Tag: saving water

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This is what you need to know before you buy a grey water system

During water shortages, such as the one we are currently experiencing in Gauteng, having a grey water system in place to save and store water is certainly something that every person, not just someone who wants to Go Green, should be looking at. Each day we are all responsible for wasting copious amounts of water; it runs down the drain instead of being used for another purpose. The water that we are wasting is known as grey water and if you were to change the way that you look at this water, and the way that you use it, you will find yourself saving more than you have ever before.

What is grey water?

It might be a phrase you have heard of before, but some clarity might be needed to know exactly what it is.  Grey water consists of bath water, shower water, water from your laundry, and water from the sink.   The grey water is then recycled and used for irrigation in the garden.

Grey water recycling systems are arguably one of the very best ways to reduce your water consumption without having to make a drastic lifestyle change. And in a dry nation such as ours, having a grey water system in place is going to make a noticeable difference in the amount of tap water you use.

Grey water systems are by no means the only kind of water recycling system available.

Buffer tanks (also called backup tanks), portable water solutions, rainwater harvesting systems and septic tanks, are all water recycling methods that are available. These systems are relatively affordable, and since they will be saving you money, they are great systems to consider.

Backup tanks are great when paired with a grey water system seeing as the buffer tank can store clean water for consumption during shortages or cuts while the grey water recycling system will provide water for all of your irrigation needs. Grey water tanks are designed to accompany the system. Should you need to store water, the tank is there, while with some systems the tank is the final holding place for collected water before it is released.

And such systems are not just for the farm or for rural areas, they are equally fantastic for homes in urban areas. Once you have a water recycling system set up, you will never lose sleep or suffer from the frustration of running dry.

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Every drop counts. With a grey water system installed nothing goes to waste.
Every drop counts. With a grey water system installed nothing goes to waste.

Why should you recycle grey water?

It is a fair question to ask. Right now you might not notice the effects of the drought but even when the water supply is not an issue, you should be thinking about how you can save.

Did you know that in a home of 4 people, on average up to 3000 litres of water can go to waste almost unnoticed?

You should recycle grey water because every drop of water is precious. We live in a country where drought is a part of life and where water costs can be outrageously high, so saving wherever you can will do no harm and can only benefit you!

These are just a few of the other ways that you can benefit from having a grey water recycling system:

  • Grey water can completely replace the need to use tap water to keep the garden green and lush. It can also be used within the home to flush toilets.
  • By recycling grey water you can expect to see a reduction in your potable water use by up to 40%.
  • You can instantly start saving money by having a smaller monthly water bill.
  • You will never again have to worry about your garden going thirsty during a drought.

What are grey water systems and how do grey water systems work?

A grey water system is an uncomplicated system designed to transport your grey water away from the drains and into your garden, toilet or tank. The grey water system works through a series of pipes and a pump, all resistant to corrosion and designed with efficiency in mind. With a pump placed in the surge tank, the grey water system swiftly moves the water to where it needs to be.

Once you have a grey water filter system in place, you will start to gain a better understanding of where your household water goes each month.

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Rainwater harvesting along with using a grey water system will drastically reduce your monthly water account
Rainwater harvesting along with using a grey water system will drastically reduce your monthly water account.

What can grey water be used for and how does grey water affect plants?

One of the biggest uses of grey water is plant irrigation. Keeping your garden alive is possible with grey water as the water will have little effect on the plants. It is for this reason that one of the benefits listed above is watering gardens. But it is not just the flowers that will be kept alive. You can use this water to irrigate vegetables and fruits, with no harm done to the plants. If you are Going Green with a sustainable grey water system, why not also consider growing your own vegetables?

You should recycle grey water, not only will you be doing yourself a favour but you will also be looking after the environment and contribute with a water solution of your very own.

Green Leaf Alternative Solutions has everything you need to transform the way that you use water. Contact us today for an affordable quote or to find out more about how to recycle grey water.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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The Living Building Challenge: Designs for the Future

Imagine a world where sustainable energy and sustainable living is free for everyone. Sustainable in the way that we can be fully reliant on renewable energy to supply us with everything we would normally get from non-sustainable energy? This is a future which could become a reality should the exciting new concept of living buildings takes over.

As a part of the Green Architecture industry, living buildings are becoming a popular way for people to Go Green. Sometimes the term living building is applied to a home that has features such as solar panels and solar geysers to produce energy from the sun, but a living building is not just a structure that has solar systems.

Living buildings are designed to be 100% dependent on nature.

Living buildings are pushing designers and architects to their limits and encouraging them to think beyond their usual ideas of building homes or other structures. Sustainable building is certainly not a new concept, but living buildings are in many ways new as the focus is on the home as a whole and not just on the way that electricity is produced.

Your home is your ecosystem with the Living Building Challenge

A few years back, the Living Building Challenge was launched and the concept gained plenty of attention.  The entire concept is based on a flower, which takes energy from the earth to be able to blossom and grow.

Today, after a couple of years, the Living Building Challenge is pushing design forward and paving the way for an energy sustainable future for everyone. Some of the features that contribute to building a fully sustainable building include installing solar panels, sustainable heating and cooling systems, rain gardens to harvest water, a natural filter to clean and reuse wastewater, and natural sunlight for the interior, while the entire structure itself is built with environmentally sustainable, eco-friendly materials.

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Living homes make use of solar power and grey water systems along with a number of other systems.
Living homes make use of solar power and grey water systems along with a number of other systems.

These structures use no more energy than they are able to produce themselves. This means that energy is easily saved because it is always used sparingly. These kinds of Green buildings are the toughest out there, you will not find a structure more committed to renewable energy.

A basic look at how the living building works according to the Living Building Challenge

Energy, that is the electricity that is required to keep the place functioning, is generated using solar power. The dedication to Green energy starts when the building is under construction as a solar system is set up to generate enough electricity to complete the project. As with other solar systems, any unused energy goes back into the national grid.

Water is collected from the building as well. The run off from the roof is gathered from any rain or other precipitation and any grey water can be used for the irrigation of plants. Black water is also collected and both the grey water and the black water are treated on site, within the building.

On the inside, the focus is on living well and ensuring that the inhabitants enjoy a healthy life. Plants are used within the home to treat grey water as well as to provide clean air to the interior. Indoor lighting during the day comes naturally from the sun.

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One day we might be once more reliant on nature to provide for all of our energy needs.
One day we might be once more reliant on nature to provide for all of our energy needs.

To ensure that the structures are able to continue to provide for the inhabitants and designers need to prove that their buildings are dependent on nature alone.

Is the future really going to feature living buildings? This is almost a certainty so long as the designs can be proved to be sustainable. The future of the Green industry certainly looks interesting, who knows what envelopes will soon be pushed? What do you think?

Green Leaf Alternative Solutions is a Green contracting company dedicated to sustainable building methods and building products such as solar geysers, solar panels, grey water recycling systems and energy efficient lighting. You can find out more about us by visiting our website at http://www.greenleafalternativesolutions.co.za/ or by contacting us at info@leafas.co.za

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