Saving water in the kitchen
How can you save water in the kitchen?
You can save water all over your home and the kitchen is a great place to start. We use around 10% of our household’s water in the kitchen. Although this is lower than the volume of water we use in the bathroom there are still plenty of opportunities to encourage the whole family to save water when preparing meals and washing the dishes.
At Save Water Save Money we offer water saving appliances such as water efficient washing machines and dishwashers that are a great way to conserve water in the home. Just making some small changes to the way you wash dishes can help you save water in the kitchen and conserve the water used in your dishwasher in the short and long term.
Before we had indoor plumbing in the home, water efficiency needed to be part of everyday life. We had to think about water conservation because every drop counted and getting more water meant going out and carrying buckets back home, or catching reservoirs of rainwater in barrels. Now we simply turn on the tap, dishwasher, shower or washing machine without thinking, but with increased pressure on our water supplies the need to save water is as important now as ever. So we should all be looking for ways to make saving water part of our daily routine, whether you’re a farmer or a mum teaching your children how to save water.
Our water saving tips are a good starting point for introducing water efficiency into your home with minimum effort.
Back in 2003 the United Nations raised the issue of sustainability of our water supplies, claiming that over half of the world’s population wouldn’t have enough water. By 2008 this prediction had come true. In India farmers didn’t have enough groundwater for their crops and there simply wasn’t enough water in East Africa.
The benefits of saving water don’t just affect the environment, by conserving water you will also save money. In the UK we’re lucky, water is an inexpensive resource – but this is likely to change. The Government is planning to introduce changes, such as greater competition, more water meters and tiered pricing tariffs. If you can get into the habit of saving water now you will be ready for the change and you will start saving water, and money, straight away.
Interesting facts about water usage in the kitchen:
At Save Water Save Money, we try to spread the word about saving water at home because we know water is a precious resource that’s under increasing pressure. A few easy water saving changes can make a big difference for water conservation. You can see how important it is to save water in the kitchen when you consider these facts...
- Around 10% of the water we use in the home is used in the kitchen. You can save water by thinking about saving water when cooking, cleaning, washing, or drinking (although you shouldn’t be drinking less you can save water by boiling less water in the kettle and avoid dehydrating snacks and drinks).
- The average household needs about 23 litres of water per day to prepare meals – you can reduce this figure by saving water used to clean vegetables. It’s much more water efficient to use a bowl rather than clean food under a running tap.
- A water saving product such as a dishwasher uses about 50% less water than washing dishes by hand. So as well as saving water you can save time and look after your lovely soft hands.
- Fix leaking taps and save water immediately. A leaking tap can waste anywhere between 30 and 200 litres of water day. A new washer is very cheap to replace and will save you money if you’re on a water meter.
Our tips on how to save water in the kitchen:
- Rinse your fruit and vegetables. The key to water efficiency is to avoid leaving your tap running. So save water by rinsing your vegetables and fruit in a bowl. Plan ahead too. You can expect to make water saving of up to 20 litres by washing all your fruit and vegetables in advance. So just wash your whole lettuce, rather than the leaves you need, and then wrap it in a kitchen towel and use it when you need it. It’s a great time saver too and means your food will take less time to prepare – especially handy when you can’t wait to sink your teeth into your BLT.
- For maximum water efficiency only turn on your dishwasher when it’s full. Running a half-empty dishwasher wastes water, as it uses the same amount of water no matter how many dishes you have stacked inside. Expect to make a water saving of 5 to 10 litres with every wash.
- Step away from the dishes. If you rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher or prior to washing by hand, then it’s time for a water saving re-think. Why not save water by scraping any leftovers into the bin and then washing the dishes properly. And if you’re dishwasher tablet isn’t up to the job then it’s time to find something more powerful.
- Another way to save water when washing up is to wash or wipe dishes as soon as you can, that way the food doesn’t harden and less water is needed to get them sparkling clean. Also give the dishes a soak first to soften the stubborn bits and then scrub with a brush or sponge – it’s much more water efficient than washing them under a running tap.
- Take the strain off your drains. A sink strainer is a simple water efficient device that stops your food scraps and gunk clogging up your drains.
- Defrosting or melting ice under running water is a waste. Save water by defrosting the freezer or fridge by putting items in a half full sink. Or go and enjoy a cup of tea while everything thaws at room temperature or in the sun. You will be defrosting and saving water all at the same time.
- Take your cooking off the boil. Boiling wastes lots of water, so switch to water efficient cooking techniques like steaming, grilling or roasting. All these methods are better for your health too.
- And when you’ve finished steaming or boiling keep on saving water by using the water for soups and gravy.
- If you really must boil vegetables there are still ways of saving water. Bring the water to the boil first in the kettle, just cover the veggies with the water and put the lid on the saucepan so they boil quicker. This will save you money, water and energy and lead to a water saving of up to 10 litres every day.
- Fry less. Frying isn’t great for conserving water either because fats contaminate the grey water from washing-up, so you can’t save water by re-using it to water your plants.
- Turn off taps tightly. If you’ve got a dripping tap change the washer – it’s a really inexpensive and easy way to save water – as much as 30–200 litres of water per day.
- Only mop the floor once a week, instead dry brush and spot clean the floor. If you sweep up the scraps regularly you can save water by spot cleaning spills rather than washing the whole floor each time.
- Clean up a spill while it’s still wet. It is water efficient because you need to use less water and it requires less elbow grease too.
- Try composting. If you can avoid using your sink’s waste disposal unit it’s not only better for the environment but you can save water – as much as 6 litres every day. Plus your flowers and plants will love the fertile soil.
- Store drinking water in a bottle or jug and cool it in the fridge, rather than running it from the tap, is the perfect way to save water – as much as 10 litres - on a hot sunny day.
- It might sound a bit fishy, but your plants will love the nitrogen and phosphorous-rich water from your fish tank. So on cleaning day, save water and give your plants a treat.
- Just a little squirt. If you’re looking for ways of saving water when you’re washing up only use a small amount of diluted washing-up liquid to reduce the amount of rinsing required.
- Water efficient products like Save Water Save Money’s flow controlled tap aerators are an inexpensive way of saving water and can reduce water flow by 50%. Water saving tap aerator fits inside the nozzle of an existing tap and aerates the water flow, so you use less water but enjoy the same water pressure. Check first that your tap is threaded so the replacement nozzle can be screwed into place and remember to look at the size you need before you buy.
- Don’t let water just disappear down the plug hole. A great way to save water is to catch running water in a bucket while you wait for it to warm up and then use the water on your plants, to rinse dishes or fruit and vegetables.
- Be water efficient and save energy by insulating hot water pipes. This way you will waste less water while you wait for hot water to flow through.
- Get the right balance. Another water saving tip is to make sure your hot water system thermostat isn’t too high. If you end up adding cold water to cool down very hot water it’s such a waste. New hot water systems allow you to specify the temperature without adding cold water.
- Reduce your washing up and be water efficient by thinking twice before you reach for a new cup. If you stick with the same cup all day, giving it a quick rinse if you change drinks, you’ll not only save water but also the time you would have spent washing up and stacking and un-stacking the dishwasher.
- Paper plates conserve water. Yes, you heard it here first, use biodegradable paper plates and not only will you save water but they’re great for composting too.
- Eat pizza and save water. Bear with us on this one, it’s true