Go green save water tips

On Greece’s many islands, water is the main environmental issue, or I should say: the lack of it. The ordinary inhabitants on Greece’s biggest island, Crete have gotten used to the Summer and early Autumn months of drought when water pressure in the mains can drop due to the copious amounts used by millions of visiting tourists in the many resorts.

Rainfall in the winter of 2007/8, for example, was less than usual in quantity and distribution across the Island of Crete.; This resulted in further depletion of subterranean water supplies. All residents – from the local Cretans to Ex-Pats should do their bit therefore to conserve water consumption. Hopefully this will prevent the imposition of a water usage policy beyond the current banning of hose pipes.


4. For colored items in the washing machine – turn the heating control to minimum, or turn it off altogether. Inevitably less water will be consumed – and of course less electricity. Another thought: the spin drying cycle is less important in Greece for most of the year. Washing dries faster in the drier climate with its typically lower humidity.

5. Water the garden with dirty water from the kitchen sink. The suggestion is to keep a bucket in the kitchen near the sink. In the sink maintain a plastic bowl. (Don’t use bleach or strong cleaners though.) When washing anything from fresh vegetables to crockery, do so in the bowl. After each wash is finished pour the left over water into the bucket. When bucket is full take it to the garden. If you have an old storage tank there, fill it up or pour directly onto your vegetable patch or other pot plants. This is best carried out when the sun sets. The evaporation rate into the air will be less and more of the water will seep deeper into the soil.

8. Leftover tea and coffee – whether in bags or as leaves/grouts contain useful acids and tannins that are good to fertilize garden plants. Both beverages are good for a whole range of acid loving species that include Bouganvillea, Tradescantia, Rose Bushes, Azaleas, Orchids and African Violets (although use coffee sparingly for the Violets).

9. All over the upland areas of Crete you can see old bath tubs in open pastures to keep water for the sheep. Using the same concept for your garden, any large outmoded container, especially if it has a top to it, can store water. Even better if you can half bury the water holder in the soil to keep the water from boiling and to save the walls of the container from being corroded by the harsh sun.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/47/193 of 22 December 1992 by which 22 March of each year was declared World Day for Water, to be observed starting in 1993, in conformity with the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) contained in Chapter 18 (Fresh Water Resources) of Agenda 21. States were invited to devote the Day, as appropriate in the national context, to concrete activities such as the promotion of public awareness through the publication and diffusion of documentaries and the organization of conferences, round tables, seminars and expositions related to the conservation and development of water resources and the implementation of the recommendations of Agenda 21. "All water flows into the ocean or into the purse of the rich."