B&Q to ask customers to save water

The DIY superstore chain B&Q has launched its water efficiency awareness week, displaying the Environment Agency’s water efficiency message in its stores, and promoting its own range of water saving products to a potential audience of three million customers.

B&Q customers are being told how much water gets used in the home and garden, for example, that a dripping tap can waste 1200 litres in a year, and that a third of an average household’s water usage is flushed down the toilet – equal to two baths of water per day. Even worse, the company says, is that washing a car using a hose can use up to 300 litres or 33 buckets of water, and a garden sprinkler can use 1000 litres of water in only one hour.

In order to aid its customers in cutting down on this profligacy, B&Q is promoting equipment such as energy efficient washing machines, water butts for collecting rainwater, washers to prevent taps dripping, and devices for reducing the amount of water used in a toilet flush. Staff in each store are also being sent a briefing pack so that they will be able to inform and advise customers.

Despite one of the wettest winters on record, the water efficiency message is as important as ever, says the Environment Agency. In the UK, we are each now using 75% more water than in the 1960s, currently around 149 litres of water every day, which is partly due to an increased population, and partly to ownership of appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines.

“It’s important for the Agency to work with commercial companies to help promote environmental issues to the public, and, at the same time, help those businesses improve their own environmental performance,” said the Environment Agency’s Partnerships Development Manager, Fiona Hoggard.

As part of B&Q’s sustainability policy, this year the company has been cutting back on its own consumption of water which in 2000 was over 1,068,000 litres every day, by 10,000 litres per day, or 1100 buckets. “It’s to do with being a better neighbour in all the areas that we operate,” a B&Q spokesperson told edie, adding that other activities include cutting back on carbon dioxide emissions.

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