We have a growing problem with access to fresh water. We use billions of liters for both industrial and private purposes. Unsustainable management of this valuable resource often leads to drought and lasting changes in ecosystems. It is also the cause of local communities’ life quality deterioration, even though they are usually the least responsible for the catastrophe. That is why it’s so important that each of us – to the best of our abilities – reduce water consumption. We can do this through simple consumer choices. We can limit the purchase of leather goods, animal products consumption, choosing ebooks over books or tap water over soft drinks. Saving water at home is also very important. After all, the average consumption in Europe is 144 liters per day per person . Fortunately, saving both natural resources and money for bills can be easy and almost imperceptible. How to do it?
First of all: let’s get rid of bad habits
The easiest thing we can do to implement effective water saving at home is to change our habits. These are small things that are very easy to learn. Such as, for example, turning off the water while shaving, brushing teeth or soaping body while in the shower.
Draining water in the toilet is also responsible for a high percentage of water consumption in home. Just a single flush can mean up to 13.6 liters of used water . In this regard, it’s worth sticking to two simple rules. First of all, don’t treat the toilet as a trash can – the place of used tissues is definitely in the trash can. In addition, if the toilet in your home is equipped with two toilet flush buttons – it’s good to use them. Sometimes a smaller stream is really all you need.
Water can also be saved when watering the garden. A rainwater container is perfect for it. It will certainly allow you to use many litres of tap water less. Potted plants, in turn, can be watered with water collected, e.g. when washing vegetables and fruits. Puting a bowl in the sink costs us nothing, and is another small step forward.
Saving water at home doesn’t have to mean less comfort
When washing (both vegetables in the sink and body in the shower) the biggest problem is unnecessarily high pressure and too intensive water jet. With traditional taps and shower heads, we actually use a minority of what ends up in the drain. If you don’t plan to change taps soon (rightly so, it’s dumb to throw away a working thing), it’s worth considering buying an aerator. It’s a type of tap overlay that reduces the water flow by – depending on the model – 15, or even 60%. At the same time, the stream remains optically wide, so we don’t have the impression that there is too little water.
Such aerators can also be attached to shower heads. There are also a whole headphones regulating water flow, the performance of which is even higher. The manufacturer of such devices is, for example, the Swedish company Altered. It constantly proves that saving water at home can be done without any sacrifice. It’s creators designed their new device limiting the use of water in the shower so that it meets all of the most important determinants of a “comfortable shower”. The stream covers a large area of the body (due to rotations), large drops exert a pleasant pressure on the skin (they move at high speed), and the water itself remains pleasantly warm (due to reduced dispersion). At the same time, the Swedes have proven that it is. in fact, possible – saving water at home can be pleasant.
Let’s allow machines to take care of our duties sometimes
Today we know perfectly well that technological progress makes our lives easier, and that machines are much more efficient and economical than we are. It also happens that they can work great for protecting the environment and its natural resources.
First of all, therefore – it’s worth considering to buy a dishwasher. Such devices save a lot of water compared to manual dishwashing. What is worth remembering, however, is to always put a full dishwasher, and throw any leftovers directly into the bin instead of rinsing them. In addition to saving water and energy, the dishwasher also allows us to save time – up to 230 hours, or almost 10 days a year .
Saving water at home is also facilitated by a good-class washing machine. Washing clothes – next to washing dishes – is after all one of the basic tasks for which water is necessary. So, if you’re planning on buying/replacing a washing machine, you should look for those with an Energy Star certificate. They consume (on average) about 33% less water  because the tub doesn’t have to be filled with it. Instead, the clothes are washed in streams of flowing water.
Why would we bother?
Now that you know how to save water at home, you may be asking yourself: what for, if it will eventually come back into circulation anyway? Of course it will – one day it will come back. Remember, however, that our needs are often “broken off” from the natural cycle, which nature is able to cope with on a regular basis. Droughts and related changes in ecosystems are often caused by human huge demand for water. In addition, wastewater treatment is energy-consuming, and – as you know – each unit of energy consumed is the emission of an additional portion of carbon dioxide (at least in some countries).
Of course, it’s not like our responsible choices and good habits will eliminate the problem. Its solution probably requires complicated system changes. However, nothing prevents you from starting these changes form yourself. You can reduce the consumption of life-giving resource and greenhouse gas emissions a little bit, and at the same time save some money.
 European Environment Agency, 2019: Water use in Europe — Quantity and quality face big challenges: https://www.eea.europa.eu/signals/signals-2018-content-list/articles/water-use-in-europe-2014 [access 10.12.2019].
 Alliance for Water Efficiency, Home Water Works: https://www.home-water-works.org/indoor-use/toilets [access 10.12.2019].
 Mcdonald F., 2018: Here’s Why You Need to Stop Washing Your Dishes by Hand. Science Alert: https://www.sciencealert.com/is-it-better-to-wash-dishes-by-hand-or-dishwasher-environment-science [access 10.12.2019].
 Energy Star, Clothes Washers: https://www.energystar.gov/products/appliances/clothes_washers [access 10.12.2012].