9 Ways To Recycle Water and Save on Utility Bills
Here in California, we always work to save our water. Many of the great ways to recycle water also help you save money on utility bills. These efforts are good for the environment. Moreover, they’re good for your pocketbook. That’s something we can all feel good about.
Here are some of the best ways to recycle water and save on utility bills:
1. Never Toss Water Out of a Cup and Down the Drain
You can start small with easy ways to recycle water. Therefore, anytime that you see a little bit of water in a cup or bottle, ask yourself how you can recycle it. For example, take that half-filled cup of water and toss it into a plant. In this way, you use the water instead of throwing it away. Every little bit truly does add up.
Don’t Forget The Ice
You can use your ice in the same way. Toss it into a plant, let it melt, and you’ve recycled it instead of wasting it.
2. Use the Pasta Water, Too
Truly, any time that you have extra water leftover, you can put it to use. For example, when you make pasta, don’t toss that water down the drain. Instead, place a bowl underneath the pasta strainer. Then collect that water. After allowing it to cool, use it to water your plants. Other similar kitchen water to recycle in this way:
- Rice water
- Water from washing your veggies off
- Water from soaking beans overnight
3. Collect Shower Water While It’s Getting Hot Enough
Every day, you take a shower. And every day, you probably wait to get under the water until it’s hot enough for your shower. Unfortunately, all of that colder water goes down the drain. Instead of wasting it, collect it. Put a bucket under the stream. Set it aside as you shower. Then, when you’re done showering, use that water.
Ways to use extra water in buckets include:
- Recycle the water to flush the toilet; why use fresh water to refill the toilet tank?
- Water your garden, lawn, trees, and/or indoor plants with this water
- Use the water for household cleaning
- Wash the car using this water
- Rinse down the driveway, porch, and sidewalks with this water
Americans use an average of seventeen gallons of water per shower. Therefore, you want to maximize your use of ways to recycle water from the shower.
4. The Soapy Water from Car Washes Can Water Plants
Not being much of a green thumb myself, I didn’t realize that you could use soapy water to water your plants. However, Conserve Energy Future reports that this is one of the best ways to recycle water if you wash your car at home. Make sure that you only toss that water on shrubs and other hardy plants that can tolerate the soap levels.
Tip: start using handmade soaps for washing dishes, clothes, and even the car. Know the ingredients you’re putting in the water that you recycle.
5. Wash Dishes by Hand, Use the Water
Your dishwasher uses a lot of water. If you wash the dishes by hand instead, then you can collect that water. The easiest option is to wash the dishes inside of a plastic bucket. Then the water is already in the bucket for you to use. You can reuse it just like the leftover pasta water, water from the shower, and car wash water leftovers. Even if you decide you don’t want to wash all of your dishes in this manner, you might find that it’s easy to wash utensils this way.
Wash Clothes By Hand, Too
You can wash clothes by hand then recycle that water around the house as well. Moreover, you can get in extra recycling by using recycled water to wash the clothes. For example, place a bucket in the shower. Use that bucket of water to wash your clothes. Then use the water from washing the clothes to wash the car.
6. Reuse the Water from Washing Your Hands
Again, simply collect the water in the sink using a bucket, pot, or vase. Wash your hands over this instead of letting the water go down the drain. In particular, use this when you’re just rinsing off your hands and don’t even have soap on them. All of this water can get put to use around the household.
7. Don’t Let Plants Leak Water
If you have indoor plants then they probably leak water into a dish at the bottom of the pot, right? Don’t waste that water. Collect it and pour it right back into the plant. Just because the plant didn’t need it the first time doesn’t mean that it won’t be thirsty for it the next time around.
8. Install a Greywater System
Many of the methods we’ve discussed so far are ways to recycle water bit by bit. However, if you’re serious about your efforts, then you might want to install a greywater system. A greywater system collects all of the runoff from your shower, washing machine, etc. Instead of collecting it yourself in buckets, the system does it for you.
Then you can utilize that water. Most commonly, people recycle greywater for use in their garden irrigation system. In fact, many greywater systems go straight from the collection site to the irrigation spot. This is a great way to invest some money upfront to save you time down the line. And when done well, it’s very good for the environment.
Do note that different areas have different regulations when it comes to installing a greywater system. Therefore you’ll want to research any restrictions in your city, county, or home owners’ association.
9. Use a Rain Barrel
What if you don’t have a garden? There are ways to recycle water for consumption as well as for bathing. Installing a rain barrel is one of the best options. You collect the rain water. Then you boil it to make it safer for drinking. Enjoy! Of course, you’ll use your stove to heat up the water, so this won’t save you as much on your utility bills. Nevertheless, it’s a great way to reduce your water bill total while also doing something kind for the earth.
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