Sustainability at home: small steps that make a difference - Skize

Sustainability at home: small steps that make a difference

26 April, 2021

Sustainability was the focus of last week world summit on Earth Day, when our world leaders met to discuss their big plans to bring change. In our own home there are actually a number of changes that we can make which won’t cost us the price of expensive home improvements, but just a few habit changes that alone make quite a difference.  

Here are some impactful habits that we need to reconsider.

1. Cut water wastage

Rainfall shortage has become a noticeable problem in UK but our water usage is as high as ever, at an average 143 litres of water per person per day. Where does all this water go? According to recent research, this is how we generally use water:

31% water goes on showering (about 10l /min)

23% used for toilet flushing (13l /flush)

12% dishwashing (24l )

8% – Laundry (170l per load)

4% – Garden sprinklers (1000l/hour)

2% – Drinking (9l per day)

If we were to pick three easy savings from this list, sprinklers would be top. Lawns are resilient and actually do better without watering during heat waves . As for the other plants, it’s worth investing in a rain water collection system, your plants will thank you for that since most don’t tolerate the chlorine level of tap water. However for balcony owners who cannot connect a water butt to a downpipe, we recommend self watering planters from Lechuza which with their built-in water reservoir, can serve the dual purpose of saving rainwater and watering your plants on demand without waterlogging as regular planters do – the removable drainage hole plug allows to control the water level in the reservoir when/if the weather gets too wet.

Water saving number two would toilet flushing – excluding public toilets where flushing after use is expected and good practice, in the privacy of your home you are not expected to flush at every occasion. A family of 4 could easily flash the toilet 20-25 times a day, that’ up to 325l wasted when maybe a third of that could be enough. One to think about.

Since daily showers is where we waste most water, cutting with frequency and duration is a no brainer (the recommendation is to keep at 4 minutes per shower). There’s evidence that daily showers are not such an healthy habit, since our protective skin flora is affected badly by the frequent use of water and detergents. Before daily showers became the norm, it was custom to wash where and as needed, it seems that a revive of the old ways would be a good practice for two reasons in this case!

2.Re-use and Shop wisely

This goes for clothes, shoes, shopping bags and everything else. The pandemic has definitely had an impact on our shopping habits, so although last year we bought less clothes and make-up, we increased our online shopping and got used to receive 10 Amazon deliveries per week with no delivery charge. It might seem a bargain for our budgets, but the cost to the environment is significant.

3. Cut food waste 

The pandemic has exposed how many people in this country still endure food poverty. At the opposite spectrum, many of us have the tendency to waste food, because we over-shop without planning our dinners before the trip to the supermarket. All that food waste not only counts toward CO2 emissions, it’s also a waste of energy, resource, wild habitat for nature (to make space for agriculture), packaging materials and air miles. For every £100 of fruit and veg that we spend in supermarket, we release an average 11kg of Co2, that’s before food waste. Something to bear in mind next time we go shopping without a list and a dinner plan.

At Skize, we’ve just launched our Kitchen Garden Seed subscription series with online learning, aimed for the less seasoned gardeners who need some advice, the right seed recommendation and a little nudge and encouragement. If you need some basic tools, planters or growbags, take a look at our gardening range.