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I decided I was tired of standing at the sink running the water down the drain, while I waited on it to change to hot water to use. My goodness what a surprise I had when I used a pitcher to catch the water! I was wasting almost a gallon every time I was waiting on the water to get hot. Now I keep a pitcher nearby, and I save the water to use during the day.
Calculating the savings: 2 gallons a day (AM and PM) = 14 gallons in one week or 14 x 52 weeks = 728 gallons a year I was throwing away. Now I simply use the pitcher of water to make tea, coffee, or to water plants. I cannot imagine how much the gallon of water was costing me while I waited on the water to turn to hot. This is the most simple "going green water" solution I have come across yet, and all you need is a pitcher.
By Marsha from Greenville, NC
I live in the desert. Water is like gold, but is wasted more times than I care to mention. Here's some insight on how I "repurpose" water. Remember that you are paying for every drop that comes out of your faucet. Why not recycle it? I keep a plastic rectangle container (from the dollar store) on one side of my kitchen sink. When I am waiting for the water to heat, it goes into the container. I wash my hands over the container too. I use this water for everything and anything!
If I'm washing clothes that day, it goes in the washer. If I'm mopping my floor, it goes into the mop bucket. If my plants outside need a drink, it goes into my garden (remember soapy water does not hurt plants). If you keep the container nice and clean (sanitary) you can fill your ice cube trays (if you still use those). You can make drinks that call for water (Kool Aid, frozen juices, etc). You can even flush the toilet with water you have saved. These may not be convenient to do, it does take some effort, but you will notice the reward on your next water bill. Make a conscious effort and you can lower your water bill. I also have ways of cutting down on electric and gas!
During the stormy season, keep barrels at the ends of the house for water run off. This can be used to water the garden, water the animals and other outside things.
Don't wash that car. Wait to wash your car until you have resources available.
Reuse canning water in the washer instead of having to add water to it.
Only do the wash when you have a full load of clothes. Wash your clothes late at night to save electricity. This is not during peak hours.
Use the dishwasher on a setting that uses less water. If you wash dishes by hand, only put enough water in the sink to wash what you have and leave the rest for the end of the day cleanup when you can add more hot water to it. (If you scrape plates clean it will be easier to accomplish this task.)
Don't allow the water to run when you brush your teeth or wash your face.
Last but not least, be sure you take short showers and that all your water elements are energy savers.
By maphisx7 from Gordonsville, VA
I hate wasting water trying to wash my slimy, messy hands after mixing ingredients (for example, cookie dough or ground beef recipes, or removing meat off a bird). So just before I turn the water on to wash, I take a paper towel or paper napkins and wipe off as much of the mess from my hands and under my finger nails. You'll be surprised how much you remove from your hands, making it much easier to wash the remaining mess.
By Lisa from New Market, MD
Although water use may vary somewhat from family to family, here is how the typical American family uses water:
The biggest potential for water conservation occurs in the areas that see the greatest use. Examine these areas first. It's also important to verify that your system as a whole is free from leaks. If your water meter doesn't read the same amount at the start and end of any given two hour period where no water is being used, you may have a leak.
Showers and Baths (20%)
Clothes and Dish Washing (16%)
Dishes washed by hand should be quickly rinsed under a low stream from the faucet, not rinsed in a large basin of water.
Potable Uses (9%)
Lawns & Gardens (36%)
There are hundreds of other ways to save water-and even if the savings are small, every drop counts. Encourage your friends, neighbors and employers practice water conservation, and support projects that create awareness and promote reuse.
A friend recently put me onto catching the water that my air conditioning unit produces. Living in Florida, I have been able to recycle at least two gallons of pure water daily.
After you've hand-washed your vehicle, don't pour out the bucket of soapy water solution just yet-there's still a lot of cleaning power in those suds; pour it on dirty spots on your patio, carport/gargage floor, picnic table, you-name-it! Scrub the dirty spots with a stiff broom, then rinse with clean water. Voila! You've gotten double duty from your bucket of detergent! By Becky
This guide is about conserving water in the garden. There are many ways to use less water on your garden, and still have a bountiful harvest.
Instead of rinsing dishes under running water when dishwashing, fill a basin with rinse water and a small splash of vinegar (the vinegar neutralizes the dish detergent and leaves the glasses sparkling).
Almost all toilets can be easily retrofitted to allow a extra low flush by adding some plumbers putty to the inside of a hollow flapper which most 'cheap' toilets have. This makes the flapper heavy and not allow it to float.
As we run the water to the correct temperature before showering, we gather the cold water in a bucket. We pour that bucket of water into our washing machine, ready to use for the next load of laundry.
Instead of letting your tap run for a cooler drink of water, save the water that runs as you wait for warmer or cooler water in a clean milk jug or pitcher (glass will keep it even colder). Put the jug into the fridge.
Water conservation is an ecologically responsible choice, but can it also be an economically sound choice? Of course it can! Whether you pay for a city water bill every few months or the electric bill for a well water pump, the less water you use the less money you pay.
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24 Great Water Conservation Tips
By Paul Guzman from Las Cruces, NM
I agree with every aspect Paul. I live in Australia where most of our country has a dire water shortage, and my state, Victoria there are now severe water restrictions.. ie, cars must be washed with a bucket(S) of water, no hosing..lawns may not be watered AT ALL, gardens may be watered, at restricted hours and times, no refilling of back yard swimming pools without council permission, and then they have to be filled with a bucket. Makes me wonder just how many people are eager for a swim now!
The good thing is that the majority of people are doing their darndest, obeying the restrictions, utilizing grey water for gardens, installing rain water tanks, etc.
I'm a (rented) second floor apartment dweller, no yard or garden, but do what I can too.. my potted plants are often watered with the water that comes out of my fish tank when I change the fishes water. I wash dishes (handwash) only once a day. I make sure no taps are dripping. I shower only long enough to get my body wet and clean.. I guarantee less than the suggested three minutes.
The environmental warning bells have rung loud and clear, and we ignore them at our peril.
Considering the fact that we are now in a Stage 3 Water Conservation, I was wondering what else could be done to support our city's situation.
I have heard about people who keep extra containers in the kitchen in which to pour the water that is used for rinsing veggies and other light kitchen duties, but not suitable for drinking. I always thought it was a great idea, but never got around to doing it until now.
Today, I watered two very large planters for free by using water from rinsed veggies and running water through the purifier for a couple of minutes, first thing in the morning to clear it out. Not bad for a couple of minutes' worth of work.
By the time I ran the disposal, I was feeling badly that the extra water was going into the sewer instead of in the garden. If you do this, you will be surprised at how much water actually goes down the drain when you quickly fill up double quart pitchers doing routine kitchen maintenance. Once the Water Conservation ends, I think that the water jug from veggie washing will continue.
By Holly from Richardson, TX
I keep a square dishpan in my sink that I run water into when I rinse something, wash my hands, etc. I even rinse my dishes over it when I wash by hand and later scoop up the dishwater too. I then empty it into a 3 gallon bucket which I take outside to water my flowers, plants, trees, and garden. All my plants are nice and green.
Why use the disposal? Start a compost pile. If your refuse is too little, maybe the block club could contribute.