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Sustainable Solutions: Reuse Water

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Whenever you use water, try to make sure you don’t just use it once. Here are some ways you can reuse it to stretch every drop of precious H2O.

There’s a finite amount of water on earth, meaning that every drop we use has been used countless times before and will be used countless times again. That’s why it’s important to keep it unpolluted, and to use it as wisely as possible. Here are our top 3 water recycling tips:

Veggie Water

Kitchen water is not recommended for use in gardens – except for the water you use to steam or boil veg with. That is brilliant for the garden, because it will actually contain nutrients that have leached out of the veggies.

So, the next time you treat the kids to boiled broccoli, save the water, let it cool down and then reuse it to water your plants.

Grey Water

‘Grey water’ refers to the relatively clean wastewater that comes from basins, showers and washing machines. It’s not water that comes from toilets and dishwashers, or kitchen water that contains things like oils and fats – that’s called black water.

Grey water is perfect for use in the garden, but the first step is to harvest it. The most basic way to do this is to scoop it out of the bath or catch your shower water in a tub, or you can divert the waste water from baths, basins, washing machines etc into a tank or straight out into the garden via a hosepipe.

Grey water tips

Choose appropriate cleaning products: Use environmentally friendly and biodegradable soaps, shampoos and detergents.

Direct grey water to plant roots: Grey water should be directed to the soil around the root zone of plants rather than the leaves.

Use grey water on non-edible plants: It’s generally recommended to use grey water on ornamental plants, trees, and shrubs rather than on edible crops.

Rotate watering areas: To prevent potential salt build-up in the soil, alternate between using fresh water and grey water for irrigation.

Avoid overwatering: Ensure that the grey water doesn’t only go to one spot every time.

Keep It Contained

The best way to save water is to make sure it goes where it is needed, and the easiest way to do that is with container gardens. Container gardens generally have excellent soil and are densely planted with plants with similar water requirements, so they’re water-wise.

Some containers have clever reservoirs at the bottom that collect water for the plant’s roots to use when they need it. Other containers have lids that reduce evaporation, creating a greenhouse effect where the water is constantly ‘recycled’ in the closed environment.

Remember, when preparing the soil for a container, use a quality potting soil mix and consider adding products like water-absorbing crystals, vermiculite and good old compost.

Read more: Find other ways you can become a water warrior.

For more information visit www.lifeisagarden.co.za

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