Today is World Water day!
At The Misprint Co, we feel very passionately about saving and reducing water consumption wherever we can. We have just reached a big milestone of saving two million litres of water by repurposing paper before recycling it.
Scientists believe if we continue to use water as we currently are, we’re likely to exceed our resources by 40% by 2030.
Water is becoming an even bigger issue these days. Auckland, recently experienced a massive deluge resulting in their main treatment plant not being able to cope with the extra water. Auckland was urged to conserve water until the end of March, as there was only a 10% buffer between Aucklanders' daily water use and the production level. In Wellington it has recently just been discovered there have been pipes leaking over one million litres of water (half an Olympic swimming pool) per day since November, after the Kaikoura quake. This means our water consumption increased by 8% per day.
Wastewater is a big issue and there is a need for innovation and use of clean technologies for resource efficiency in the water sector. There is a big movement towards the circular economy of water and wastewater is the largest underutilised resource, so we should start here. Wastewater is the greywater which is produced by showering, dishwashers and washing machines etc. There are now alternative ways we can reuse greywater in our homes such as installing systems that utilise your greywater to irrigate your garden. However, if you are to use such systems people have to be aware of the products they use, such as; soaps, dish liquid and shampoo, these have to be organic and contain no harsh chemicals as this could harm your garden.
Currently, we are using water in a linear process meaning the wastewater we create by showering, doing laundry and washing dishes is treated, processed and sent back into the sea or land. There is huge potential for this wastewater to be reused after or before being treated, as a result of this it would put less strain on our natural resources.
The good news is that New Zealand has a waste strategy where the plan is to create a circular process with how water is treated and reused again. Starting with these four steps
- managing wastewater at source (including water conservation and recycling)
such as; using water efficient washing machines to reduce water usage.
- collection and treatment, for example; collecting rainwater or upgrading water treatment plants.
- reuse of treated wastewater and sludge, for example; irrigation.
- re-entry of treated waste into an ecosystem.
However, we should also do our bit to reduce water too, whether that be taking shorter showers, purchasing water efficient washing machines, dishwashers and toilets. Or even simply turning the tap off when brushing your teeth.
Water is such a precious resource that if we don’t start doing our bit to conserve it and create sustainable processes and infrastructure to try to reduce and reuse our water, it will inevitably have a massive impact on us and the environment.
We’re doing our bit at The Misprint Co, by repurposing waste paper, by repurposing before recycling we are saving 10 litres of water per A4 sheet repurposed. Even something as simple as this can make a huge difference as we have seen by the amount of water and paper we have saved and repurposed during our time in business.