Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
Last year, my family ran into the not-so-fun situation of running out of water in our well. Oh, the things we take for granted! But necessity is the mother of invention and it lead me to do the following to conserve water:
Take a used 2.5 gallon plastic water container (Target sells bottled water this way and so does Super Walmart and BJs) that has a pull tap and cut a large, 3 sided hole in the back, leaving a plastic flap that can be opened or closed. When you take a shower, take the container in with you. As the water is warming up, hold the shower head so the water fills the container. I was surprised to find that it took almost 2 gallons of water to get it up to temperature! I then use the water for plants, our dogs and cats, and even to wash my hands. This conserves water when the weather is dry, saves money for those who have town water, and is a great emergency resource if you lose water if you lose electricity. It is also good when camping - put it at the end of your picnic table and you have an on site faucet!
By Rita from Whitinsville, MA
I have a small leak that can't be fixed need new faucets. So in meantime, I set a glass under faucet and in morning I have a glass of water to take my pills, without wasting the drips thru the night.
We bought a rain barrel this year. I noticed our condensation pipe for the central air conditioning was spitting water so I put an 8-gallon can underneath the pipe and it fills itself in 24 hours. I pour this water in our rain barrel so we can reuse it.
By waitress from Brick, NJ
Tomatohanger, could you post some "natural" methods to keep cool? I would sure appreciate not having to use the one small a/c that we have, since the temperature where I live can go up to 110degrees! My son has asthma and he cant breathe when it gets very hot. I never waste the water and use it to water my pot plants or sweep it around on the ground in my stone flagged yard to cool it down so we, and our pet dog can actually be able to walk there without burning our feet! Yes, it gets that hot here in malta.
By Louella from Billings, MT
We did this when we planted my Japanese maple. The neighbor planted hers (which was taller than mine) at the same time. Mine is now about 2-3 times taller and has a much larger spread than hers. This really made a difference.
Instead of running the hot tap, while waiting for the water to get hot, and letting the water run down the sink, I keep a large jug by the sink and run the water into that.
Here are some tips for conserving water in your garden: Water your garden in the late afternoon but not at night. It needs time to let the surface dry so mold and fungus aren't able to damage the plants.
Here in North Carolina we have been experiencing drought conditions and are being encouraged to be mindful of wasting water. Since I have many plants which often need to be watered, I have tried to think of ways to be able to water the plants while conserving water.
We have a small dorm size refrigerator that we use for extras like sodas, water, and party food. It is not frost free, so in the summer it frosts up easily. When I defrost it, I try to catch all the water that drips off then I remove the big pieces as they become loose.
Keep track of the days that it rains on a calendar. Circle the day and write "Rain". This way its easy for you too see which day it rained. It will help you save money on your water bill.
This is a guide about use cooking water for watering plants. Nutrients and minerals such as calcium are released into the water as you cook eggs, veggies, and other foods such as pasta.
This is a guide about conserve water with a snow fence. If you live where there is lots of snow and wind you may save water with a man-made or living snow fence.
Few of us are aware of how much water we waste. Most of us merely turn on the sprinkler and walk away. In many places, water is not only scarce, it's expensive. How you deliver water to your lawn and garden can have a major effect on your water bill and ultimately, on the environment.
Water is one of the earth's most valuable resources, so it is important to make sure that we garden in a way that doesn't over-use or waste water. With a little planning, you can reduce your garden water waste, and save yourself a little money at the same time.
My husband loves his fish tanks and I love gardening. Between the two of us we use a lot of water. But he bought a fish tank vacuum to help him clean out the tanks and originally had it hooked up to the bathroom sink faucet.
I noticed water coming from a pipe from in the attic of the house and traced it back to the unit for an air conditioner, that is in the attic of a lot of Florida homes.
This is a guide about using greywater in the garden. Greywater is the domestic wastewater resulting from household water use. Some sources such as water from showers, sinks, or bathtubs is generally safe to use for garden irrigation.
We noticed that there were puddles outside the windows with these air conditioners. We gathered some old five gallon buckets, and placed them under the drips.
When watering your lawn by using sprinklers, make sure the water is not hitting your house (ex. siding, windows, or foundation walls), only the grass, flowers, and bushes.
Instead of running the sprinklers on a timer, I only turn them on when needed. Been doing this for years. Since we have water restrictions in our city, we are limited to T and F.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
We save our bathtub water and run it through a pipe into barrels under the deck. We then hook up our pump to hoses and water our garden with the recycled water. The deer do not like the soapy water!
By denowolfes from Talbott, TN
Great Job! Bet you spend many happy hours in your garden. GG Vi (06/06/2010)
A great tip for water drought areas. When taking a bath, save the water! Plants love the soap to kill off insects and salts for the nutritional value. We drink tea, soft drinks, milk, etc. and save those containers. After your bath, emptying your kids pool, after boiling potatoes, corn, eggs etc. let the water cool down. Then water your plants. I will get about 12 gallons from one bath. Why let it go down the drain? Use it on your flowers or veggies. Reuse your dishpan water also. When you get in the habit of doing this you would be amazed on how much would have gone to waste down the drain.
By Doreen from Bartow, FL
Put a bucket under the faucet when waiting for shower water to warm up. This is fresh water that would be wasted. Now you can use it anywhere. (06/06/2009)
I also use the grey-water from baths to flush our toilet. I just fill a bucket to use later when we need it. (06/06/2009)
I keep a bucket on the kitchen floor to dump the water I used to rinse rice, wash vegetables, etc. I probably get a bucket full of what I call green water once a day during the week, and more on the weekends. (07/31/2009)
We do this, too, and we've been able to siphon the bath water using a garden hose. This only works if your tub is higher than your garden area, though. Other things we do to save water:
Would it be OK for my garden if I used the bath water after my kids' bath? We bathe our girls together to save on water but wondered if the soap in the water would be hard on the plants? If not, that would be a great use for the garden.
You can also reuse these types of water to help flush toilets to save water. (08/13/2009)
We don't have a big garden. Just a tomato plant, some succulent plants and magnolia tree we try to give extra water too. We have a large window A/C unit in a spot where we can easily put a dish pan to collect the water that drips from it otherwise it would be all over the patio making a mess.
We started using that water on the above mentioned things and then began to thrive. We decided it was free of chlorine and maybe that was giving the plants a cleaner "drink" of water when we have some. It is so dry here and at times we don't have any.
By Bev from Uvalde, TX