Almost three quarters of the earth’s surface is covered by water, but only 3% of it is fresh water. So we should all be careful not to waste water.
We should also avoid flushing anything into drains that could pollute rivers and affect wildlife.
The average person in the UK uses about 150 litres of water a day, but with good water-saving habits this can be dramatically reduced.
It is easy to save water, here are some simple ways:
- When you are cleaning fruit or vegetables, try to collect the water in a bowl and then re-use it for watering houseplants.
- If you like to drink cold water, keep a water jug in the fridge, so you don’t need to leave a tap running to get cold water.
- Washing appliances used when only half full use more than half the water and energy of a full load. Therefore, wait until you have a full load before switching the machine on. Doing this, you can save up to 3,785 litres a month!
- When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
- Leaving the tap running while you wash your hands or brush your teeth can waste up to 6 litres of water per minute! So only use the tap to rinse.
- Always double-check taps have been turned off completely.
- A 5-minute shower uses about a third of the water of a bath. But remember that power showers can use more water than a bath in less than 5 minutes.
- You shouldn’t use the toilet as a rubbish bin cotton buds, makeup tissues and cotton wool should be placed in your waste bin.
- Choose one glass for your drinking water each day. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.
There are some extra ways in which adults can help too.
The disposal of persistent and harmful chemicals into the water system is adding to increasing levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the food chain.
A recent study found that on average we have more than 300 man-made compounds in our bodies – from artificial musks used in cosmetics, to cleaning products, flame retardants and chemicals used to make plastics and coatings. We cannot say for certain what long-term effects these will have on our health.
Many household chemical cleaners can be dangerous to the environment (and to humans!) but they can easily be replaced by non-toxic alternatives, which are also much cheaper to use, e.g.:
Malt Vinegar has many uses, such as a surface cleaner, stain remover and descaler – it cuts through grease, deodorises and acts as a mild disinfectant.
Olive Oil can be used, sparingly, as a furniture polish, and it can remove fingerprint marks from stainless steel.
So find out more about conserving water and look into reducing your use of harsh chemicals.