Tips for change 10 Tips to reduce your water bill and water waste With many of us currently homeworking and homeschooling, it's likely household bills such as your water meter will be bumped up. Whilst more regular handwashing is really important, there are plenty of ways you can reduce water use elsewhere around the home to balance it out. Most will save you money, and some time too! Many water providers are also offering financial support during this time, so be sure to get in contact with them if you're concerned about your bills. Are you ready to join the #TapChat about daily water habits? 1) Make the most of water in your garden With less predictable rainfall and warmer summer months, you may be starting to worry about keeping your garden hydrated. Whether you want to improve the amount of water your soil holds, pick the right plants for your garden, or find out how to harvest rainfall, we've got you covered. Dig into our top tips for having a more climate-friendly garden and check out garden designer Renée Canter's 5 favourite tips to save water in the garden. 2) Check your flush The bigger the button, the more water is used so if you have a dual flush (a toilet with two buttons) always use the smaller button when doing number one and save the large button for number twos. If you have a single flush toilet, you can order a free “Save a Flush” bag from your water supplier and save 1.2 litres per flush. 3) Get a bowl The results are in: washing up with a sink bowl is the most popular water-saving item in the UK. Are you on tap of the trend? Washing up with a sink bowl uses on average 60% less water than leaving the tap running. You can also use the bowl to rinse vegetables and fruit, give yourself a mini spa treatment, or soak and hand wash clothes. 4) Stack it all the way up If you have a dishwasher, remember to always fill it up before running -and experiment with the different settings available. Many machines offer ‘Eco’ or ‘Economy’ settings that use less hot water and energy while providing the same quality wash as the normal setting. Strong detergent tablets and machines also mean you can avoid pre-rinsing – simple scraping off leftovers is enough. That's a double saving, on energy and water! Want more? Check out these tips on saving across all your household bills. 5) Use a cup Leaving the tap on while we brush our teeth can waste a splashing 24 litres of water per day! Instead, fill up a single glass or a cup to rinse with. Habits can be hard to break so it might help to have a post-it note or sticker on your bathroom mirror as a gentle reminder. And if you miss the relaxing sound of running water, you could always try a rain or waterfall playlist on Spotify! 6) Spend 1 minute less in the shower Ready, Steady, Shower. Showers make up ¼ of all our water use, so they’re a great place to start cutting down. The optimal time to spend in the shower is 4 minutes, which most of us exceed by double, so why not challenge yourself with a timer or by limiting yourself to just one of your favourite songs (one is usually 3-4 minutes long). Long, warm showers can also dry out your skin and hair, as well ad adding on to your heating bill... Avoid the dryness and itchiness by skipping some hair washes for dry shampoo. We like this dry shampoo from LUSH. 7) Wait for a full load When washing your clothes, doing one full load uses less energy and water than two half loads. Wait until you have enough laundry to do one big wash, and in the meantime, if you need a particular item you can freshen it up with your favourite perfume/aftershave or even stick it in the freezer to get one more wear before washing! A ‘full load’ should be about ¾ of the way full in your washing machine, to make sure that your clothes are still cleaned properly. Check out our other laundry tips here. 8) Fix leaks A leaky loo can waste between 215-400 litres of water a day and around 5-8% of loos in the UK are leaking. That’s a loo-t of water! An easy way to tell if yours is leaking is to sprinkle flour against the back of the toilet bowl. If after 30 minutes the flour is gone without having flushed, you have a leaky loo! A dripping tap can also waste 15 litres a day (up to 5,500 litres over a year). If you notice any drips get it fixed as soon as you can, it’ll save on your water bill too. 9) Get freebies There are a lot of water saving freebies you’re entitled to, but have you collected them yet? Most suppliers offer some free supplies such as a flush bag for your toilet or a reduced water shower head. Contact your supplier to check or you can order lots of other supplies from Save Water Save Money. 10) Use your cold shower water National polling found that we run the shower for almost a minute before getting in, using the time to clean their teeth, shave or go to the toilet. Very few of us enjoy getting in a cold shower, (even though it’s recommended for waking you up!) but maybe you can use that water for something else? Collect the water and use it to water your plants, rinse your recycling, or at least save a glass for when your brushing and rinsing later. Join the #TapChat Our #TapChat campaign talks about all things water waste. Start by taking our quiz below, to find out what type of water user you are, and get advice tailored for your lifestyle. TAKE THE QUIZ Found a leak that needs a tweak? You can find an approved plumber on www.watersafe.org.uk. Follow the #TapChat hashtag to read about other people's hidden water habits (go on, be nosy), as well as share your own water-saving secrets and ideas. Find us with #TapChat on Twitter and Facebook. GET MORE TIPS FOR SAVING ON BILLS #TapChat is a water saving campaign in partnership with Affinity Water and SES Water.