As part of our ‘Give it Up for Earth Day’ Campaign, Guest Blogger James Finlayson gives us some green living tips
In a world made 70% of water it’s easy to get complacent about water usage. Yet, every day, nearly 1 billion people go without clean, fresh, drinking water. That’s all while the average person in the developed world uses over 150 litres per day. We’ve all heard how you can save water by washing your hands in a bowl, showering rather than bathing and… this list goes on. Frankly, it can get a bit boring. So I thought I’d put together a list of more interesting and creative ways you can save water. Here are five of the best:
The Grass Isn’t Always Greener
Your grass is not your hair. You don’t need to cut it as short as you think. By cutting grass short you encourage it to grow faster as it fights to survive. If you let it stay at least 7.5 centimetres long then you’ll find it gets lazy, starts growing slowly and – most importantly – starts growing longer roots. This means that when it does rain it’s able to suck up more water and you don’t need to water it as often. Things you can do whilst not cutting your grass include watching Game of Thrones, riding a rollercoaster or dancing to Psy’s Gentleman in your parachute pants.
Sharing Is Caring
Mornings can be some of the most stressful times as everyone rushes to get out to work. Why not add some fun to it by sharing a shower with your partner? There’s no losing with this tip… unless they like ridiculously hot showers.
Make the Moss of Shower Time
What do you currently step out of the shower on to? Probably a mat that sucks up all the water and then needs to be washed – that’s two ways to waste water right there. About a year ago I came across moss bath mats. These living bath mats not only look great, but they also don’t need to be washed, show off your green creds and make sure that wastewater is put to a good use.
Become a Farmer – of Water
60 million people including myself, have the ‘pleasure’ of living in the UK, where the national pastime of choice is sitting and talking about how bad the weather’s been, how it’s raining now and may well rain in the future. Fascinating. With all this rain around, splashing off the roofs in to the gutter it’s only natural that a few of us have turned our minds to how to make the most of that water. Rainwater harvesting systems are the answer. The water that would normally be channelled by your guttering to a drain is instead funnelled to a water butt. In the simplest installations that’s where it ends – you use the stored water to water the garden. Better setups use an extra-large water butt dug underground. This can then hold lots and lots of water – some hold up to 6000 litres. That’s enough water for a single lonely person to be self-sufficient for over a month.
Via the aid of a rather strong pump (typically Lowara pumps are used) the water is then pumped up and into your home’s plumbing. Suddenly you’re able to wash your hands, do your dishes, wash your clothes and do everything else you usually do with water, with natural rainfall. This has five major advantages:
- it saves you money if you have a water meter
- it massively reduces the energy required to get water to your house
- you’re using water that has fewer chemicals in it
- every litre of rainwater you use is a litre saved
- Being self-sufficient, you’re safer in the event of a zombie apocalypse
Farewell and Thanks for all the Fish
Fish tanks need frequent water changes as algae grow and the fish do their business in it. Instead of throwing that water away, use it to feed your plants. It’s high in nutrients and really helps your plants grow faster. OK, it’s not the most fun tip in the world, but next time your shovelling your pet’s sodden excrement out of its habitat you’ll thank me.
Have your own ways to save water that I’ve not mentioned? Let me know in the comments, but only if they’re not really boring.
James is a London green blogger specializing in water and the effects saving it can have on the bigger green agenda. When he’s not boring friends with random water facts he works for London Pumps and enjoys photography.
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