It’s that time already- water conservation time for those on tank water. So I thought a blog in some water conservation tips might be handy, although most tank water people will already know all the tricks if you are new to tanks it might be useful! please feel free to add any ideas below.
oh the ever-useful warewhare plastic tub! I have them in all the sizes, and keep them in my sinks and bathtubs and in my garden. The 4 litre ones are perfect for catching the handwashing/rinse water, the 15 litre is great for dishwashing, the 40 litre catches my shower water while it warms up and the 60 litre sits by my potted plants and I give them a dunk in the evening to water them well in summer. This ones filled with the dishwashing and hand rinsing water so I only use eco products.
I have a 100 litre rubbish bin with tap from Bunnings to catch my grey water. It’s UV protected and the tap was purchased separately, but the bin had a space to screw it in. I have a wide pipe running from machine hose out the window to the bin, which is raised up so I can use the watering can under the tap. It collects 90 litres of water on a full “eco” wash setting, or 180 litres on a regular cycle. I use eco washing powder and it takes care of powdery mildew, and aphids if I water my plants with it 😂
TOILET CISTERN Firstly- If it’s yellow let it mellow, If it’s brown flush it down!
I recently printed that and put it on the wall of the wharepaku/toilet to remind myself- can be hard getting into the habit again. Have attached a printable copy in grey scale below for anyone who wants to do the same. And secondly- fill a small bottle with sand or rocks and pop it in your cistern, this will stop the cistern filling up so much after flushing and save a ton of water!
In your garden there’s a few great ways to conserve water. Mulching is a huge part of it, and you need to research your mulch options before buying as not all mulches are equal. bark nuggets aren’t great for dahlias, or a lot of gardens actually as they’re often made from pine which releases a chemical that a lot of plants don’t like, and it makes the soil very acidic which will affect the plants ( most plants prefer neutral to alkaline soil )
Cardboard and newspaper work brilliantly but tend to look unsightly. Layer the newspaper then cardboard around the base of the plants, leaving a gap for growth. Shredded paper also works extremely well.
Wool is a brilliant and eco friendly option, putting nutrients back into the soil.
Dried grass clippings make fantastic mulch but remember to let them dry out first if using them in summer. As the grass breaks down it creates a lot of heat which can cook your plants.
Pea straw works well but be aware it attracts slugs and snails and earwigs. They hide in it during the day and come out to feast at night! Also, as it breaks down it leaches nitrogen from the soil so don’t forget to amend it with blood and bone or compost
I keep a wide bucket with water in it out in the shaded area of the yard but away from trees and bushes to avoid leaf litter and bird poo ( I have a lean too that’s perfect ). In the bucket is a wide weave basket that has gaps big enough to let clumps of dirt or pebbles etc through but not veggies. When I harvest fruit or veggies I drop them in the basket which sits in the water bucket and let them soak while I work - unless they’re filthy with clumps then I let them sun-dry for a little while dirt so I can brush the dirt off before washing. When I’m headed in I stop by the bucket and rinse them off properly then lift the basket and let it drain a bit by shaking and bring it into the house. It saves running a tap and the water can be used for days then used to water a plant