One of the easiest ways to go crunchy is conservation. And one of the easiest, and yet most important ways to conserve is through water. Clean water is essential to living. So conserving what we have is so so important. Living in a city, or on city water, I think we tend to not really realize how much we are wasting. It doesn’t occur to us that the water we get from that tap isn’t endless. That the wastewater does in fact affect more than we realize. So, for ease, I’ve made a little list of ways to conserve water. There are plenty of lists out there so I’m just going to list what either we currently do or have done in the past or want to do in the future.
- Take shorter showers or “military” showers. We try for five minute showers or the military style, which means turning the water on to get wet, turning it off to lather up, turning on to rinse, etc.
- Try showering once a week and sponge-bathing or at-sink bathing the rest of the week. This, of course, depends on the situation. If you work a sweaty job, it might not be so great, but for a desk job or vacations or the weekend it should suffice. It won’t take long for your body to adjust to fewer showers.
- If you can, install a low-flow toilet and showerhead. The technology available now really makes these totally workable and again, it doesn’t take long to adjust to the new water settings.
- Along with that, when you turn on the faucet to wash your hands, don’t turn it on full blast. A low flow or even a trickle should suffice. I also like to use the military style for washing hands or face, too.
- Instead of using the faucet to brush your teeth, use a cup. We fill a cup with a little water, dip the brush in to wet it, then use the rest of the water to rinse and spit out on the brush to pre-rinse it and then do a final swish off of the brush before putting it away.
- If it’s yellow let it mellow; if it’s brown flush it down. Hand-in-hand with this is using greywater to flush with, instead of the fresh water that fills the tank.
- Get high-efficiency (and front-loading) clothes washer and dishwasher. In fact, we never use a dishwasher. Every time we have had one in a place we were renting or have owned, I use it as a drying rack, as I prefer hand-washing to a dishwasher.
- Don’t let your faucet drip or your toilet run. That drip really adds up fast. If you want to do an experiment, place a large bowl or small bucket under that drip for a week or even a day. You’ll see it adds up quickly. If you can’t stop the leak, then at least save that water for the plants or other uses.
- Collect (or divert and collect) rainfall. You can use it to water your garden, water your animals, wash the dog, wash your laundry (I recommend at least filtering first and/or boiling it as well), clean the outside of the house or vehicles or bicycles, the list goes on.
- Wash clothes less. Or wear them more often before washing. This is especially true for kids who like to wear three or four outfits a day. Maybe they didn’t really get dirty enough to wash. Also, don’t overfill or underfill your washer. Overfilling or stuffing it full won’t really save on water and it won’t get your clothes clean. It might also break your washing machine. Underfilling uses unnecessary amounts of water (and detergent).
- Only wash your dishes when you have a full load. In our house, I usually can get away with washing dishes every other day. Or less.
- In addition to that, reuse dishes if you can and it’s still sanitary (of course). If you just boiled pasta in the pan, you can reuse it for the same thing or make soup in it, etc. If there were just cracker or bread crumbs on the plate, wipe them off and reuse. Measuring cups and spoons could maybe use a dry wipe-out instead of washing. We each use the same glass to drink out of for about a week or so. This especially works for my daughter and I, as we generally only drink water.
Well, that should get you going. There are hundreds of ways to save water, but for us and our family, these are the easiest and simplest. How about you? Got any ways you save? Let me know.