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLS or referred to as suds). When the ingredient mixes with water and air, it lathers and creates the visual impression that it is ‘cleaning’. Although this is only marginally true, it’s more for show.
“So, how does a soap bar help me save water over shower gel?” Shower gels have more SLS ingredients in them; it’s why they froth into a spectacular foam and why most people feel that they clean better than a bar of soap. But here’s where you save water. The fewer suds on your body, the less time you spend washing them off – water saved! Plus, less water is used in making a bar of soap compared to shower gels. Not to mention less plastic and packaging! After all, if the suds aren’t the primary cleaning agent, why do we need so many of them in the first place?
Huge water-saving tips for 2021: Drop tissues in the bin instead of the toilet
Sadly, thousands of us have the bad habit of using the toilet as a bin. Water companies have found a wide variety of alien objects in our waterways including cotton buds, sanitary items and even nappies. While flushing the wrong item down the loo is one of our most giant pet hates, it’s not our focus for today. We’re looking at water-saving tips for 2021.
The most popular item to be flushed down a loo that isn’t supposed to be is tissue paper. From blowing our noses to wiping off makeup, we use tissues for many things and more often than not, we flush the tissue down the loo. Each flush uses around 7 litres of water, so put your tissues in the bin. It’s a quick way to save a bucket load of water!
Avoid pouring out water from your drinking glass down the drain
Are you one of those people who pours a glass of water to take up to bed only to take a sip and tip it away the next morning? Same! Well, we were until we realised that we were pouring up to 5 litres away each week. That’s nearly 250 litres a year! So, we’ve started adjusting our habits so that in the morning, we use the water!
We’ve watered our houseplants with it; used it to rinse our mouths when brushing our teeth in the morning; poured into ice cube trays ready for the zoom weekend fund, and even used it in our morning breakfast – anything from smoothies to porridge.
Water-saving tips for 2021: Turn off the tap while washing your hands
We’re all very familiar with how to wash our hands these days – honestly, we’ve sung Happy Birthday song so many times it’s losing its pzazz when it really is a birthday! 20 seconds minimum is the time we should be washing our hands for. It’s been estimated that, on average, 47 litres are wasted every day when washing hands – and that was before a pandemic that encouraged us to wash our hands at every opportunity! Turning off the tap while you’re scrubbing your hands (and singing) is a great and easy way to save water, and we can all jump on board with it today.
Rinse your razor in the sink
Ladies, this one is for you as well! Similar to washing your hands, a running tap is a fast way to waste water. Whether you’re shaving your beard or your legs, you will find yourself in need of rinsing your razor. Our water-saving tip – do this in the sink. Shaving your legs in the shower extends your time spent there, and when they use 12 litres of water a minute, it’s definitely something to avoid. By putting a small pool of water in your sink, you can rinse your razor and avoid the dreaded ‘running tap’.
Water-saving tips for 2021: Do less clothes washing
Parents will know what we mean when we say washing is a constant battle at home! There’s something incredibly satisfying about reaching the bottom of the washing basket, but we all know that that pleasure is short-lived – especially if you have children. It only takes one stray sock to ruin the mood!
Doing less washing might not seem possible. But recommended advice tells you to wash your jeans every 3-10 wears (3 for those working in manual jobs, 10 for those at a desk). Sometimes it’s to protect the longevity of your jeans, others, it’s to save water. Imagine how much more washing you do by washing every item after one use! Did you wear a T-shirt for the afternoon after working out in the morning? Do you really need to wash it, or can you wear it again tomorrow? Get as much wear out of an item as you can and do fewer loads of washing – it’s a win-win situation for you and water!
Don’t let the tap run while you clean vegetables
Are you spotting a trend? Don’t let the taps run! It can be said all over the house, but here’s another way we probably think ‘I’m only letting it run for a couple of minutes I’m sure it won’t make a difference’. If you’re purchasing from a farmer’s market, you’ll love the authentic mud covering your potatoes when you buy them, but they do need washing before you cook them. Pop a small amount of water in your washing up bowl and scrub away!
Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants
We know it’s a bit early to start thinking about your summer garden, but our water-saving tips for 2021 go beyond the winter months. Especially as this tip also works for houseplants! Purchasing flowers, bushes and houseplants that drink less is a great way to save yourself some water. It means during the summer months you won’t have to get the watering can out of the shed quite so much. Less maintenance and less water – a perfect combination!
That’s our list of water-saving tips for 2021 complete. Did you learn something new, or do you have a few more tips you think we should add to this list? A great way to start your water-saving journey is by practising one or two of these tips every day until they become a habit. Then you can introduce more in your home. That way, your behaviour change is more likely to be sustainable rather than overloading your eco-plate by tackling them all at once!