The most important sustainability etiquette rules to save water. The proper practices to limit the usage of water and its bills.

What save water etiquette is

Today, sustainability has a crucial role in our modern social etiquette. On many occasions, behaviors that can harm the environment are no longer accepted.

Save water etiquette is the set of rules to manage and limit our consumption of water. Such rules help us avoid behaviors that may lead to water waste and have a negative environmental impact. They include:

  • How to save water by limiting our personal consumption.
  • The appropriate behaviors at home and in other venues.
  • The behaviors to avoid.

Everyone should follow saving water etiquette to save water, limit negative environmental impact, save on water bills, and avoid behaviors that may upset others.

rules to save water and limit water footprint

Save water etiquette rules

1) Use water in small amounts

It is best to minimize the resources that we use at home. Utilities are resources that we use daily. They cost money and increase our footprint.

The best way to save water is to use smaller amounts of it. Every time you use water, try to perform the same task using a smaller amount of water. For example, you can fill the kitchen sink and clean dishes in it, instead of cleaning them in running water. Then, you can use running water only to rinse. Another easy way to save water is to spend less time in the shower. If you cut your shower by just one minute, you can save up to 15 liters of water.

In general, we should not keep the water running. In particular, never keep water running unless you are using it. For example, we do not need to keep the water running while we:

  • Soap our hands.
  • Brush our teeth.
  • Shave.
  • Soap our bodies under the shower.
  • Apply shampoo.

We can save water by turning the tap on only when we need to rinse.

2) Avoid using water often

We can save water by using it less often. On the one hand, we must take care of our personal hygiene and keep our house clean. On the other hand, we can safely limit the frequency of our water use.

It is recommended to wash our hands and brush our teeth often. However, one shower per day is enough. We can wash the car, water our garden, or clean the kitchen floor less frequently. Even doing it every other day instead of every day saves half the water we normally use.

3) Limit the use of water-intensive appliances

Electronic appliances consume large amounts of water. Such as the washing machine or dishwasher. Thus, by limiting the use of such appliances, you can save large amounts of water and cut your water bill. Try not to use appliances frequently with just half loads. Instead, plan to run them only when full. For example, we can change towels and bed sheets less often. Even by using bath towels just for one day longer, we can save large amounts of water over time.

4) Buy low-consume appliances

Consider buying low-consume appliances, even though they may be a bit more expensive. You will recover the money by getting lower electricity and water bills. Furthermore, most low-consume appliances have water-saving or “eco” programs, which are usually slower but consume way less electricity and water.

5) Avoid water-intensive crop foods

Food production can put a strain on the environment. Some foods have a particularly high water footprint. In general, red meat requires large amounts of water. However, many fruits and vegetables can be high-impact due to their water footprint too. Avocados, bananas, tree nuts such as almonds, and sugar from sugarcane are some of the most water-intensive crops.

6) Prevent water leakage

Periodically check your faucets, water hoses, sinks, bathtub, and WC. Good and frequent maintenance can prevent leakage and save water. It is estimated that the city of London wastes over 20% of its water supplies due to water leakages.

Apply the appropriate save water etiquette to each place

The general save water etiquette rules apply to any situation. However, some occasions or venues call for additional rules or extra care.

Save water etiquette with your guests

When you have guests for lunch or dinner, it is not appropriate to ask them to limit their water usage in your house. However, when you are hosting someone for a longer period, such as a weekend stay, it is perfectly appropriate to discuss water usage. It is enough to say that you care about saving water and ask guests to please limit shower time.

Save water etiquette at someone else’s house

When you are at someone else’s house, respect the same rules that you follow at home. Do not change or relax your good habits.

Save water etiquette at work or in the office

Respect saving water rules when you are in the workplace bathroom or shared kitchen. It is usually enough to limit running water.

Save water etiquette in hotels, bed & breakfasts, and hostels

Some hotels, bed & breakfast, or hostels ask guests to help them save water. If this is not an inconvenience to you, it is the best etiquette to comply with such recommendations. Usually, it is enough to limit your shower time and bathtime, and not to change towels every day.

Save water etiquette in public venues 

Some cities have public drinking fountains. They are particularly frequent in cities and countries with warm weather. Even if the drinking fountain is publicly available, water remains a precious resource. Turn the drinking fountain on only when you are drinking or to refill a water bottle.

worst mistakes to waste water

Save water etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the worst save water etiquette mistakes. 

  • 9/10. Wasting water.
  • 8/10. Keeping water running when it is not needed.
  • 7/10. Taking unnecessary long showers.
  • 7/10. Using water-intensive appliances too often.


  • Crop Water Needs:
  • Watering Your English Garden With a Hose Used to Be Fine. Now It’s a Fine: