Housebuilders are now offering greywater recycling in new homes but at £3500 it doesn't come cheap. The editor of Regenerate wonders whether buyers will opt for such expensive green extras

I’m standing in a suburban back garden looking at a bush. To me, it’s just any old bush. To housebuilder, St James Homes this is a bush possessed of planet-saving capabilities. Planted in front of the bush is a sign saying ‘Berry nice’ – an irritatingly cheesy phrase, but hard-to-ignore. The sign explains all: growing your own fruit could help the environment by saving on all those air miles spent transporting blueberries from Chile.

I’m touring St James Homes’ Envirohome, a standard new home packed with environmentally friendly gadgets, gizmos and helpful environmental facts and figures, on the site of a former sewage works just outside Reading.

The Envirohome at Kennet Island is intended to give homebuyers a crash course in environmentalism and a strawberry plant may be a cheap way of helping the planet. But if homebuyers really want to follow St James’ green gospel, they had better be prepared to dig deep into their pockets.

St James is marketing many of the green technology as optional extras, and even with grants available for some of the items, they don’t come cheap. Anyone for a grey water recycling system at £3500?