My family recently moved into a house that has no access to public water and no cistern. We have to have water hauled to our house and put into large tanks in our basement. Every eleven days or so, a truck brings water to us at $55 a pop. Saving water here is not something to consider, it’s a must! Here are the best ways our family has found to save on water.
1. The first thing many of us think of when it comes to saving water is the old saying “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.” Well, I am the only woman in a family of guys. I have enough messes and gross stuff surrounding me as it is. This was not an option. Instead, we place a bucket in our shower to catch water as our shower water warms, and throughout our showers. Then, when we flush, we open the top of the toilet tank and fill the water back up to the proper level. This way, I save water when flushing the toilet, and I don’t have to cry as I watch my money (some would call it water, but I just see money when I turn on a faucet) go down the drain.
2. Whenever I have to use hot water, I catch the water in a pitcher until it has reached the proper temperature. No way am I going to let that water run down the drain just because it’s cold. Later, I’ll use that water for our animals, to make Koolaid for the kids, to boil for pasta, or countless other uses.
3. Shorten your shower time. This one is tough to do in the winter time. There’s nothing like a hot shower on a cold night! But instead, I’ll invest in a really warm, soft bathrobe and slippers. Another way to shorten your shower is to do things such as washing your face and brushing your teeth at the sink. Guys can shave at the sink instead of in the shower. Gals, maybe you can sit on the side of the tub while you shave. Just dip your razor into that bucket of water you have for flushing the toilet (see number 1 above).
4. Turn the water off while soaping up when you wash your hands. Even my three year old does this, so it’s not a hard thing to do!
5. Laundry is by far my biggest water consumer. Considering the bigger load amounts and the smaller water usage, buying a front load washer can be a great investment. Otherwise, make sure that dirty laundry is really dirty. My family has a habit of throwing clothes in the hamper that haven’t been worn at all, or were worn long enough to come downstairs and be told “That doesn’t match, go change your clothes.” Not dirty! And obviously, make sure you are doing full loads of laundry at a time.
6. If my kids leave leftover water in their cups after going to bed, that water goes to the plants or animals.
7. I wash all dishes by hand at the end of the day. I warm up the water into one side of the sink (for rinsing) and run the hot soapy water in the other side of the sink. I have to admit that I hate washing dishes, but it’s a lot easier on my water supply.
8. When you are cleaning the house, make the most use out of that bucket of soapy water. Before you mop the floor, use a rag to clean the walls and cabinets. That won’t get the water very dirty, and you can still use it to mop. Can you mop different floors with the same bucket of water?
These are the ways my family has found to conserve water. Some are old, some are new. Hopefully this will help you think of ways to save water in your own household. Be creative! And the next time you open your water bill, be relieved!