Why should we have to ration the most abundant substance on the planet?
Friends of the Earth recommends:
1. Turn off the taps – Leaving a tap running while brushing teeth uses 6 litres of water a minute. And by fixing a dripping tap you can save over 60 litres of water a week.
2. Boil what you need – Only boil as many cups of water as you need for your tea round – you’ll be saving money and energy.
3. Shower with less – It’s easy to linger in the shower when you’re sleepy in the morning – four-minute timers can help. And switching to an efficient shower head will allow you to lather up in less water.
4. Save up your dirty clothes – Washing a full machine load of clothes uses less water and energy than two half-loads. This means lower bills as well.
5. Get a low-flush toilet – The average UK household flushes the loo 5,000 times per year. Modern dual-flush systems use just six litres – or four with a reduced flush – much less than the 13 litres for each old-style single flush.
6. Eat less meat – Rearing animals for meat and dairy is incredibly water-intensive. By cutting down on the amount of sausages and burgers you eat, you could slash your water use drastically.
7. Steam your veggies – As well as using less water than boiling, this retains more nutrients. If you do boil, try adding the water as tasty stock to soups, or water house or garden plants once it’s cooled.>
8. Reduce food waste – It takes a lot of water to produce our cereal, fruit and other food. More than half of the 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink UK households bin every year could have been eaten. Plan a week’s menu and go shopping with a list, use leftovers to create new meals and check use-by dates. This will help you waste less food – and save the average household £480 a year.
9. Time your gardening – Water outdoor plants in the early morning or at the end of the day stops water evaporating straight away in sunlight and heat. Also, watering onto the soil rather than leaves makes sure the liquid goes straight to the roots where it’s needed.
10. Catch rainwater – Installing water butts saves you turning on the tap – and your plants will thank you for rainwater rather than treated tap water. You can cut also water use by 33% by watering plants manually instead of using automatic sprinklers