With massive drought conditions happening right here in our country, including Colorado & California which are both just about a days drive from my home, it is important to me to reduce, reuse & recycle as much water as we possible can. Since I get a lot of questions about our “hippie” lifestyle, I thought with summer fast approaching it would be a good time to share some of our daily water saving habits that have helped not only reduce our water usage but lowered our utility bills greatly – and who doesn’t love that?!
Don’t dump your coffee
Instead of pouring coffee left in the pot down the drain, we use it to water our garden, flowers or lawn. It is acidic so it is wonderfully nutritious for most plants, especially blueberry bushes & azaleas. Don’t pour too much over your garden areas as too much acidity can alter the PH of your soil. We do it mostly around our berry bushes & lawn & during wet spells in the gardens when it will be dissipated quickly.
Don’t be a drain on resources
Instead of running chemically contaminated water down the drain while doing dishes, we switched to using Earth safe dish soap (Seventh Generation is a good brand that is plant based, biodegradeable & non-toxic if you want to try some out!) & use a dishpan in the bottom of our sink to catch rinse off from pans, then just toss the used dish water into our lawn. By doing this we avoid watering our lawn in the hotter summer months, saving tons our water bill, and the detergent we use is so gentle it doesn’t harm our grass. We do not use dish water in or near our gardens, just on the grassy areas, but the clean water we collect from rinsing produce or used while waiting to get hot water we use on the gardens.
Get clean quicker
This one was hard for me. I love taking long, hot showers in the evenings. But now I take two song showers -meaning I turn on my phone to play music & after two songs, I turn off the water & get out. I’m typically in the shower for less than 8-10 minutes & it’s more than enough time to get clean. Our water bill has went down drastically because, like I said, I was addicted to long showers, so this has had a huge impact on the amount of water we use. So if you are looking for an easy sacrifice to make to lower your utility bill & help the Earth, I suggest shaving time off everyone’s showers if possible! Luckily, my nine year old hates showers so he’s scrubbed up & out in less than five minutes, haha!
In addition to shorter showers, most modern dish washers & washing machines have “rapid wash” or low water use settings. Use these whenever possible – one load of laundry can use up to 30-40 gallons of water! Using the rapid wash setting, our washing machine only uses about 14 gallons instead. Our dishwasher has a “light/quick” load option that works great no matter how full the dishwasher is, and uses significantly less water than the “normal” setting which runs almost twenty minutes longer.