Unusual ways to save water around the home
We’ve all heard the usual ways we can save water at home: only run the washing machine or dishwasher when it’s full, turn the tap off when brushing your teeth, put a brick in the cistern to reduce the amount of water used to flush the toilet. But there are also some more unusual ways we can save water around the home. Here are a few.
Pee while you shower
You might have been taught not to do this or that it’s unhygienic, but urine is really not as dirty as you might think. And besides, if you pee when you first get in to wash yourself, the soap and shampoo that you’ll use afterwards will chase down the urine, so there won’t be any stains or smells when you’re finished. Peeing in the shower not only saves water on flushing the toilet, but also saves time when you’re in a hurry to get ready for work in the morning.
Put a bucket in the shower
Another shower trick you can do is to put a bucket in with you while you’re washing to catch some of the excess water. You can then use this for a variety of things, but most obviously to flush the toilet with.
Reuse water collected from a dehumidifier
If you have an especially damp room at home and need to use a dehumidifier to keep the humidity down, the water the device collects is actually going to be quite clean. It can then be perfect for watering house plants or washing dishes.
Use ice cubes to water plants
This is an especially nice trick to have up your sleeve if you’re going away for a day or two and you have plants that like to get watered little and often. Leaving a cube or two on top of the soil of such plants and letting them melt naturally with the ambient room temperature will mean the plant doesn’t get too much water at once. It’s also an excellent use for ice cube that you accidentally drop on the floor and don’t want to use in your drinks.
Save water from cooking as stock
When you steam or boil vegetables, don’t throw away the water: instead store it in a jar or Tupperware container to use later as stock for soup, gravy or any number of other things. If it seems like you’re not likely to use such flavoured water any time soon, store it in the freezer and then let it thaw naturally by leaving it out in room temperature when you’re ready to use it.
Collect grey water from the washing machine
Instead of letting the waste water from your washing machine go down the train, catch it in a bucket and put it to use again. Unless your clothes are seriously covered in filth, the grey water coming out of your washing machine isn’t going to be that dirty at all, and indeed it will already be somewhat soapy from the detergent. This makes it ideal for washing an outdoor surface like a patio, stone driveway or porch. If you’re not comfortable with using it for that, you can also always use it to flush the toilet.
[Photo by svyatoslav]