Sustainability, with expensive living 94% of Italians have changed their habits at home

The Ipsos-Finish Water Day poll

Italians are paying more attention to the costs associated with domestic consumption. 94% changed their household habits in relation to household appliances, reducing the use of heating systems (52%) and the washing machine, using it less and only at full load (46%) and at the same time paying more attention to consumption : 50% for energy and gas and 38% for water. 62% are concerned about the costs of this resource (and consider them high), against 87% in relation to electricity and gas. On the occasion of World Water Day 2023, scheduled for 22 March, Finish’s ‘Water in Our Hands’ project is back and this year too, in collaboration with Ipsos, has developed a study on the state of the art in terms of behaviors, habits and awareness.

The research was conducted in January 2023 on a representative sample of over 1,000 respondents. According to the analysis, the commitment of Italian citizens towards the protection of water is confirmed to be on the increase again this year, with 77% of the interviewees stating, with a view to sustainability, that they would in any case try to reduce as much possible waste of water in one’s daily life.

This trend of behavior is then confirmed by the fact that, for the first time, Italians are actually starting to be aware of the problem of water scarcity in our country (41%), a marked increase compared to 2022 (25%). All this also translated into an increase in awareness of future expectations, with 31% who today declare they agree with the forecasts of the World Resources Institute (in 2022 it was 24%), according to which Italy within 2040 will live in a condition of profound water stress.

In the current context, in which attention and awareness on the subject are growing for the first time since 2020, the first year of carrying out this observation, some aspects of behavior still need to be improved. In this regard, the Italians are confirmed among the most wasteful in Europe, with 220 l per day per capita against the 165 l of the European average, to which must be added a lack of awareness: only 46% is in fact aware of this situation in our country, with a figure in sharp decline compared to 2022, when it stood at 54%. Expanding the analysis to the average consumption per family, the picture is certainly not better: bearing in mind an average size of Italian families of 2.3 people per nucleus, the average daily consumption in Italy is around 500 litres, and this figure it is recognized only by 4% of Italians. On the other hand, over 68% are convinced that the average daily consumption per family is less than 100 litres.

But what are the behaviors that Italians implement to try to reduce their impact on water and therefore contribute to its protection? 68% say they turn off the taps when not necessary, 71% use the dishwasher only when fully loaded, 53% undertake to take shorter showers, 60% prefer the shower to the bath. 33%, then, chose not to rinse the dishes by hand before putting them in the dishwasher. This data further highlights the awareness-raising commitment carried out by Finish in recent years and in line with the 3% increase recorded in 2022 compared to 2021 and 7% compared to 2020. All this translates into in an estimate of the number of families (over 1,300,000 in three years) who have chosen to adopt this behaviour. Therefore, with a water saving of 38 liters at each wash and calculating the average use of the machine in a week (4.56 times), it can be stated that this behavior has resulted in an overall saving of over 16.6 billion liters of water. water in three years, which corresponds to the figure of around 6,800 Olympic swimming pools.