I keep a large empty bucket by the floor near my kitchen sink. As I rinse off my dishes, I collect the water in a container in the sink. (I use an empty large sized yogurt container.) Then I pour the water I collect into the bucket until it is full. I use this to water all of my potted plants in the garden. If there is left over water, I use it to water my flowers and veggies. This not only saves many gallons of water, but the soap residue in the water seems to cut down on bugs that attack my plants. I have almost no insects in my organic garden. It has also cut down on my water bill which used to be considerable.
By Lois from Cleveland, OH
I've done this with the shower water while waiting for it to get warm enough to get in. I never thought about the dishes, that is a lot of water everyday. Thanks for the tip.
Any way we can save on natural resources is a good thing, so congratulations! I have been doing that myself, except I use a 4-foot flexible hose to syphon water from the sink to the bucket. Just curl and completely submerge the hose in the sink to fill in water, making sure no air bubbles remain inside the hose. While still submerged, use one hand to hold one end of the hose near the bottom of the sink, and the other hand grab and pull the other end towards the bucket, all the time keeping the thumb pressed against the opening. Once you release the thumb, the water should start flowing until the sink is emptied.
If dishwater or other water from the house is used on the garden or lawn, biodegradable organic soaps should be used. Two years ago we had a flood in town which broke down our sewer system. Everyone was asked to let very little water down the drains and to throw dishwater etc. out on the lawn. We did throw our dishwater out repeatedly in the same place on the lawn by the door. Weeds infested the ground there, a kind of clover, and even our usual lawn weed killer has not been able to kill it. Apparently the soil has been polluted by dish washing liquids like Dawn so that grass won't grow. The same thing has happened to the grass by the edge of the sidewalks as we used salt pellets to melt ice in the winter.
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