Reducing our water use
Michelle Templeton, the Smart Water Co-Ordinator at Hamilton City Council says there are 5 R’s to follow to maximise water efficiency and reduce wasting water.
The Smart Water website has lots of easy ideas for how households can cut their water consumption in the bathroom, kitchen, laundry and garden.
If you already have all the basics sussed, the next step is to check out 100+ Ways To Conserve Water (its actually more like 190 tips!) by WaterUseItWisely.com.
Being careful what we put in our waste water
Unlike the 10-step process water goes through before it reaches our taps, it undergoes a much less rigorous process before it is returned back into the river. In Aotearoa New Zealand, waste water treatment mainly phosphates, e. coli, and solid waste. Everything else goes back into the ecosystems and environment.
It can be a good (though scary) exercise to consider all the different products we put down drains and look at their ingredients. Many products, such as drain deblockers, toilet fresheners and cleaning products, even state on the label that they are ecotoxic or toxic to aquatic life. And where do we put these products? Right into our aquatic ecosystems 😦
Diane Millow from The Dairy Farmers Daughter is very knowledgeable of the different chemicals we -households- put down our drains and on our body’s largest organ, our skin. For years she has been making her own cleaning and cosmetic products out of natural ingredients, and she says the benefits are manifold:
Diane runs MAKE (Making A Kinder Environment) workshops, where she demonstrates making your own cleaning and cosmetic products. She also shares great resources on her Facebook page.
EarthEasy have created an excellent resource for people wanting to try making their own eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products. For cosmetic and make up products, The Coconut Mama and The Wellness Mama are great resources.
Support water care projects
Around the world, people, communities and organisations are working to protect and restore streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, seas and oceans. Wherever you are in the world, there will most probably be local projects you can support.
In Aotearoa New Zealand, there is a big focus on native riparian planting (planting native species along waterways) because riparian planting has many benefits to areas with water challenges.
The Sustainable Business Network and EnSpiral have collaborated to create a nationwide crowdfunding platform to support the restoration of waterways in Aotearoa New Zealand: the Million Metres Streams Project.
A final quote to reflect on…