The Average Brit Uses A Staggering 152 Litres Of Water A Day! 6 Ways You Can Use Less

When it comes to living sustainably, it’s easy to overlook the importance of water in favour of more obvious solutions, such as reducing plastic use and recycling products. However, the average British person uses a staggering 152 litres of water a day!

This figure includes factors such as flushing toilets and washing clothes as well as the obvious use of drinking and preparing food. Even so, this’ll probably strike you as a lot of water for one person to use every day. And this is just in the UK; imagine the numbers worldwide!

Thankfully, there’s plenty we can do to reduce our household water use. Here are 6 tips to sustainably use less water in your home.

1. Check Your Toilet

This might not be the most attractive starting point, but the average toilet uses anywhere from 7-12 litres of water every time you flush. You can reduce this by as much as 3 litres using a water saver.

The first step is to reduce the amount of water that’s used to fill the cistern. Although products exist for this purpose, you can do the same job with a full bottle of water, or even a brick. The idea is to displace the amount of water that your cistern holds.

Another option is to replace the flush mechanism of your toilet. A 2-button flush valve helps reduce water by using half flushes, and you can change the fill limit easily. You can buy these flush valves for around £15 and install them yourself.

While you’re there, check your toilet for leaks, as this can waste a surprising amount of water. The easiest way to check is to stick a piece of toilet paper to the back of the bowl below where it flushes. If it’s wet after an hour or so, it means your toilet has a leak.

You can generally fix leaks yourself because it’ll often come down to 1 of 2 issues. Either:

  • The rubber doughnut between the cistern and bowl is damaged; or
  • There’s debris in your flush valve, which stops it from closing properly

Both issues can be solved with a quick trip to a DIY shop and less than an hour of your time.

2. Install Water-Saving Faucets

If you don’t have them installed yet, fit tap aerators to your faucets. They regulate the water flow by introducing air and separating a single flow of water into numerous small streams. This can reduce water consumption from 15 litres a minute to as little as 6 litres a minute.

Helpfully, you don’t need to fit entirely new taps. Most aerators screw onto the end of your existing taps, meaning you can change them whenever you need to. Eco shower heads are the same thing but, unsurprisingly, for your shower. A lot of aerator shower heads retain your existing water pressure, too, which you can lose when fitting aerator tap heads. Both products can reduce your water consumption by 50% or more.

3. Get a Rain Catcher

One of the most surprising eco items you can buy (if you like gardening, at least) is a rain catcher. Provided you have at least one gutter that runs to a drain, you can install a water butt to catch rain. You can then use this to water your plants, reducing your reliance on the garden hose.

This obviously won’t be a ground-breaking tip for most gardeners, as rain catchers aren’t new concepts. But if you set up a few hundred-litre rain catchers, you should have enough water to see you through the summer.

On a similar note, you might have seen various tips about using household grey water for plants. Although it’s fine in a drought, you should avoid using it long-term because there are too many contaminants in it. Avoid it altogether on food crops so you don’t contaminate them with bacteria and pathogens.

4. Water Efficiency When Washing Dishes

The most water-efficient way to wash your dishes will depend on how many people there are in your household. For 1 or 2 people, washing by hand is the best way, as a single load of dishes shouldn’t use more than 10 litres of water.

But for families, a dishwasher is the best option. For the amount of dishes it can wash, a dishwasher saves up to 50% of the water compared to doing them by hand.

Ensure you only ever run the dishwasher when it’s full, though. This might seem like an obvious tip, but on a water-to-dish ratio, even half loads and eco settings aren’t that efficient. Provided you can fill it in a day or two, using a dishwasher can be very economical.

5. Check for Leaks

Again, this isn’t a particularly attractive way to save water, but it’s one of the easiest to fix. A 2018 survey found that a single leaky tap can lead to 25 litres of lost water a day. It might not sound like much, but it’s enough to run a dishwasher cycle.

The easiest way to check if your system is leaking is to use your water meter (if you have one). Find your home’s stop cock and turn it off. Check your meter reading and then check it again an hour later. If it’s gone up, you’ve got a leak somewhere.

If that’s not possible, look for obvious signs of water leakage, such as:

  • Musty smells
  • Mould or mildew
  • Water damage
  • Low pressure
  • New or unusual sounds coming from your plumbing system

As for finding the specific leaks and dealing with them, that’s a bit harder. At this point, it’ll be worth calling in a plumber to take over the job.

6. Reduce Your Reliance on Running Taps

The idea of not running a tap while brushing your teeth isn’t new. But there’s also no need to run a tap when shaving, washing your face, cleaning vegetables, or even washing the dishes. All this can be done in standing water.

Take washing dishes, for example. If you have 2 sinks, fill the second one with water to rinse clean dishes. Alternatively, use the running tap for filling your washing bowl to rinse dishes. If neither of these are options, consider buying a second washing bowl to use for rinsing.

You don’t need running water for any washing or rinsing job – it can all be done in standing water. Although this is probably a habit you’ve already established in your home, look for other jobs it’ll work for.

You can take things a step further by using GudYu’s chewable toothpaste tabs. We don’t use water during production, meaning we’re not shipping unnecessary water around the country. Better yet, you don’t need any water for brushing either. Just pop one in your mouth, chew, brush and spit. Job done!

Making Small Changes for Big Impacts

This is by no means an exhaustive list of how to be more eco-friendly with your water. Instead, it’s a focus on the most water-intensive appliances and jobs around the home and how you can reduce your water consumption by changing habits. Sure, you could take shorter showers, but an aerator shower head is a much better way to save water.

Start by making small changes and build up to larger ones. In time, you won’t even notice you’re doing anything differently.