Are you more like a camel or a fish?
Bear with us – it’ll make sense in a minute.
International World Water Day is March 22, held every year to raise awareness about water-related issues around the globe. First developed by the UN in 1992, each year has a different theme, and 2017’s is all about Wastewater.
From fisherwomen and men, to water relaxation therapists, 1.5 billion people are employed in roles directly linked to the water sector, and virtually all other jobs depend on water in one way or another.
This year, World Water Day is geared towards starting a conversation about how to support the millions of people who face problems in the workplace relating to water, as well as promoting ways we can take action in our own routine to make a change.
Our Which Water Animal Are You? quiz assesses the ways we use water to determine how H2O savvy we really are. The majority of Brits are ‘ducks’, which means that while we are fairly conscious about conserving water (better than ‘elephants,’ who are slightly wasteful, or the very wasteful ‘fish’!), we can still make changes in our everyday routines to try to reach ‘camel’ status – the wisest water users of the four categories.
The combination of the bath, shower, tzet and sink make the bathroom the most water-centric room in the home.
For the most part, Brits are mindful about water use in the bathroom – according to our findings, only one third of us spend more than 15 minutes in the shower, and 83% make sure not to flush unnecessary rubbish down the toilet.
However, with 65% admitting they leave the water running while brushing their teeth or shaving, it’s clear that there’s room for improvement:
- Turn off the taps: Whether you’re cleaning your teeth or washing your face, keep the taps turned off as much as possible – in the space of one minute, leaving them on can waste 6 litres.
- Smart systems: Consider installing water-saving systems in your bathroom, which can help to reduce usage when you’re not even thinking about it. A cistern, with adjustable flush volumes is a great way to increase efficiency. Shower-heads with eco modes are available across a range of price points, and will reduce wastage during your (shorter!) showers.
- Take a long, short bath: Reducing the height of your bathwater by 2.5 cm will save litres in the long run, and a thermaform bath will keep the temperature warmer for an extended period of time, so you can aid the environment and relax for longer.
Save water in the kitchen
One of the most active rooms in the home, the kitchen is a prime location for wasting water: according to our quiz, 65% admit that they wait for the tap to run cold before getting a drink, and nearly half wash fruit and veg under running water.
Here’s how you can turn squandering into saving:
- Drink on a needs basis: When it comes to your morning cup of tea or coffee, fill the kettle with only as much water as you know you’ll use. Let the taps take a break and keep a jug of water chilled in the fridge, which can a save up to 70 litres of water each week.
- Think about the dishes: If you have a dishwasher, avoid pre-rinsing whenever possible and wait until there’s a full load before you turn it on. When handwashing, use a washing-up bowl or plug.
- Fill a bowl: Whether you’re rinsing or defrosting, rather than running the tap, fill a bowl with water and use it to clean or thaw your vegetables or frozen food.
Save water in your weekly routine
Outside of the kitchen and bathroom, water plays a big part of our everyday routine, from buying bottled water (we found that over one third of Brits regularly choose this over tap water) to the mid-week wash.
Making little changes from day to day can result in a big difference:
- Change your chores: While we’re pretty good about filling the washing machine, 13% of us still waste water on a half-load or less, and 16% waste up to 1000 litres by watering their gardens with a hosepipe. Switching to a watering can during early morning or evening hours is better for both plants and water conservation.
- Benefit from DIY: Though it might seem like a minor annoyance, a dripping tap can cause thousands of litres of wastage over the course of a year. Fixing the issue as soon as you notice it will pay off in the long run.
- Eat less meat: With over 7 billion people to feed across the world, it’s no wonder that the agricultural industry is a majority player in water usage. While we might not realise it when biting into our dinners, our daily diet costs thousands of litres of water each day. Reducing meat intake is a great way to make a long-tail contribution to conservation.
Though it might only seem like a drop or a splash here and there, water usage adds up quickly in ways we don’t realise. From the bathroom to the garden, there are many simple things we can do order to contribute to the World Water Day effort – so embrace your inner camel and conserve!