Water is life. Water is sacred. Too many people ignore these laws in this day and age and neglect water conservation. Every drop counts. About 1 drip every second will add up to five gallons a day. A typical household wastes 10,000s-100,000s of gallons of clean water a year. About a trillion gallons of clean water are wasted in the domestic U.S. alone due to leaks.
Not only can these methods save water in your home but in your life in general as a whole. Life is connected and water is life, you may be surprised to find how one action will impact another not seemingly related. Without water... there is no life.
I hope to inspire and encourage you to take steps every day to save/reuse as much water as you possibly can. Give thanks to TMHs and act wise! This is only small list of possibilities, and I hope to inspire you to come up with even more creative ways to share with your loved ones and local area to save the life on the world we're living in!
In the Kitchen
- Dishwashers typically save more water than washing by hand, especially if you use a water-efficient washer. You can use less washing by hand by filling up the sink and washing the dishes from in one of the basins (or entire sink).
- Fill up the dishwasher until it's full before use and use natural soaps!
- Scrape dishes before rinsing them and if you're going to wash each dish individually, turn off the faucet when not in use. Soaking dishes that have hardened bits of food on them rather than scraping and rinsing is a lot easier and saves water.
- Don't use the garbage disposal. Compost your plant based scraps instead!
- Wash fruits and veggies in a bowl rather than under the sink. This will also provide the opportunity to use filtered or distilled water rather than the tap on your produce if you don't already have a filtration system.
- Reuse the water from teas, cooked foods, steamed dishes, faucet runoff etc. for a nutrient dense drink or for a soup base! You could also use the nutrient rich water for your indoor/outdoor plants. Give back for what Mother Nature has provided!
- Use as little water as possible when cooking and use the proper sized containers (pots and pans). This will help the dish preserve more nutrients as well.
In the bathroom
- Toilets are one of the top consumers of water in an average household. You can save 100,000s+ gallons a week by just flushing less. Only flush when you need to. "If it's brown flush IT down, if it's yellow, let it mellow" as the saying goes. This prolongs the quality of the pipes, septic systems, and pollutes our waters (life) less. You're wasting gallons of clean water every time you flush.
- You can also put a brick(s), stones, etc. or something that will displace the amount of water needed to flush in the tank of the toilet. Every time you push the handle a stopper in the tank is lifted up enabling water to flow freely until a certain level is reached. This will save thousands of gallons!
- You can also save water by throwing away tissues, paper towels and other papers rather than flushing them down, this also helps to keep water systems clean.
- You can test your toilet tank for leaks by putting food coloring or any other safe dye into the tank and seeing if any dye leaks into the toilet bowl. If your toilet flapper/handle doesn't close properly fix or replace it.
- Showers are also one of the top consumers of water in a typical household. Take shorter showers and use colder temperatures when you can. You can save 100s of gallons a month just by taking off a couple minutes each use. Go without a shower when you can and take a shower rather than a bath. Filling up the bath tub is a huge waste of water and requires around 70 gallons per use.
- When your in the shower, put a bucket(s) to catch the extra water (using natural soaps, like 13Soaps™, is the safest choice in case the residue is caught in the bucket(s)). You can use the extra water to water plants indoors/outdoors or for whatever you can think of depending on how clean the water is.
- Use your towels more than once! This prevents from having to wash towels all the time which absorb a lot of water and take up a large amount of space in a load of laundry.
- Turn off the faucet when you're brushing your teeth, washing your hands, collect water while letting the water heat up, etc. This can save 10s of gallons a minute! You can also turn off the shower when you're washing your hair, face, body etc. and only use the water to rinse off.
- Eating a plant based diet will allow for less showers as well! Some may not have thought of that, but by eating cleaner, your body has less toxins to dispel from the body (temple) and thus no stench. You will feel clean just by eating clean anyways! Simple things you do "On the Daily" are connected to your entire lifestyle and your being in general, take some time to connect the dots on your daily activities and see how they can relate to using less water!
Around the house
- Check your water bill to pin-point what water uses you can cut back on.
- Check for leaks and other damage around the house on pipes, hoses, faucets, etc. and turn off faucets/valves tightly. Sometimes you only need to add a washer to a dripping faucet which can waste around 3k gallons a year. Many homes have hidden leaks or leaks that haven't been fixed for whatever reason. You can check water meters to see if there are any leaks, but this method isn’t guaranteed on accuracy. You can save 100s of gallons a week just from fixing leaks! If you account for everyone doing this in the domestic U.S., that's around a trillion gallons a year...
- Insulate water pipes to allow for quicker hot water and prevent freezing in cold climates.
- Only do full loads of laundry and wash clothes with cold water. Using cold water uses less water to heat up and preserves the color and quality of your clothes. A full load will allow for the least amount of water use load after load.
- Upgrade to water-efficient saving appliances if you can. Washing machines, toilets, shower heads, dual flush toilets, dish washers, air-cooled refrigerators/freezers etc. All appliances have water and electric efficient variations.
- Shut off water to unused parts of your house and/or building. For example, you don't use the guest bathroom. Shutting off this supply will preserve pipes, prevent leaks and prevent any unneeded water flow which also increasing pressure around the rest of the house/building.
- If you use artificial air systems (heating and cooling), cut back on the use or replace the water-to-air system. There are many natural ways to regulate the air quality and temperature in a house/building. Allow clean fresh air into your home and your life!
- If you use ice cubes for any reason and drop a few or have some left over, give them to your house plants for a steady water supply.
- If you've got to use hot water, collect the water while you wait for it to heat up and use for watering indoor plants and other needs.
- Know where your master shutoff valve is in case of a broken pipe. This will save a lot of water if a pipe were to burst.
Collect and store water
- Collect water from your house, shed, garage, etc. Attach rain collecting gutters and downspouts to runoff into garden beds or in rain barrels, and other clean storage systems.
- Covering your roof with a natural material may be a good idea to keep out any leached plastics, tars, or other contaminants.
- You can put filters in/on your gutters and down spouts to filter out any debris as well as other filtration systems (for gutters, pipes, hoses and water tanks) to clean out any toxins, chemicals and other contaminants in the water.
- Collected water can be used for drinking (depending on quality), washing, in the garden etc.
Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose
- Reuse water in any way that you can, be creative and improvise!
- You can collect extra water from the shower, dishes, laundry runoff, cooking, teas, “pet” water dish, etc. to use for rinsing and soaking dishes, watering indoor/outdoor plants, household cleaning, hand washed laundry, etc.
- Never let water run down the drain when there can be another use for it.
Be Wise with your use
- Don't wash your car. Many people seem to take more care of their cars rather then their bodies. 1000s of gallons of water is wasted from just a single car wash. If you need to wash your car, collect the runoff water and use as little as possible. Some automatic car washes recycle the water for reuse.
- Don't water the concrete... Sweep patios, decks, sidewalks driveways, etc. instead and use the "debris" for compost in the garden.
- Don't use/have a pool or any other water wasting toy, get back to nature and visit the beach, lake, etc. instead!
- Don't use sprinklers or any other water wasting systems. Most sprinkler systems spray water where it's not needed (ie concrete) and typically over water. You can supplement these systems by implementing a garden, improving soil quality, replace your lawn, or installing better systems for your garden (like drip irrigation or other water saving systems).
- Don't water your "lawn", instead grow a garden or replace the grass with a more suitable ground cover (there are tons out there!) Typical lawns are hybridized grasses and sometimes even artificial. Bring back nature onto the land by replacing the grass with a native species or other suitable ground cover. If your lawn needs watering, that species most likely was never suppose to be in that location. If the grass was native, there would be no need for watering unless for a serious drought. In that case, you may want to implement more of an ecosystem in the area.
- When/if you cut your lawn, leave the clippings on the ground this covers the ground keeping it cool, holds moisture, and adds fertility back into the soil promoting the need for less water in the future. A longer cut lawn (3-4"+) encourages root growth (soil structure), shades the lawn keeping cooler, and holds soil moisture.
- Drink a lot but not too much. Drinking enough water is great for your health and helps you in every way. You are water, your body is 85% or so made up of water. Water is life. Water will help cleanse and flush out toxins in your body, hydrate you for a clear mind, and allow the systems in your body to function properly and so much more. You can however drink too much water which may cause harm to your body. Drink enough so that you get all you need (your fair share) but don’t be wasteful and drink too much or deprive others of their share.
In Da Garden
- Typical household gardens aren't usually created and designed to save water anymore. A lot of gardeners (and especially farmers) have forgotten their ancestral ways. They never learned how "grandmas cookies" came to be. Where did those ingredients come from and why did that farm/garden produce quality ingredients for that savory dessert?
- Water only when necessary to do so, don't over water. Sometimes plants don't need water at all and will benefit from having the soil being dry every now and again. This encourages the plants to grow and reach their roots to further grounds. When plant's leaves are turning yellow/lighter green and new shoots are wilting and dying, this could be a sign of too much water and/or root rot.
- Water deeply but less frequently, this will increase plant's drought tolerance and, like mentioned above, encourage deep root growth.
- Don't let your hose run and then forget, use a timer if you must! Make sure that your irrigation systems are targeting only the areas that are needed and time your irrigation properly. Turn off irrigation when accounting for rain. No need to use watering systems that waste water.
- “Weeds” can be beneficial a lot of the time, but other times they are invading the area. Weeds will compete with other plants in this case and can take up large amount of nutrients, light, and water.
- Pruning plants may help the plants use water more efficiently as well as encourage new branches (wider plants) which reflects from wider and larger growth in the root systems.
- Use ground covers (ie mulches, straw, living mulch and other ground covers) in gardens and planting beds to store the water and prevent evaporation and drying from wind. You can also lay ground covers around specific plants (like trees and bushes) that will benefit from the added moisture that will seep into the soil when needed.
- Have less of a "lawn" and Moor of a garden. Or rather bring more natural systems (like plantings of bushes and trees) around your property that will hold more water on the land. The benefits of doing so are to extensive to list entirely (infinite of course). You have an opportunity to feed you (and your family) fresh food, you attract beneficial wild life, create micro climates around the house to regulate temperature, air quality, etc. and many moor.
- Plant perennial plants that are native to the area. Plants that are native to the area are more adapted and better suited to the natural climate and rain falls in your area. Thus needing less water. Native plants are usually hardier and less prone to disease, etc. etc. The qualities go on. Being perennial, that means the plants will come back (or self sow) year after year which will mean they will have already been established, accounting for less water to start and mature. etc.
- Choose the right plants for the right areas. Group plants with similar needs (companion plants) together that will benefit each other from being planted together. Some plants need less water and some need more. You can group plants together not only so that they use the same amount of water but will benefit each other’s growth as well. A good example is how basil will repel pests that attack tomatoes while at the same time promoting the tomato plant to fruit and grow stronger. The tomato plant is providing shade and protection as well as helping the basil plant grow via root systems etc.
- Plant when the water requirements are low (ie not the hottest time of the year) and water with the change of the seasons (less in the spring, autumn depending on location)
- Put trays/plates etc. at the base of potted plants to minimize the amount of water needed and to catch the runoff.
- Check and repair hoses, valves, nozzles, and any other water systems. Use sustainable and water-efficient systems when you can!
- Re-route your "gray water" (extra runoff from sinks, showers, washers, etc.) into your garden beds and other planters.
- Use retentive materials (like straw and mulch) for your pathways and walkways to keep more water on the land for plants to grow. This will add to moisture level in soils creating less of a need for water!
- Use porous materials (like gravel, sand and other stones) to direct the water where needed. These materials allow for water to pass through them quickly and could be used for certain pathways, edges of gardens, path from your downspout to your garden, or as a “water filtration” bed hosting specific plants, etc.
- Apply water as fast as the soil can absorb the water. Some soils allow for a lot of runoff and the plants don't get as much as they could which wastes water. You can resolve this by watering in intervals throughout the day and by improving the soil. Watering plants in the evening and morning allow for less evaporation from the heat and (most of the time) wind, leaving more water for the plants for the rest of the day!
- Better Soil will allow better water retention and less run off/erosion. The better root systems are established, the better the water retention. Organic matter (compost, plant based scraps, leaves, fallen branches, etc.) will add to the soil structure providing nutrients for root systems via the microbes in the soil.
- Don't use "fertilizers" (even “organic” labeled fertilizers), these will cause more harm then good and use more water than you should for your garden. Instead use natural fertilizers and other natural methods. Nature grows miraculously without any extra input (especially not synthetic) and produces an abundance all-ways! I encourage you to observe nature and apply similar techniques and allow nature to come into your home garden rather than combating against the nature of your garden!
- Start a compost pile(s). Like mentioned above, balanced compost will add organic matter with water holding qualities to the soil as well as improve many other qualities of the soil that will boost water conservation. This can also be a source for your plant based kitchen scraps rather than wasting them washed down a garbage disposal (which only works with running water) or throwing them out in the trash which accumulates waste, leading to gas use (garbage service) and pollution of ground water and water sheds via toxic runoff from landfills.
I hope this post helps to inspire you to take heed and use water wisely in your life!
You are water, and water is life. Your life starts with you and The Creator.
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