Why you should recycle water where you can

Turn on your taps and voila you have water! We’re so used to treating water like it’s an infinite resource waiting to be used at home. But the reality is, while water comes in many different forms across the globe and is in an infinite cycle; the water we get in our homes is a finite resource. There are many hurdles to overcome when supplying water to homes and reducing waste water.

Collecting rainwater to clean and send to homes is a balancing act and sourcing water from the oceans is not possible. This means that at any one time, we have access to just 1% of the globe’s freshwater for use in homes. And by we, we mean every single water point across the globe. Public toilets in Australia, kitchen taps in the US and showers here in the UK.  

So, with a finite resource for our homes, you can see why it’s important that we treat water with the respect it deserves, especially as the days get warmer and we head into summer. Not wasting it is a great place to start but recycling your waste water is a great next step. 

What does it mean to recycle water? 

Unlike the waste hierarchy, there isn’t a water hierarchy. The first step is to reduce the amount you use and then reuse it as much as possible. Water companies are the ones who cleanse it to high standards before releasing it back into the water cycle – this is about as close to a ‘recycle’ stage as you can get. Reusing your water is the last step where you can make a difference.

When we talk about recycling water or reusing it, we’re talking about finding multiple ways to use water instead of immediately throwing it away as waste water. A simple example of this is not finishing a glass of water that you were drinking, and instead of pouring it away into the sink as waste water, you use it to water your houseplants. 

How can you recycle waste water? 

It’s admittedly a difficult habit to get into. But pouring water down the sink is a habit we need to stop before we can recycle waste water. So that’s the best place to start in order to begin your journey of recycling water. Every time you go to pour water into the sink take a moment to pause. Could you use that water elsewhere?

Drinking water from your glasses we know can water your houseplants. You can reuse pasta cooking water as a conditioner for your hair but it is also good for keeping aside to make a soup with too. Rice water has a great creamy texture to it. All you need to do is store it in a separate jar and cool it as quickly as possible. In fact, rice water is one of the most versatile waters that you can recycle in your home. Kimchimari, as the Koreans call it, is great for cleaning everything from your hair and face to your oven. Store it in your fridge and use it when necessary for your shower, toilet, pots and pans. 

It is very rare that you will find water in your home that cannot be reused in one way or another. Even a dirty washing-up bowl of water can be used to flush your toilet. Something that seems a step too far when your toilet works perfectly fine, but if your flush breaks, you’ll thank us later.

You can see that there is a real need for recycling and reusing water at home, especially during the warmer months which we’re speedily heading into. Conserving water at home, even if it’s only 10 litres a day, will make a big difference. Imagine if every person in your community reduced their consumption by 10 litres a day – we’d have plenty of water in the summer with no worries of scarcity. If you want more ideas on how to recycle water around the home, check out one of our previous blogs.

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