six ways to preserve water

Filed in Blog by on October 9, 2018 5 Comments
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six ways to preserve waterI was standing in the shower earlier this morning, thinking about water usage.

The focus of this site has been solely on reducing landfill waste, but once you’ve been living a zero waste lifestyle for a number of years, you can’t help but consider other aspects of your lifestyle.

One of my friends lives in Australia and we speak on Skype once a month. His experience of droughts this year has been devastating.

Even here in the UK, we experienced one of the hottest summers on record.

I was a young child during the 1976 heatwave where a Drought Act was introduced and we even appointed a Minister for Drought, whose job it was to encourage us Brits to use less water.  But back then, we had worse effects from lack of rainfall than we did this year. There were standpipes fitted in the streets of some areas and in other areas supplies were turned off during the day to preserve water. Some companies were forced to work shorter weeks to reduce demand on precious supplies.

And some forecasters say the situation is only going to get worse. In fact scientists are predicting pretty horrific stats. Some say that by 2020 about 30-40% of the world will have water scarcity, and according to the researchers, climate change can make this even worse.

So we all need to be good custodians of the water we have. It seems ironic to talk about it over here in the UK, where we have more than enough of the stuff falling out of the sky. But there’s no use squandering it, we have to save for, erm, a rainy day!

Here are some of the things we do here at zero waste towers.

Bathe with a friend

Yep, it brings a smile to our face and actually, sharing a bath with Mr G is a great time for us to catch up on our day away from the office and other demands of life. What’s not to love?!

Install a water butt

Oh how I love my water butts. We have four in the garden and even these can be recycled to save resources. Ours are made from old fruit juice barrels and are bought locally. They are perfect for storing rain water during a heavy downpour ready for use when the sun comes out. We use ours for watering containers of food outside the back door. Which brings me onto the next point:

Don’t water the grass

It can look a bit grim when your grass turns brown, but it’s virtually indestructible, so don’t waste water on it. As soon as the first day of rain comes, your patch will soon green up again.

Turn off the tap

When you brush your teeth, you only need to use water when you actually rinse your brush, yet so many people leave the tap running for the entire time it takes them to clean up. This is a simple habit to break.

Check for leaks

We noticed a small water leak a few years ago. We called our water company to ask their advice. I kid you not, they said to wait until it had caused an actual flood, and then they could help. Say what? Don’t be like that and absolve responsibility, step in and take care of it yourself. It’s easy to find an emergency plumber in your area, just type emergency plumber and the name of your area into a search engine. For example, if you live in Toronto, you’d type emergency plumber Toronto to find someone nearby.

Reuse your vegetable water

Here’s how Sunday lunch looks like at zero waste towers: I tend to use the minimum amount of water for either steaming or boiling vegetables but no matter how I cook them I always save that water. I either use it to make the gravy or use it the following day to cook something like rice or pasta. Genius!

What about you? What would you add to the list?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (5)

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  1. Rosemary says:

    What are your recommendations for recycling hard plastic. Our council had a brief trial of this and now say it’s not cost effective.

    • Mrs Green says:

      Hi Rosemary, I wonder if your council collected it at kerbside, found it wasn’t financially viable, but still collect at bring banks. That would be the first place I’d start. You can either call your council or type in your postcode to RecycleNow and see what local facilities you have. I think most councils at least recycle plastic bottles, if not all the hard plastics – that’s how it works around here; anything that is bottle shaped can be recycled at our local recycling centre.

  2. Philippa says:

    I remember when those washing machine liquid bottles sheathed in plastic were new and worrying about whether they were considered to be ‘bottles’ or not. I eventually decided like Melanie Safka that if it was longer than it was wide it was a bottle. Now I wouldn’t give them a second thought.

    I would like to know though whether these sheaths are actually recycled or whether they become a by-product to be incinerated.

  3. Philippa says:

    South Africa recently had a drought. There was a countdown to zero water day. It was very sobering to see people trying to reduce the amount of water that they were using. Of course those who normally wash in a basin and don’t have plumbed water DO use a lot less because it is an effort to go and get water. Here in London there is an outcry when the morning shower routine doesn’t go according to plan eg not as much water pressure as usual. We need to be reminded how lucky we are!

  4. Catherine says:

    We started collecting the cold water that is normally wasted while you wait for the hot to come through. We now save 2L every time we do the washing up which can then be used on the garden or to flush the loo. Do that once a day for a year and you’ve saved 700L of water!

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