Recycling A-Z

A is for: A-rated washing machines and dishwashers
These don’t just use less electricity to help cut your carbon footprint, they also consume less water. Purchase A+ and A++ rated machines for even better efficiency. Whatever your machine’s rating, try to avoid half loads as these aren’t twice as efficient as a full load.

Fact: Washing machines typically account for around 14 per cent of all water used in the home (Anglian Water).

B is for: butts
One of the most effective ways to harvest rain water for your plants is to invest in a water butt. A 190-litre butt can save you around 40p on the amount of water you’d use from your tap on a metered system, which soon adds up. Expect to pay around £40 for a 190-litre butt, but check with your local water company for seasonal special offers or call 0845 658 8866.

C is for: cool
The best time to water your garden is during the evening – because the temperature is lower and the sun isn’t beating down on the ground, less water will be lost through evaporation.

D is for: Droughtbuster
This clever device enables you to siphon off water from a sink, bath or water butt and use it with your hose to water your garden. Also known as the Water Green (£19.99,

E is for: embedded water
Check out the “Hidden Water” section on the previous page (click here) to discover some shocking truths, then click here and select one of the calculator links at the bottom of the page to find out your true water consumption.

F is for: fish tank
Dirty water from your fish tank is perfect for your house plants as it’s rich in nitrogen and phosphorous.

G is for: garden
Avoid using a sprinkler, which uses as much water in an hour as an average family uses in a week, much of which is wasted. Also avoid watering your lawn more than once a week as the roots will attempt to find the surface, weakening it.

H is for: Hippo
This sits in your toilet cistern and saves up to three litres of water per flush. Pick them up for under £2 from The Ethical Superstore.

Fact: Londoners’ daily water consumption (165 litres) is one-third higher than other European cities (London Mayor’s Office).

I is for: irrigation
A better way to water your pots and baskets is with a drip irrigation system that regulates the flow of water to your plants. A low-tech solution that won’t break the bank is the Iriso Water Spike (£4.99, Harrod Horticultural). Just stick a regular plastic bottle filled with water in the top, and pick from one of 11 flow rates to ensure the perfect feed.

J is for: jug of water
Fill up a jug and keep it in the fridge for cool, refreshing drinking water any time of day or night.

K is for: kettle
Make sure you only fill up your kettle to the exact amount you need each time. If you’re struggling to boil the right amount, invest in the Eco Kettle (around £30,, which enables you to choose exactly how many cups of water to boil.

L is for: link
If your butt is regularly full to overflowing, invest in a second butt and purchase a Water Butt Link Kit to connect the two (£5, Even Greener).

M is for: mulch
Mulch helps retain moisture in the soil, so it doesn’t need watering quite so often. Place a layer of mulch on your soil beds, or invest in a mulching mower for around £200 to recycle your grass clippings as mulch for your lawn (try Mowers Online).

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