20 tips to cut water waste

The blessing of scarcity is appreciation for the item that's no longer abundant.

Local streams have been dry for months, water pressure is low from the tap, and a hosepipe ban starts imminently. And so, I've been doing quite a bit of research on how to minimise water waste in my house and garden.

I hope they may be of help to you, too. 

Some of these tips are obvious, some require more adaptation.

Making any change is better than no change. It's keeping that change around that is key.

Around the house

  1. Repair any leaky taps immediately

  2. Keep a washing-up tub in your sink, to avoid running the tap frequently

  3. Turn off the tap when soaping your hands

  4. Use all waste water (from washing up, boiling eggs, boiling pasta) to water plants

  5. Undrunk water in glasses? Save for cooking or, again, watering plants.

  6. Clean dirt off root veg in a tub or bowl rather than running water

  7. Run a dishwasher only when full

  8. Never leave the water running whilst brushing teeth

  9. Turn off the shower when soaping or shaving

  10. Spread your showers out, if you're able (or shower, but wash hair alternating times)

  11. Shower for less than 10 minutes; it takes less water than a bath

  12. If bathing, consider using the same water for multiple family members

  13. Place a bucket on the shower floor to catch water to use for plants, car cleaning, etc depending on whether the water has soap or not in it

  14. If it's yellow, let it mellow... (seriously, flush less at home)

    In the garden

    1. Leave out shallow bowls of water in your garden, with sticks in them for birds to rest upon

    2. Water plants as early in the morning as possible. The plants and soil are at maximum absorbency, and are less likely to have mildew and disease issues as night-time watering. Watering during the daytime simply feeds the air moisture.

    3. If you have outdoor plants, install water butts; they're a game-changer

    4. Grass is the very last thing you should consider watering. If you must, spot water the most parched bits, and do so in the very early morning hours.

    5. Weeds steal precious moisture. Get'em gone!

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