Think Green, Be Green — June 2021

think green be green

Welcome to the latest instalment of our “Think Green, Be Green” series, where we round up a whole host of sustainable lifestyle hints, tips and trivia.

Take a look below for this month’s picks!

think green be green


Water everywhere

How much water are you wearing today?

It’s not such a daft question! Everything we wear, eat, and buy has been produced using water.

Growing crops, feeding and watering animals, producing goods, extracting and processing minerals all use water at every stage.

The sum total of all the water used to produce something is known as its virtual water content, or water footprint.

It takes 1,320 gallons of water to produce one pound of cotton. That’s over 650 gallons of water for one cotton T-shirt.

Water is an increasingly precious resource. It’s estimated that by 2030 there will be a 40% shortfall in the fresh water needed globally. Even today, across the world, one in three people lack access to clean drinking water.

Ensuring access to water and sanitation for all is the United Nations’ sixth Sustainable Development Goal. The organisation has declared 2018-2028 the Water Action Decade to improve how water is managed.

Find out your water footprint here.

think green be green


Tea total

According to, we’ve been brewing more tea than ever this year – an extra 27.9 million cups so far, adding £27 million to our energy bills.

But could we be making savings?

We’ve calculated that if you just boil the right amount of water for two cups of tea, rather than filling the kettle each time, you could save £46 a year.

Not only will you save energy and water, that’s enough for a new subscription to the “Friend”!

think green be green


TV gold

A recent UN report claimed we dump over £7.9 billion worth of platinum, gold and other precious metals contained in electronic equipment annually.

New Zealand company Mint Innovation plans to open the UK’s first recycling facility for reclaiming the precious metals in Cheshire.

The company hope the plant will be up and running soon.

zero waste


Raise the bar

Reducing plastic in the kitchen is getting easier.

There are a growing number of zero-waste shops where you can take your washing-up container for a refill.

Alternatively, try a washing-up bar. Simply rub the bar on to the sponge, scourer or brush and wash up, allowing to dry fully between washes.

This 130 g bar is available here.



Did you know?

Have you ever tried washing your clothes with conkers?

They contain saponins, a compound that makes a soapy lather in water.

Soak the conkers, bash then to a pulp and dry them. Then soak and strain as needed. You can use the resulting liquid to clean lightly soiled laundry!

We’ll be publishing the next instalment of Think Green, Be Green on June 25, 2021. Keep an eye out for it!

For more great lifestyle advice from “The People’s Friend”, click here.

Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.