Water is one of our most important and, often, most mysterious and beautiful resources. It is something that most of us here in the western world are privileged enough to take for granted a lot of the time.
Right now is not one of those times. Regardless of your views on climate change, there are huge parts of the world that are experiencing devastating droughts. California, for example, has been experiencing record high temperatures all year long. This has created a massive and, in some cases life threatening drought in much of the state.
It is so dire that, in California’s Bay Area, people are being hired to serve as “water cops” to root out and cite people for wasting this precious resource.
Whether your area is plagued by droughts or you live in a temperate and very wet climate (like the rainforests in the Pacific Northwest), saving water and reducing water waste is incredibly important. And, because this site focuses so heavily on DiY, we thought it would be a good time to teach you some of the things you can do to reduce the amount of water you use (and waste) every day.
Saving Water While Bathing
The very first thing you should do is install water saving shower heads and faucets in your home’s showers and sinks. These are really easy to install yourself. Most can be put in place in just a few minutes. You could replace every shower head and faucet fixture in your home in just a couple of hours.
Now, obviously, you’ll want to concentrate on taking shorter showers. While long hot showers are certainly wonderful, think of all of the extra time you’ll have for other hobbies when you reduce your shower and bathing time. The best way to do this is to turn on the water long enough to get yourself wet. Then turn off the water while you soap up and lather shampoo into your hair. Turn the water back on to rinse all of that off. Repeat if you use conditioner.
Saving Water While Doing Chores
Use your dishwasher as a drying rack and do your dishes by hand in the sink. Filling your sink (or a small plastic basin) and then rinsing off the suds uses much less water than is used in your dishwasher. Believe it or not, doing dishes can actually be quite meditative. And, many dish soaps now have ingredients that help smooth and soften your hands (or you can wear rubber gloves).
For your laundry, only run a load through the wash when you have a full load. Period. Consider dry cleaning (at an environmentally responsible dry cleaner of course) more things if you can afford to do so.
Saving Water Outside
Plug up your drains while you shower, wash your hands, etc. Save the water in your tub or sink and then use that to water your lawn and gardens instead of turning on the hose or sprinkler. As long as you’re using environmentally safe soaps and shampoos you shouldn’t have to worry about your plants. You can also use this “gray” water for washing your car.
Collect rainwater! Setting up a rain barrel isn’t hard to do and this is more water that you can use for landscaping, washing your car, etc. Even if you’re experiencing a drought, setting up a rain barrel can be fortuitous during those few times when it does rain. Every little bit saved helps, right?
There are so many things that you can do to help save water just by altering a few of your habits around your home. What are some of the things you’ve been doing?