In California, we are in a long term drought. And even when we get out of our drought (which we do from time to time), it’s always a good idea to conserve water. I’m not going to discuss shutting off water when brushing teeth, taking shorter showers and that kind of stuff. You’ve heard it before. These are just some random ideas to save you some extra money and save water too.
Reuse the remaining water in your glass
So you have a glass of water that you don’t finish. Whatever causes you to have a little extra water in a glass that you will not drink, start a collection of “undrinkable” water. Maybe your dog’s water is gross, add that in too. When you have a glass-full or perhaps a tupperware-full, use it to water potted plants. While this may sound so minor,considering I rarely need to water my plants with “new” water, it overall, saves me tons for money over the year and gallons of water.
Reuse bath water
I reuse bath water to water my plants.
The first step here is to use as little water in the first place. If the bath is for a baby, putting the kid in the sink or in a “baby tub” that fits inside your own bath tub will save lots of water and be much safer for your kid as the kid will fit in it better than an adult size tub. Also, depending on the baby tub, you may be able to simply pick it up and carry it outside to the plants.
Most of the time, little kids don’t get that dirty and I either don’t use soap on them or use biodegradable shampoo and soap.
If the bath is for an adult, such as myself, I again try to use all biodegradable soaps and try to monitor just how much water I really need in the tub. For a full bath, I fill up large pots with the bath water and just take them outside to water the plants.
The task can be tedious, but when water bills skyrocket (which they do in Southern California), my plants appreciate the extra watering and I appreciate the ability to water them for free. Just make sure you aren’t using toxic chemicals (found in most bath products) to water your garden!
Don’t scrub your dirty dishes
One way in which people waste a lot of water is in trying to scrub dirty dishes. There is no need to scrub dirty dishes (and certainly no need to run water over them while cleaning them). If you have a pile of dishes, some with caked on food, just put the hard to clean dishes in the sink. Turn your faucet (while off) so that it is pointed over those dishes. Take your other dishes (those that you need to simply rinse or those that you must hand wash-such as china), and clean those over the difficult to clean dishes. As you use water for those hand-wash only dishes, the excess water will fall on to the dishes with the caked on food. That food will soften as the water hits. But you will not be using any water specifically for that purpose.
Most of the time, by the time I have rinsed a few dishes, I can easily wipe off the previously difficult-to-remove food. Then I put the next difficult dish under the next few dishes I’m rinsing and repeat.
An alternative to this, especially if you have many difficult to clean dishes, is to let a little water be poured on to each difficult dish and then put them aside. If you come back in a few minutes (sometimes 1 minute, sometimes 10) you can usually wipe off the food without a fight. Again, this avoids the need for pouring lots of water on the dishes while you scrub. It also avoids the annoying task of scrubbing.
The key is to not waste water specifically trying to scrub food off dishes. You will just waste water, waste time scrubbing and waste money, when using one of the above ideas would save you all three.
If I get a chance to pile up some dishes, I’ll create a video to demonstrate.