Move your water around

Spring is coming, which means most of us will have more uses for extraneous water. Here are some ideas of how to make the most of your water:

  • Save the pasta water. Many Italian recipes have you blanch veggies in boiling water, then cook the pasta in the same water. Then, this same water can go to moisturize your compost pile or water a garden — within reason. If you’re a pastaholic, you might produce enough starch to choke your plants, so take it easy.
  • Put a bucket in the shower. Catch the flow while you’re waiting for the water to heat up. Use it to flush the toilet (dump it in the tank or right into the bowl). If it’s clean, use it the same day to get a head start on your kid’s or pet’s bath (don’t let soapy or grey water sit for re-use — it’s too germy). Wash the bucket once in a while, too.
  • Keep a clean pan in your sink. Catch water while you’re waiting for it to get hot there, too. Save energy with your dishwasher by running sink water until it’s hot (so your dishwasher gets things cleaner, and you don’t have to rinse dishes). But catch the water in your pan and re-use it for something else — like cooking pasta (“for every [water] there is a season, turn, turn, turn …”).
  • Get a rain barrel, if it’s legal or you’re a scofflaw.
  • Hand wash dishes over a pot or bowl. Put just a little soapy water in the bowl. Rinse things above the bowl. The bowl will get fuller as you go — no need to start full and let it overflow.
  • If you like to soak dirty dishes, start the day’s soak with just a little water. Before you know it, you will have rinsed a few things, and the soaking pot will fill up.
  • Turn the tap on just a little — not full blast.

What else do you do?


6 thoughts on “Move your water around

  1. Suzanne Langley says:

    Great article.
    Highly recommend this blog it is tops.
    It is early morning here in Aussie and I’m hungover from the Flu so will make further comment when I feel a little better up to it.

  2. Jenna says:

    Bath water gets held in the tub to humidfy the upstairs, then it gets shuttled to the actual humifiers (ie the teakettle and crock on the woodstove). In the summer I’ve also been known to use it to flush the toilet. -there is something about putting human waste into clean water that just confuses me.

    When waiting for the water to heat to wash dishes, I fill the water jugs we keep in the fridge and the ice trays. I also use it to fill my little herb hydroponc system.

    Lastly? Great suggestion about the pasta water and cooking veggies with it. It can even go a step further if you want. To save on having to heat (or get dirty) another pan while the pasta drains, just toss broccoli or other hard veggies into the pan with the pasta. Drain it all at the same time and all that is needed is the sauce.

    One last thing, gotta go with Suzanne on this. You really are doing a great job.

  3. cheaplikeme says:

    You’ve just gotta keep rubbing it in about the woodstove, huh? 😉

    I hear you about clean water in the toilet. LA has a plan going that will potentially sanitize post-toilet water to go back into the consumer water stream. Why can’t we go the other way and send gray water through the toilet and THEN clean it?

    And many thanks for the kudos!

  4. Jenna says:

    Sorry…. (lol)

    Here, maybe this will make you feel better –

    Wood for the woodstove – timber in forest, mud to the ankles to reach, mud to knees while cutting and stacking.

    Sawdust, splinters, dislocated shoulder while loading into vehicle.

    Repeat for unloading.

    Back ache, splinters, mud to shoulders stacking in cords.

    Trek through 18 inches of snow 2x a day to refil porch wood rack, then trek out into icy blast 5x a day to bring wood inside from porch.

    Mud and ice to knee each morning to dump ash pans into back garden and compost heaps.

    Daily dusting to remove new layer of ash from first floor.

    Better? (I’ll forgo mentioning the 73 degrees of radiating warmth 24 hours a day as well as the slowly defined muscles from hefting. That would defeat the point lol!)

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