Less than 1% of water on Earth can be used by people, the rest is frozen or in salt water oceans. In 1830 each person in the UK used 18 litres of water a day, today that average is 150 litres. Here, EcoFrenzy will show you how to save this increasingly precious commodity as well as energy, money and the environment when in the bathroom.
Money saving tips
An average daily shower of 40°C using an 89% efficient new gas condensing boiler usually lasts 8 minutes.
Savings when using a power shower. Based on an average daily shower of 38°C using an 89% efficient new gas condensing boiler.
8 minute shower (136 litres of water) 88p
4 minute shower (68 litres of water) 44p
Reduce from a daily 8 minute power shower to a 4 minute power shower saves 68 litres of hot water. This translates into a considerable financial saving = £161 per person/year (= 201kg CO₂)
Gravity fed shower
A gravity fed shower system generally means that the cold water tank is stored above the shower head (often in the attic or loft) while the hot water is stored in the airing cupboard. These are low pressure systems that work, as the name suggests, using gravity.
8 minute shower (62 litres of water) 22p
4 minute shower (31 litres of water) 11p
Reduce from a daily 8 minute gravity fed shower to a 4 minute gravity fed shower saves 31 litres of hot water. This translates into a financial saving of £73.50 per person/year (= 91kg CO₂)
Reduce an 8 minute electric shower (9kW) at 40°C to 4 minutes and you will use 36 litres less hot water and save about 31p per shower (£114 per year = 85kg CO₂).
Aerated shower head
A £30 aerated shower head can reduce water flow but won’t compromise on shower pressure. They maintain the pressure by mixing air with water to produce a steady even spray. An 8 minute daily power shower will use 41 litres less hot water, saving 34p per shower (£124 per year = 121kg of CO₂).
If you took our advice from earlier in this section and reduced to a 4 minute power shower this would save you an extra 17p per shower = £62 per year ( =60kg CO₂)
Average cost of a daily bath.
80 litre bath costs 52p £189 per person/year (= 237kg CO₂)
If you reduced your bath to 60 litres you would save £47 per year (= 59kg CO₂)
Mad fact – If 139,000 people a day had a gravity fed 8 minute shower rather than a bath, this would save 2.5 million litres of water, equivalent to all the water in an Olympic sized swimming pool.
If you are buying a new bath, look for one with a lower water capacity.
Do you really need shampoo? The answer is no. If you wash your hair with water only, your hair finds its own way in just a few weeks. The author of this site has not used shampoo for 10 years, and does not suffer from greasy hair or attract a swarm of flies every time he goes out.
If you buy 10 bottles of shampoo a year @ £2.50 each, then you save £25.00 a year. In addition, you remove 10 plastic bottles from the mountain of plastic building up worldwide.
Regulated flow taps
Aerated or regulated flow taps with a low flow rate can be fitted to bathroom sinks and baths. Flow devices are easy to install. They often contain precision-made holes, filters or flow aerators to regulate the flow of water without a noticeable change to the pressure.
If you have an electric shower do not fit a flow regulator, this could damage your shower unit.
All figures above are based on combined gas, electricity and metered water savings.
When shaving use ordinary soap don’t waste your money on expensive foams, gels and oils.
Brushing your teeth
Remember to turn off the tap whilst you are actually brushing your teeth, this could save about 3.5 litres of unused water disappearing down the plug hole. Alternatively use a glass of water for rinsing your mouth and you could save up to 4 litres each time you brush your teeth. Brushing your teeth twice a day this will save 2.55 Cu metres of water a year. This equates to savings of £7.69 a year ( = 3.8kg CO₂)
One slow leak can waste 9,000 litres of water a year. That will cost you around £27 (=13.5kg CO₂)
Share a bath
Save water and money by sharing a bath, who knows it might even be fun!
Hot and cold showers
Hot and cold water showers can be used in hydrotherapy (water therapy). The change in temperature of a warm shower followed by short bursts of cold water is said to help release tension then stimulate and invigorate the body.
Soaking in a warm bath
Soaking in a warm bath, particularly with some aromatherapy bath salts, is an indulgent way to soothe aching muscles and sore feet, relieve stress and take some time for yourself. Immersing yourself in a bathtub of water helps take weight off joints and muscles, and may be beneficial for arthritis, back pain, headaches, sports injuries and more.