Limescale in kettles is bad for the environment

Boiling water in kettle

Boiling too much water in a kettle because of limescale contributes to global warming. In Britain, three quarters of households overfill their kettles when they make a cup of tea and the British are famous for loving their cups of tea. In overfilling their kettles they waste £68 million annually (Energy Saving Trust report). They found that tea drinkers put twice as much water in their kettles as they need to which is significant because Brits get through almost 73 million cups of tea annually but they boil enough water to make 146 million cups.

Boiling water in kettle

Boiling water in kettle. Image: Vector Stock.

When asked why people did this they said that one reason is they didn’t want to drink the limescale at the bottom of the kettle. You know what I mean. You quickly get limescale at the bottom of a kettle and in order to avoid drinking some of it you boil more water than is needed so that when you pour it out the limescale stays in the kettle.

Most of the UK’s electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels, mainly natural gas. Natural gas is a fossil fuel which contributes to global warming. Although the global warming emissions from natural gas combustion are much lower than those from coal or oil. Natural gas emits 50 to 60% less carbon dioxide when combusted in the more efficient gas powered electricity stations then from coal. However, you get the point. If people are boiling more water than they need to they are burning more natural gas than they need too, and therefore they are affecting the environment negatively.

The implication is that all life is affected by this and therefore that innocuous bit of limescale at the bottom of the kettle is a contributor to the welfare of the human-animal and animals in general both wild and domestic. You might add that you can simply use a descaler on a regular basis. Of course you can but people don’t because they’ve got to buy it and it is not particularly cheap and it is troublesome. People like convenience and they will avoid troublesome little tasks in their day-to-day life. Is there a solution? Probably not.