In the UK, each person uses on average 150 litres of water a day and around 25% of the energy consumed goes towards heating water for things like showering or making a cuppa.
It is then safe to say that, by saving water, we are also saving energy and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, which are a key contributor to climate change. In light of #WorldWaterDay2019, we asked young students about their ingenious hacks to save water (and their futures, one might say).
We weren’t disappointed.
Here are some of the best answers, which you can take inspiration from and apply to your own daily routine:
I use my leftover pasta water to cook my vegetables and the water I don’t drink in my water bottle to water my plants
Isabelle Cachat, Sustainability and International Relations Student
Using leftover water is a really constructive way of saving water and in terms of cooking can provide many options. As just one example, aquafaba is the leftover water from cooking chickpeas and lentils and it is a simple and cheap vegan alternative to egg whites.
I shop almost exclusively at charity shops
Charlotte Aylwin, History of Art and Languages Student
The production of most clothing is very unsustainable and harmful on the environment, especially clothes produced for the ‘fast fashion’ industry. One cotton t-shirt has about 25 baths full of water embedded in it- we don’t usually associate our clothing choices with water use but they are inextricably linked.
I am vegan
Jess Barber, Modern Languages Student
The production of meat and dairy uses huge quantities of water so having a plant-based diet saves water. It takes 15,500 litres of water to produce 1 kg beef compared to 250 litres to produce 1 kg potatoes. To illustrate this quantity, one swimming pool worth of water would produce only 5kg of beef.
I keep my showers to a minimum, partly by having quite cold showers so that I stay in it for less time
Freddie Tedstone, Modern Languages Student
One quarter of the nine billion litres of water used daily by UK households is in showering. If everyone cuts their shower time by one minute, British households would save £215 million on energy bills annually. There is also the possibility of putting a timer in your shower to encourage you to take a short shower
Not flushing the loo after a wee
Jak Chowdhary, Geography Student
Old toilets can use up to 32 litres of water with every flush, so by reducing the amount of times you flush the toilet, you will be saving huge amounts of water.
I don’t leave the tap running when brushing my teeth
Will Bryant, History Student
This may seem trivial but think of how many cups of water we could fill with the water that is left running while we are brushing our teeth. This actually saves five litres a minute.
Here are some more ways of saving water:
Save the world; Pee in the shower
This would mean reducing the amount of times you flush the toilet. About 30% of total water used in the household is through toilet flushing. In 2009, an advert campaign in Brazil was launched to encourage people to pee in the shower and this greatly helped to reduce water wastage in a country which faces issues with water shortages.
Freeze your jeans
You heard it. Washing machines use between 55 and 170 litres of water per load depending on how new and efficient your machine is. Making sure to fill the load and only wash clothes when they really need to be washed can help to save water. Jeans can be frozen rather than put in the washing machine to sterilise them- this would not only reduce water consumption but also reduce microplastics released to our oceans.
A brick in the tank
Putting a brick in an old toilet system can save up to 9 litres of water per day per person as water in the cistern is displaced.
Using a washing up bowl to do the dishes
Having the tap running while washing up all your pots and pans wastes vast amounts of water so running one sink full or one bucket full of water can greatly reduce this wastage.