The summer holidays are here! Although we aren’t planning to carry on with homeschooling as such, this summer’s going to look a little different compared to normal. There will definitely be more time at home, as we have all been experiencing over the past few months, but hopefully, be able to enjoy the warm sunny weather (c’mon, July).
As a result of being home more over the summer, no doubt that we will be using up more water than we normally would be too. It is something that we can so easily take for granted, as it is right there out of the tap, whenever we want it. But we all need to be more mindful of how much water we are using, and not take it for granted; it is one of life’s most precious things. We have had some of the driest weather recorded during lockdown, and as we have all been home more (and swimming pools have been bought in abundance), water usage levels have soared to record levels too.
Where we live in the south east of the UK, we do actually get 50% less rainfall than the rest of the UK. As a northerner in the south, I thought the temperature and rainfall difference in the north versus the south was just made up. But it is actually true! Those top temperature weather resorts when we go through a heatwave nearly always cite a Surrey or south east location where the temperatures were recorded. Not only that, but as Surrey is so close to London, but still has plenty of green space, good schools, and being close by to two major airports, it is a popular place to live. By 2080 it is expected that the population in this area will increase by half. That means nearly a million people all needing water for their vital everyday needs.
Our water provider, SES Water, knows that small changes can actually make a big difference. If we all take some steps to save water, then although it might feel like we are only doing a little, we can all save quite a lot. Here are some of their top tips, combined with some of my own, of how we can save water, and save money at the same time too. You can find some more water saving tips by visiting www.seswater.co.uk/saving.
- Hose pipes and sprinklers use a huge amount of water. They can use around 1,000 litres of water an hour, so it is much better to water plants with a watering can. Having lush green grass is nice, but not at the detriment of our precious resources. A top tip for watering plants is to do so in the morning, or in the evening, when the weather is cooler, so less water will evaporate.
- Another option for the garden, that does make a difference to how much water you have, is to use a waterbutt. Plants actually prefer rainwater, and it is a great way to save up rainwater, rather than using the water from your house tap. We have a waterbutt, and a couple of years ago, had our driveway renovated. The builders used the water from our waterbutt for the concrete mixing and so on, which was great
- Now the children are older, it is so nice that it is much easier to all have showers, rather than having to fill up the bath. Filling up the bath can use up a lot more water than a shower does. Plus, the quicker the shower, the even less water that you will use. I think I have it down to a fine art now.
- Another thing to do to save money, as well as energy, great for a number of reasons, is to make sure that you only run loads on the dishwasher and washing machine when they are full. Doing a half load doesn’t actually use half of the water or energy, as you might presume. When it uses nearly the same amount, it is best to wait until you can run it on full.
- Brushing teeth with children can be messy. But it can also waste a lot of water. I have been making sure that my children turn the tap off when brushing their teeth, rather than letting it run. This can help to save up to six litres every minute. For large households, it is an easy win; just switch the tap off.
- One thing that I am realising more and more, is that I don’t need as much water as I think I do. If I am doing the dishes in the sink, or are shaving my legs, for example, it would fill up the sink really full. I don’t actually need to use that much water for either job! A little goes a long way with this kind of thing, so just being more mindful about your water usage makes a big difference.
Are you an SES Water customer like me? If so, then why not check the company’s ‘GetWaterFit’ platform, which means that you as a customer can order a whole range of free water saving products and get rewards for the actions that you take. Through using the GetWaterFit platform, you can book in for a free online water efficiency check, so that you can get advice on water saving devices, and which are best for your home, as well as helping you to identify any leaks in your home. All that would be needed for this is for a technician to enter your home to check the water and pipes.
The platform also provides you with a calculator which allows you to see how much water you do actually use, as well as how much money you could save and whether you and your family could be better off on a meter. We don’t currently have a water meter, but know other people in the south east who do. Having a water meter has been found to be one of the fairest ways of charging for water, and SES have plans to meter the majority of homes over the next few years.
I think it is a really positive thing, and it will bring us in line with other water companies in the south east, and be a really positive way to monitor and reduce our water consumption.
*sponsored content – all opinions are my own.