Our top 5 energy and water savings swaps
Written by Emmanuelle Gammage
It’s officially Water Savings Week! Organised by Waterwise, this week aims to raise awareness on reducing water consumption.
Why does the UK need a dedicated water week? Well, the average person uses 142 litres of water a day – that’s including the use of taps, toilets, showers and hidden water. An increasing population, climate change and rising water use are having a major impact on our planet. If we’re not careful, the UK could face water shortages by 2050.
Our energy use is closely linked to our water use too. Around 18% of energy consumption is spent heating water and operational emissions from the water industry account for almost 1% of the UK’s total carbon emissions.
Using water efficiently and investing in eco-friendly practices and products means that we can minimise the amount of water being taken out of rivers and aquifers. This protects our current water resources and the wildlife that rely on them for their survival.
If you want to make a difference, check out our top five energy and water saving swaps to help you lead a more water-efficient lifestyle at home.
Save a flush with a water displacement bag
Being a Waterwise award winner, it’s only fitting that we start with this wonderful water-saving swap! At home, around a third of the water we use is flushed down the toilet daily. The Save-a-Flush displacement bag is a simple yet brilliant way to save an impressive average of 4,800 litres of water per year. Better yet, it’s super easy to install and requires no plumbing skills at all.
The bag is a laminate envelope that will last for years. It contains a super absorbent, non-toxic and eco-friendly polymer called potassium polyacrylamide. As it’s enclosed in the cistern of your toilet, it won’t be exposed to sunlight but if it were, it would simply biodegrade naturally. It works when the water-absorbent polymer swell, displacing water in the cistern so that less water is used with each flush.
The amount of Save-a-Flush bags installed in the UK alone is saving more than 50 million litres of water a year, enough to fill 20 Olympic swimming pools! Why is this amazing? Because saving water also reduces the energy needed to pump and clean water, cutting carbon emissions.
Find out more about why you should choose a water displacement bag.
Install an EcoSmart shower head
Replacing your old appliances with eco-friendly alternatives is a no brainer as it helps you save money, water and energy. hansgrohe makes this transition easy with its innovative water-efficient features and excellent design.
The hansgrohe crometta vario green hand shower has a flow rate of just 6 litres per minute, and with EcoSmart technology, you won’t have to sacrifice your five minutes of self-care. Some people even say the shower experience improves.
EcoSmart technology combines spray jets with air to reduce water consumption by up to 60%. Less water also means that less energy is required to heat it – saving you even more money. The average person showers for six minutes which will save you over £45 per year.
Cleaning a hand shower has never been easier either. hansgrohe QuickClean technology uses tear-resistant, flexible silicone nozzles to remove dirt and limescale – simply wipe it away with your fingers or a cloth. Even installing it is easy so you can start saving water within seconds! hansgrohe hand showers are compatible with any shower hose, just unscrew your old shower head and screw the new one on.
This shower head comes with a comprehensive 5-year warranty and you can try it for free for 30 days. If you don’t love it, you can return it for free for a full refund.
Learn more about saving water and energy with a hansgrohe EcoSmart hand shower.
Fit tap aerators in your home
An eco tap aerator only takes a few minutes to fit but it will start reducing your bills immediately. They are small attachments that either fit onto the end of your tap or are inserted into the existing sprout. They mix air into the water stream to restrict the amount of water passing through the tap. Think of them like a sieve, separating a single stream of water into lots of tiny streams surrounded by air.
This tiny change could reduce the flow of water by as much as 50%. You may be thinking ‘this will probably affect the pressure’ but it won’t! The reduced space for the water to pass through and the added air result in no noticeable loss in water pressure. Minimising water flow also reduces the amount of energy required to heat the water – saving you more money each month.
We have a huge range of tap aerators in different types, sizes and flow rates so it won’t be hard to find the perfect fit for you. If you think of yourself as the next Mrs Hinch, look out for models that feature Smart Lime Cleaning technology (SLC): a quick rub over the silicone head will remove any limescale buildup.
With a tap aerator, you can fit and forget. For as little as £3.49 and a few moments out of your day to fit it, you could save thousands of litres of water a month.
Learn more about these mini miracles.
Choose a CoolStart bathroom tap
If your bathroom tap needs replacing, you’ll want to consider a hansgrohe CoolStart tap. The hansgrohe Logis CoolStart Eco mixer tap uses CoolStart, AirPower and EcoSmart technology to reduce your water consumption by up to 60%.
On conventional taps, the continuous flow heater kicks in immediately when the handle is in the middle position, but that tends to waste water if you only need cold water. With CoolStart technology, it limits the amount of hot water when the tap is first turned on as only cold water is delivered when the handle is in the middle.
It gives you more control over the temperature as hot water will only flow when the lever is turned to the left. This smart technology reduces the amount of unnecessary hot water and energy pennies whooshing down the drain.
This tap also uses AirPower technology. Just like the hansgrohe hand shower we discussed, it mixes air with water inside of the tap to reduce your water consumption without sacrificing the quality of flow or pressure.
It also features ComfortZone design which allows greater freedom of movement and aims to make life easier for you.
Explore more of hansgrohe’s innovative technology.
Switch to reusable bamboo makeup pads
You may be wondering how removing your makeup has anything to do with your water consumption – well this is something we called ‘hidden water’. It refers to water that is not felt or seen, rather it’s the process that goes into creating a product.
Cotton wipes, buds and pads that you may commonly use to remove your makeup need a tremendous amount of water to create. According to the WWF, it takes 20,000 litres of water to produce just one kilogram of cotton (about one t-shirt). Additionally, cotton production uses 6% of pesticides and 16% of insecticides globally – more than any other crop.
The 35 million hectares of cotton that are currently under cultivation is also responsible for pollution, water contamination, water scarcity and soil erosion, disrupting the lives of local wildlife and humans.
The Bambaw reusable bamboo makeup remover pads are made from a combination of bamboo and cotton. The soft and durable material pads can be washed and reused again and again (I’ve had mine for about a year and they look brand new still).
The set of 16 includes 12 soft pads for sensitive areas and removing everyday makeup, and 4 scrub Terry cloth pads for exfoliating and removing tough makeup. Simply pop them in the drawstring cotton bag, shove them in with your usual wash and reuse them.
Bamboo is a great eco-friendly alternative because it’s fast-growing, regenerative, absorbs more carbon dioxide and it’s kinder to soil. Switching to these makeup remover pads may be more expensive at first glance but you’ll save yourself money in the long run as you won’t have to repeatedly buy makeup wipes and invest in single-use products. Better yet, you can reuse them for multiple steps of your skincare routine.
We can’t forget that they come in recyclable packaging too – another win for the planet.
Discover more reasons to choose Bambaw reusable makeup remover pads.
Make the swap today
We know that the cost of living is affecting many of our customers and we want to continue supporting you. By joining our Home Club, you’ll have access to the best money and energy-saving swaps at unbeatable pricing. Download the SaveMoneyCutCarbon Home app to track your progress and find more easy swaps – stress-free.