13 - 2008

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?

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