Saving water doesn’t mean you need to have an elaborate rainwater catch system.
It doesn’t always mean turning off the faucet. Saving water goes way beyond the front door of your home. When it comes to zero waste, you have to think about the journey of said item that you are using. Where does it start? How does it get to me? Where does it go after I use it?
There are many ways to save water that doesn’t include any building or engineering. If you’re looking for easy ways to save water, check out the list bellow.
Steam, don’t boil– This step completely changed how I cook my food. Most people (including myself) fill a large pot full of water, set it on the hot stove, and walk away.
You can trap the water that is escaping your pot by putting a lid on it! Excess heat causes your A/C to work even harder. Steaming also doesn’t require a large amount of water. By trapping the steam, you’re saving both water and energy!
Cut out animal products– Animal agriculture is in the top sources of water waste. Seek out alternatives for the animal products you use. For instance, nut or oat milk instead of dairy milk. Even if you’re not vegan or veg, cutting out heavily processed meat and dairy is better for your overall health anyway, so it’s a win-win!
Reduce your food waste- Be resourceful of where and how you get your food. Food waste contributes to 45 trillions of gallons of wasted water a year. Yikes! Don’t just throw away your leftover food scraps. Discover some interesting ways to cook with them! Eat fresh, locally grown produce to ensure there’s little to no manufacturing.
Composting– Composting ensures that your leftover food scraps are not going to waste. It’s the quick and easiest way to get started on the path toward a greener life. If you want to start recycling, compost. If you want to garden, compost. If you want to save water, absolutely 100% without question start composting.
Downsize– If you don’t need it or wear it, why waste soap and water on something that will continue to collect dust? Get rid of clothes you don’t need. Downsize your wardrobe to keep only what is necessary. Remember that just because you wear it once doesn’t mean it’s dirty.
Less dirty clothes = less water used for washing
Wash large loads– This one is obvious I think. Washing laundry in large quantities is much more efficient than starting small batches. You’ll be cleaning your laundry faster and not wasting water to do small, simple loads. If you want to do small loads, you can always hand wash, but only if you have the time.
You can also check out some laundry alternatives to drying your clothes. The Laundry Alternative site offers spinner dryers for a decent price. It’s basically the spin cycle on a standard washing machine except you need to catch the water that drains from the spout. Run that water through a filter and you have some recycled water!
Gardeners are always looking for ways to save water for their plants and also on their water bill. But how do you save sweet H2O during the harsh summer months of continuous 90+ degree weather? And how can you save water if you have a garden in the first place?
Water retaining containers– If you’re container gardening, find containers that retain water at the bottom. They will prevent your plants from drying out and having to water them every single day. They’re a big life saver when you forget to water your plants!
Drip irrigation– Have you ever watered a plant and watched all that precious water drain from the bottom? Place another plant bellow to catch the excess water. Eventually you’ll have a nice homemade irrigation set up!
Mulch– Placing a layer of hay or wood chips on top of your garden bed will prevent the water in the soil from drying out.
Water retaining plants– Some plants hold water better than others. Plants like succulents and Aloe Vera are very easy to take care of. They require small amounts of sunlight, little watering, and can be left unattended for days. I water my Aloe Vera plant every 2 weeks maybe. He’s a loner but fabulous.
Shut the faucet off– A quick and easy way to start saving water is by simply turning off the faucet when you’re not using it. Even when washing your hands. Think about it like this. You’re supposed to wash your hands for up to 20 seconds each time, right? Now consider how much you do wash your hands per day. If you carried a jug around with you to collect all the water you let run down the drain, how much do you think it would measure out to be? One time may not amount to much, but after a year those $$$ will add up.
Collect shower water– Typically the first thing people do when they start their shower is wait for several seconds for the water to heat up. The last thing I want to do is to step into a cold shower. But sometimes it’s easy to leave the water running and become distracted with your hair or something weird you found on your body.
Either step into that cold shower, or collect the water! Saving shower water could be used for things such as watering your plants, or heck even shaving (yourself….not your plants).
Camping showers– You may not need a camping shower, but they are really neat! I remember when I was growing up there were a few times when our plumbing didn’t work or the water was shut off. A camping shower would have been mighty handy. Instead I went with microwaving a bowl of water so that I could wash myself (yeeeaaah….talk about rugged!).
There are many different versions of camping showers. Some are portable and some are not, but almost all of them are great water savers. You’re water supply is limited and a lot of them are heated by solar energy. What a nifty idea! If you’re limited on water or are looking for ways to save money on the bill then check out camping/portable showers.
So why bother?
Saving water is so important. Our fresh water is not a renewable resource and the majority is found in the polar ice caps. Most of the water on Earth is found in the oceans but of course is not fresh. Humans have very little access to fresh water. It’s our responsibility to be frugal and save what precious little water we have.