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Public services & other

accounts for about 17% of the average UK person's carbon footprint. Reduce your footprint by following the advice below

Over the coming weeks, we will be creating a series of blogs and articles to explain how the services you use impact on your Carbon Footprint. Here are just some of the topics we hope to cover

  • Water and Sewage

  • Leisure

  • Education

Top Tips for Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Reduce your carbon footprint and cut your energy bills by using water more carefully

  • Water heated in homes for washing, baths and showers and cooking generates on average 875Kilograms of CO2 per household per year, equivalent to driving 1700 miles in an average family car.

  • A reduction of just 5-6%per head will save 1.3 million tonnes of CO2e per year nationally.

Energy Savings Trust (2013) At Home with Water

Take short showers rather than baths wherever possible

  • Try to limit your time in the shower to 5 minutes

  • Fit a low-flow shower head to your gas boiler-heated shower


Doing this reduces the greenhouse gas emissions of a family of 4 people by 849Kg per year and saves from £60 - £360 a year depending on shower type and boiler efficiency.

Energy Savings Trust (2013) At Home with Water

Put the plug in the basin when washing your hands and face

  • It takes only 2 or 3 litres of water to fill a washbasin sufficiently for washing hands and face.

  • A running tap releases 1 litre of water every 5 seconds so if you leave the tap running while washing you are using and heating 12 litres a minute. You do the maths!

Use a dishwasher rather than washing up in the kitchen sink.

  • The least efficient dishwashers only use half as much water as washing up by hand

  • Don’t pre-rinse and make sure that it is full when you switch it on. This can reduce emissions from washing up by up to 72%.

  • No dishwasher? Don’t leave the tap running and don’t use piping hot water. Leave dishes to soak before washing.

Use your washing machine efficiently


  • Use the lower temperature settings on washing machines - 30oC is good for most washes


  • Try to ensure your washing machine is fully loaded


Only use as much water as you need in your electric kettle when making hot drinks


Filling a kettle to the 2-cup mark when you only need 1 doubles the amount of electricity you are using. This increases your greenhouse gas emissions and costs you money.

Use the dual flush facility on your WC cistern

  • A modern dual-flush cistern uses 4-6 litres of water per flush

  • An old-fashioned cistern uses 13 litres!


So, if your cistern is an old-fashioned one, put a small water displacement device such as a brick in it to reduce the amount of water used.

Save water in the garden


  • Most perennials and shrubs don’t need a lot of watering, even during dry spells

  • Don’t water your lawn - even if it goes brown in a drought it will almost certainly recover.

  • Install rainwater butts to collect rainwater for gardening

  • Use grey water (from preparing vegetables or from washing up if it’s not greasy or salty) to water garden plants

It’s not just about hot water!


  • Treating water so that we may use it safely and pumping it to our homes uses energy and generates greenhouse gas emissions


  • As climate changes, periods of drought will become more frequent so we need to conserve water

If you would like to join Harborough Climate Action or ask us a question, or suggest something you would like to see on our website, just drop us an email

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