Updated: 17 hours ago

We use more water than we realise. Research by Water Uk reveals that “46% believe their household uses under 20 litres a day (roughly equivalent to taking a 2-minute shower) when the true figure is closer to 142 litres per person per day. This means an average family of four in the UK could use more than 500 litres each day”. Once more this year has been the driest year recorded in England since 1935!

It only takes little habits to lessen our water footprint.

Here are some to consider:

1. Water plants in the early morning and late evening to allow the plants to fully saturate the soil and roots to absorb the moisture before the full sun evaporates the water on the surface.

2. Use a watering can with a rose head nozzle instead of a hose. The can will mimic natural rainfall and give the plants a more even watering without using tonnes of water.

3. Collect rainwater for watering the plants when the weather is dry.

4. Place a bucket under the shower head to collect the water as the temperature of the water adjusts to your liking. Then take the bucket to water the plants or even save the clean water for cooking water.

5. Knock minutes or hours off your showers. A four-minute shower is better for the planet and is less drying for your skin. We use about 10 litres of water per minute (depending on your water pressure) a four minute shower comes to 40 litres. You could easily save about 60 litres if you are the 10-minute-shower sort!

6. Only run the dishwasher when fully loaded- The average dishwasher in the UK uses about 9.5 litres of water per full load, according to Bosch. Think of the litres that could be saved!

7. Same goes for the washing machine. Make sure you haven't missed a sock and the machine is fully loaded. 50 litres per wash is the average for a modern washing machine. Therefore it is also worth mentioning that, you may not need to wash your clothes everyday, do the smell test or take a good look at them before you shove them in the machine.

7. Watch out for leaks. Discover Water keeps track of the lost water in our water systems. The equivalent of 1,245 Olympic swimming pools, 3,113 Million litres of water leaked each day!

The general advice for leaks is if you spot a leak on your street, to call you water company as soon as possible. Check in your home for taps but also more hidden leaks .i.e. Behind a 'poorly plumbed appliance, In a rarely-seen water tank and due to an overflowing toilet cistern'.

8. Be mindful of how long you run the tap. A running tap uses 6 litres a minute. Turn the tap off while you brush your teeth and use a washing up bowl when you wash up, you can then take this water to the garden and water the plants.

9. Place a plastic bottle in your Toilet cistern. This may sound strange but placing a bottle in your cistern could save you water on each flush. Fill a bottle with water place it in the cistern this will displace the water that is already there, meaning that, once flushed, less water will be replaced in the tank and less water will be used next time you flush!

10. Reuse your cooking water. When boiling veg, use the leftover water to add to stocks or water the plants with nutritionally rich water. Steaming your veg can uses a lot less water than boiling and allows the veg to retain a lot more nutrients if this is your preferred method of cooking your veg, remember you can still use the leftover water for cooking

11. Move to a plant- based diet - the huge meat and dairy industry count for a large proportion of water usage. "The consumption of animal products contributes to more than one-quarter of the water footprint of humanity. The water needed to produce feed is the major factor behind the water footprint of animal products. - The water footprint of any animal product is larger than the water footprint of a wisely chosen crop product with equivalent nutritional value." (Arjen Y. Hoekstra 2012)

After all that you may be wondering how we only use 142 litres a day! Using these tips may save you several litres.

How much water do you use?

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"It's just 1 plastic bottle." said 8 billion people.

Plastic-free July is the perfect month to reduce your plastic consumption and make a change together! To help you on your journey, we've written a list of our top plastic-reducing tips.

We know life happens and it's hard to imagine cutting out plastic entirely. With a few little changes that everyone can do, let's make a positive impact together to reduce plastic for our planet and our health.

Plastic pollutes our rivers and seas, wreaks havoc on animal habitats and marine life and emits toxic gases as it breaks down. It's an extremely useful material, durable and cheap to manufacture and transport, and has made it's way into almost everything (a new study suggests that traces of microplastics have been found in human blood!). With over-consumption and mass production of plastics, plastic waste is a huge issue and we only recycle a small percentage.

Imagine if we all made simple changes- our collective efforts would reduce our plastic waste and we CAN make a difference TOGETHER.

What can you do to reduce plastics?

Loose Leaf Tea or Plastic Free Tea Bags

Unfortunately, some tea bags contain non-biodegradable plastics. Thankfully you can buy your favourite tea brands such as PG Tips and Yorkshire tea in loose-leaf form.

Tooth Paste Tablets

At just 4-6p per brush. Toothpaste tablets are a wonderful way to lessen your personal plastic footprint. Here are some affordable options: Brushd, Ecoliving

Plastic Free Lunch

Remove single-use plastics from your lunch, by avoiding cling film and single use cutlery. Try wax wraps or paper bags, or reusable containers. Avoid using plastic cutlery by bringing your own from home.

Refuse Receipts

Where possible say no to a receipt. Most receipts may look just like normal paper, but they often have a plastic BPA coating to aid in the printing process, making them impossible to recycle.

Bring Your Own Bag and Bottle

Wallet? Check. Phone? Check. Reusable bag? Check. Water bottle? Check. Whenever you leave the house, remember to bring your own bag, for those impromptu shopping trips. Saying no to plastic bags goes a long way to reducing plastic waste. Bringing your own water bottle will also stop those impulsive drink purchases that are encased in plastic.

Bars Instead Of Bottles

A classic bar of hand soap and a bar of dish soap lasts a long time, needs no plastic container and is an easy swap. Depending on the frequency of use and the number of hands in your household, a 600g bar of Marseille soap can go a surprisingly long way, which makes it an affordable and eco-conscious option for the household.

Simplify Your Skin Regime

Olive oil is one of our favourite ingredients for skincare. Massage a small amount into your skin and hair ends to moisturise. Olive oil can also be used as a cleanser, just massage into the skin and wipe clean with a warm cloth. There are many other oils you can use to care for your skin. Click on the link to find out more.

Take Your Soft Plastics to the Supermarket

Supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury's and Coop are now running recycling schemes where you can drop off your soft plastics recycling. Soft plastics are lightweight flexible plastics that are easily scrunchable but just as easily spring back out of their scrunched state. (see the scrunch test). Examples of such plastics include bread bags, crisp packets and lightweight film (+many more). If you can't avoid these plastics, the next best option is to recycle!

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Time to reevaluate your cleaning products. Let's forget about the copious amount of shop-bought chemical-laden plastic-wrapped bottles for a moment and go back to the basics.

These 5 household ingredients can not only declutter your cleaning cupboard and save you money but they are also healthier for you and the planet. Plus all of these ingredients can be bought in bulk or unpakaged, further minimising your carbon footprint.

1. Bicarbonate of soda- The wonder salt is a must-have for natural cleaning. It works as a gentle abrasive, eliminates odours and absorbs moisture. Being an alkaline substance when combined with vinegar or citric acid it creates a gentle fizzing and helps to lift the tougher stains.

  • To clean carpet and upholstery, soft funishing, just sprinkle over and leave overnight, brush off or vacuum up the next day.

  • Sprinkle in shoes or clothes to de-odour, really! It is magical!

  • Smelly fridge? pop a small open container of bicarb in the fridge.

We love to add dried lavender flowers to our bicarbonate of soda for a lovely natural fragrance.

2. White Vinegar* is a multi-purpose acidic solution derived from fruits. It works as an Inexpensive, non-toxic cleaner that can replace many chemical-laden products in your home. The acidity means it is a natural disinfectant and works to kill bacteria, mould and mildew. It also dissolves grease and grime, as well as removes limescale. Although acidic, vinegar is a natural substance that dissolves in water and easily biodegrades in the environment, so leaves no significant negative effects.

  • Removes limescale

  • Used as an alternative fabric softener

  • Unclog drains when combined with bicarbonate of soda.

If you are not keen on the vinegar smell try to infuse it with citruses or herbs, or our all time favourite: pine needles! We collect ours from the discarded trees left in the streets after Xmas.

3. Citruses - Nature's degreaser and disinfectant. Lemon, lime, oranges or grapefruits cuts through tough greases with ease, and also helps remove limescale. Similar to vinegar they are weak acid and you can use them interchangeably. (see White vinegar). Next time you cook with lemon or eat a gratefruit, don't throw the peels away, pop in a jar of diluted white vinegar and leave to infuse to create a powerful citrus-fresh all-purpose cleaning spray.

You can also buy Citric acid (which a safe chemical derived from citruses) in pure crystal form and can fine-tune the strength to your liking.

4. Soda Crystals or washing soda are in the same family as bicarbonate of soda, but are much more alkaline and caustic so have much much better grease cutting and cleaning properties. Together with Soap Flakes, they make liquid soap (see the following recipe) that can be used to clean the house from floor to ceiling!

  • Chuck in a wash cycle or use in a pre-soak to remove tough stains or tackle the more stubborn odours.

  • Can save your washing machine or dishwasher by breaking down limescale build-up.

  • Sprinkle in the toilet bowl, bathtub or bassin for sparkling a clean bathroom.

  • Perfect to clean your greasy oven or extractor.

Did you know that soda crystals soften hard water so less detergent needs to be used saving you money!

5. A trusty block of Marseille soap - . Pure and gentle but effective, this soap is great for washing the dishes, the floor or any other surface in your house. This Soap is kind to the skin and can be used as handwash as well. Can be grated or bought already grated to melt in water and add to other products. See below for our handy liquid soap recipe.

*As they are weak acids, it is not recommended to use them to clean natural surfaces, such as granite or marble, as they will dull the natural rock. If unsure, please test a small part of your surface to check.

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