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World Water Day: tips on how not to waste a drop at home

World Water Day is celebrated every 22 March to remind us of how essential it is for all of us, and to raise awareness of how important it is that we use water responsibly. We at IKEA would like to contribute to the cause with this little guide on making good use of water at home. Let's get started!

Water is an essential resource for human beings but unfortunately, not everyone has access to it as they should. In fact, according to the United Nations, around 200 million people live without access to drinking water. Therefore, it is very important that those of us who do have it, use it properly with sustainable habits at home that help to save this basic necessity and, therefore, take care of the environment. And don't forget: on top of all that, putting these tips into practice will also have a positive impact on your water bill

1. Get used to turning off the tap

Turning off the tap during everyday actions such as brushing your teeth or washing your hands can make a big difference in your daily water consumption. And even more so now that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we've all become aware of how important it is to wash our hands properly and spend more time doing so. 

That's why the first piece of advice is to get into the habit of turning off the water while soaping up your hands or brushing your teeth. A small act that will make a big difference, as up to 12 litres per minute can be wasted. If you multiply that amount by all the times you wash your hands and brush your teeth a day, the water savings are more than considerable

So, if you don't already do it, we suggest you start to today and make it a new resolution. Of course, we also encourage you to tell everyone you live with about it, especially the little ones, as they are like sponges and if they start now, they will keep the habit for the rest of their lives. 

2. Install taps with flow regulators

Changing the taps in your home to ones with a flow regulator can make a big difference in your water consumption. At IKEA, we have models that can reduce consumption by up to 50%. 

The one you see in the photo for the bathroom, in addition to a water-saving aerator filter for high-pressure systems, also has a cold start function. This avoids wasting hot water and allows you to save both energy and water. 

And our options cover more than the bathroom: at IKEA we also have kitchen taps that allow you to use water more responsibly thanks to their aeration device. 

The best thing? All our models, both bathroom and kitchen, are tested and certified according to European standards and come with a 10-year warranty. 

3. Swap baths for showers

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Although you probably already do this, we couldn't leave out a reminder of how important it is to take a shower instead of a bath every day, as you can save more than 100 litres of water every time you do so. 

In the case of the little ones, although this isn't possible when they're babies, as they get older it's best to make the change to the shower progressively so that they get used to it and leave the bath only for special times such as weekends

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It's true that the bath provides a moment of pleasure in which they usually enjoy playing, but limiting it little by little will allow you to save water and take care of the environment (and it takes less time, something that never hurts in your day-to-day). A piece of advice? Whenever possible, use a baby bath inside the big one to reduce consumption. 

Of course, IKEA showers also come with a flow regulator, so if you're thinking of upgrading yours, go for it! 

4. Use accessories that help you save water in the kitchen

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As we said, a daily activity that uses a considerable amount of water is washing the dishes. To reduce consumption, you can change the tap (as we mentioned above) to one that is more efficient and, on the other hand, turn it off while soaping up whatever you're washing.

But these are not the only measures you can take! You can also get accessories such as those from our GRUNDVATTNET collection, which will allow you to wash dishes and prepare food with much less water. 

The cleaning container, which you can see in the photo, allows you to place plates, glasses and other tableware in it while you are washing them, instead of having the tap running. This is especially useful when there's stubborn grease and residue, as you can use that water and when the utensil is clean, you only have to turn on the tap to rinse it. 

5. Reuse water

There is nothing more sustainable than reusing what we have, and the same goes for water. However, we don't always know how to do it. That's why we're here to give you some ideas:

  • Wash fruits and vegetables in a container like the one in the photo and then use the same water to water your plants
  • Does the shower water take a long time to get hot? Put a bucket inside to save the cold water and then use it for household chores like mopping the floor. 
  • Once cooled, the cooking water from certain foods such as pasta can also be used to water plants. 

6. Water at the most suitable time

If you have a garden or house plants, you already know that watering plants also wastes a considerable amount of water. That's why we'd like to give you a few tips to help you do it more effectively:

  • Water your plants first thing in the morning or in the evening to prevent evaporation, especially during the warmer months. 
  • Avoid watering outdoors when there is strong wind, as you will also lose a lot of water. 
  • Use a sprayer with a water pressure regulator to moisten the leaves. This system allows you to adapt the water to the needs of each plant and, therefore, adjust your consumption. 
  • Always opt for plant substrate, which maintains moisture much more effectively. 

7. Opt for energy-efficient appliances

Last but not least, another change that will help you save a lot of water at home is using appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers that have a high energy efficiency rating. That is to say, those with a rating of A++ or A+++.

The washing machine you see in the photo, for example, weighs the amount of laundry you put inside to calculate the amount of water and the duration of the wash in order to save energy. 

As for the dishwasher, all the ones you can find at IKEA are also certified and will help you save many litres of water a year

We know you can't replace your appliances every day, but you can keep this in mind for when you need new ones – your wallet and the environment will thank you for it! And not just those that require water, but all household appliances. 

Have you taken note of these tips? Don't wait any longer and start saving water every day at home. You know that small actions can all add up to make a big difference, and we're sure you'll notice it. And if, apart from saving water, you would like to take other measures to help make your home more sustainable, here is a selection of articles that may be very useful to you. 

We love it when customers use our products in a creative way. Why not try to do something new with them yourself? But do remember, any modifications or changes that you make to IKEA products will prevent them from being resold or used for their original purpose, thus invalidating IKEA product warranties and your right to return them.