Living More Sustainably: Attempting to Save Water

July 17, 2019

I wasn’t really sure what to write about today, but given that I’ve just uttered the words, “turn that tap OFF, please!” for the umpteenth time today, I thought I’d go with my efforts to reduce our water usage! Some of the things I’m going to say might sound a bit daft, but I do think it’s helping to reduce the amount of water we’re using bit by bit, which I’m hoping will add up to a big change.

Photo by Laura Marques on Unsplash

Timing my showers

One thing I’ve started doing recently is timing my showers. I never really thought about how long I spent in the shower, but I reckon it must easily have been around ten minutes; maybe even fifteen on a hair wash day. I loved having long showers because they enabled me to have that bit of alone time to organise my thoughts and enjoy some peace and quiet before opening the doors to the sound of two toddlers starting their day.

That’s all well and good, but the amount of water I must have been using is ridiculous! Now, I try to limit myself to a five minute shower. I’ve been doing this by setting an alarm on my phone to go off after five minutes. It does help me to focus, but I’m often still washing conditioner out of my hair when the alarm goes off. So I’ve just ordered a waterproof, suction-mountable timer to put in the shower. I’m hoping seeing the time tick down will help me to wash even faster and get to within five minutes every time!

Hiding the garden hose

This might sound ridiculous but I’m a firm believer that if you make something less convenient to do, you’re less likely to do it. So I’ve disconnected the garden hose from the outside tap, put the hose in the garage, and put a garden sofa in front of said tap so you can’t even see it.

Now I water the garden using a jug that I have hanging around, which I’m sure uses vastly less water than the hose (especially as I can’t be bothered to take too many trips into the kitchen to fill it). I need a water butt as well really, so that I’m using rainwater instead and can be even more sustainable.

Hiding the tap also has the added bonus that the three year old can’t get to it!

Thinking before I turn on the tap

This might sound a bit odd, but I’m trying to just take a moment to think about what I’m doing before I turn on the tap. For example, I seem to be constantly trying to do two (or three, or four!) things at once, so if I go to fill up M’s water bottle or get myself a glass of water, I usually have something else in my other hand.

So that means that I put down the glass, turn on the tap, pick up the glass, fill it, put it back down again (still with the water running) then turn off the tap. So there’s all that time before and after the glass is under the tap, where the water is just running down the drain. So now I’ve been trying to put down whatever it is in my other hand (usually B!) so that the tap is only on, while the glass is underneath it.

Photo by Sasikan Ulevik on Unsplash

Nagging the Toddler

I’m so incredibly proud of M with the way that she’s approached potty training. She’s really good at washing her hands after she’s been to the toilet, and she even washes her hands when they get sticky or messy, rather than asking me for a wet wipe.

Unfortunately, though, she seems to like washing her hands a little bit *too* much, in that she’ll often spend far too long with the tap running, examining the soap or fiddling with the plug. Sometimes she’ll just decide that one of her toys needs a ‘rinse’ and I’ll find her washing a toy dinosaur in the sink of the downstairs loo.

This is negatively off-setting all of my other water saving efforts, so I find myself spending half my life asking her to turn off the tap and think of the environment! I think the message must be going in at least a little bit, as I heard her telling Matthew to hurry up washing his hands at the weekend…!

What are you doing to save water? Tell me your top tips in the comments!

Are you trying to save water? Here are four water-saving tips for when you're living with toddlers.

4 responses to “Living More Sustainably: Attempting to Save Water”

  1. We don’t have a shower so that means having baths which use up a lot of water. I love a soak in a deep bath but I’ve been more conscious lately to have more shallow baths.

    Also, last year during the heatwave we watered our garden with bath water. A bit of brown water as they call it won’t hurt the garden at all now and again and it stops it all being completely wasted.

    • Jules says:

      That’s a good idea! Perhaps I’ll put some of the girls’ bathwater on the garden during the hot weather. We definitely need to get a water butt sorted out, though.

  2. Leslie says:

    Depending on your location, Anglian Water have a free water saving kit you can order. I’m sure other water companies probably do the same too 🙂

    • Jules says:

      Oh yes I did order one of those! It was mostly bits for plants, though, from what I remember. I’ll have to have another look in the box.

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