This is a collaborative post.
With the latest series of climate protests taking place in London, the environment is a topic that is certainly on everyone’s lips at the moment. Climate change is something every single one of us should think about, to ensure we leave a sustainable world for the next generation.
The long dry summer we experienced in 2018 may have been a welcome break from the seemingly grey and dreary weather we endure on these isles, but it has brought issues such as water-shortages and water-wastage into sharp focus.
How can you help?
So, how can you play your part? Well, did you know that, according to Thames Water, over 50% of the water we use in our homes comes from baths, showers and flushing the toilet? So, your bathroom seems the perfect place to start when looking to save water.
In this article, I’ve come up with 6 eco friendly bathroom ideas, which will help you save water, save cash and, hopefully, save the world!
1. Think about your flush
Using around 23% of the total water in an average household, your choice of toilet is crucial when it comes to saving this precious resource. If you own an older toilet, chances are the cistern is a single, large capacity model, which is infamous for water wastage. By installing a modern toilet with dual flush, you can select a smaller flush for liquid waste and the larger flush for solid matter.
Also, one thing to check is whether your loo is “leaky”. If your cistern is faulty, it can waste a potential 400 litres of water per day. The annoying thing is, this issue often goes unnoticed, with a barely visible trickle of water at the back of the pan. One way to keep an eye on this is to stick some toilet paper at the back of the pan at least 30 minutes after your last flush. Leave it for at least 3 hours (overnight is best) and check again. If the paper is soggy or dissolved, it most likely means you have a leaky loo.
2. Take shorter showers instead of long baths
A shower uses less water than a bath but did you know by shortening the time you spend beneath the shower head, you could be saving almost 12,000 litres of water every year. Try setting a time limit on your shower (some water authorities suggest 4 minutes) and sticking to it. You could set a timer on your phone that’ll alert you, or, if you invest in a smart showering system, you can simply add a time limit to your set-up.
3. Pick a water-limiting shower
Whilst we’re on the subject of showers, there are plenty of other ways to save water, aside from setting a time limit.
Electric showers are ideal for this purpose, as they only heat the amount of water you need for a single shower, rather than having to heat a whole hot water tank. Many modern electric showers also come with an “eco mode” button which limits the water flow, without limiting your experience.
Of course, there are other options, especially when choosing a thermostatic mixer shower. Many manufacturers are taking water-saving very seriously, with flow limiters than can be adjusted during set-up. Plus, as previously mentioned, smart showering systems allow you to fully customise flow, whilst fully monitoring your water-usage.
If you simply don’t have the budget to spend on a new shower, one quick and easy way to save water is to swap your old shower head for an air-mix model, which, as the name may suggest, adds air into the mix.
4. Fix those leaky taps
A tap that keeps dripping isn’t just annoying, it could be wasting up to 90 litres of water per week and pouring cash right down the drain. A new tap is inexpensive and relatively easy to fit, so it’ll certainly pay to fix it as soon as possible.
If you are purchasing a new tap, keep an eye out for approval from the WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme). If you see this, you can be assured it is designed to use water efficiently. Also, make sure your new tap uses a ceramic disc cartridge, which is more hardwearing than old-fashioned rubber washers.
5. Choose a bath that retains heat
Whilst taking short showers save more water than baths, you still can’t beat a long, luxurious soak in the tub. If you simply can’t be without your cleansing ritual, it is worth considering the type of material your bath is made from.
A steel bath or one made of metal may look pretty but it doesn’t retain heat as efficiently as one made from acrylic. If you choose an acrylic bath, you won’t have to keep topping your bath up with hot water, saving both water and energy.
6. Be selective with your heating
You only really use your bathroom first thing in the morning and during the evening? Correct? If so, why bother heating it throughout the day?
With underfloor heating or an electric system, you can be selective with your temperature settings, which should save on energy. The latest smart thermostats can even learn the optimum times and temperatures for your bathroom, so you don’t even have to think about it! How’s that for smart technology?
Maximising space in your home is a key concern for many homeowners, which is where underfloor heating comes into its own. With no bulky radiators, it’s ideal for small bathrooms.
Whilst it may feel like you’re only making a small difference, saving water in your bathroom will go a long way to helping change the world for the better.