Consumers hesitant to change wellbeing habits to cut water waste

The Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) has found that UK consumers are generally uninterested in changing their bathroom habits to reduce water waste.

This was one of the conclusions from the BMA’s recent study into consumers’ personal bathroom habits and routines, which was aided by Professor Ian Walker of the School of Psychology at Swansea University. The research was collected from 48 UK participants from a range of demographics and circumstances.

According to the BMA, six-in-ten of its study participants confessed to leaving the tap running whilst washing their hands, and just over four-in-ten (42%) admitted to leaving the tap running whilst brushing their teeth.

Almost four-in-ten women (38%) said that they increased the temperature of their showers whilst using them, compared to just 27% of men.

When asked why they continued to perform “wasteful” bathroom habits despite knowing they were using more water than was necessary, many of the participants said that they felt the behaviours were necessary for their “personal wellbeing”.

According to the BMA, participants didn’t see a need to change their habits, preferring to prioritise their personal requirements over reducing water waste.

Professor Walker also suggested that the habits people form in childhood tend to stay with them for the rest of their lives, which may explain why some of the consumers were reluctant to change their behaviour.

Interestingly, despite the rise in smart technology, only 13% of participants said they wanted more technology in their bathrooms. Almost half of participants (48%) said they wanted their bathroom to be a peaceful sanctuary without distractions, and almost four-in-ten (37%) said they used the bathroom as a purely practical space, and didn’t want to be distracted either.

The BMA said that despite this, consumers did show interest in technology that would help them understand their bathroom water usage, as well as help them save water without having to sacrifice comfort or product performance.

Other miscellaneous findings of the research included that consumers allow their showers to warm up for an average of 1 minute and 30 seconds before use, that women generally allow the shower to warm up for longer but spend slightly less time in the showering than men, and that only half of toilet visits (54%) are flushed every time.

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