With climate change causing drier and longer droughts in the country, it’s important to be more
conscious of our water usage. Every drop counts in water conservation. Unfortunately, many of
us are oblivious to how much we waste until faced with a shortage. If you’ve ever lived in a
drought-affected region or experienced an “abnormally dry” summer, you know this first-hand.
The good thing is there’s plenty you can do to use less water in your home. Here are some
sustainable practices you can adopt for extreme-weather seasons and the long haul.
Harvest Rainwater Using Gutters
When it does fall, rainfall can be an abundant water source. One thunderstorm can provide
enough water to last weeks if you set up suitable rain-capture fixtures and reservoirs.
Luckily, this doesn’t take cutting-edge technology. Install gutters and put tanks or buckets at
their runoff points to capture water that would otherwise go to waste.
You can use the water as is for chores like washing your pavements or watering your garden, or invest in a collection and filtration system that makes it safe for drinking, bathing, and cooking.
Reduce or Skip Lawn Irrigation
Speaking of gardens, backyards and lawns are some of the biggest water consumers in homes.
A great way to reduce this usage is to opt for drought-tolerant landscaping using elements such
as decorative stones and pavers and low-maintenance succulents.
Or, you could circumvent watering entirely by using artificial grass. Not only does it maintain the
aesthetic of lush greenery while saving water, it also allows you to divert and collect runoff and
rainwater easily because the water isn’t absorbed into the earth.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Recycling is not just a buzzword for its climate and environmental benefits, it is also a great way
to save money on house bills. The easiest way to get started is to gather and reuse grey water. This is the wastewater from showers and baths, laundry, and sinks around the house.
Simply put down a bucket in the shower, or disconnect a sink trap and place the bucket under
the opening to collect wastewater, then identify what can be used to water your garden, washyour car, or flush toilets. Remember never to store grey water for more than 24 hours as bacteria can multiply to unsafe levels.
Limit Bathroom Water Usage
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than half of household water
consumption happens in the bathroom. You’d be surprised how much water long showers and
running taps waste.
Some practical ways to curb this are:
● Install low-flow shower heads. They work just as well yet save a lot.
● Try to finish your shower in 5 minutes.
● Shut off the water when lathering yourself during a shower and when brushing your
● Put a bucket in your shower to collect water as you wait for it to heat up.
These simple changes save a lot in the long run.
Don’t Wash, Sweep
Finally, dry conditions mean more dust than dirt, so get in the habit of sweeping down
pavements and walkways instead of spraying them down with a hose. Your pavement will likely
be dry and dusty again a few hours after cleaning, anyway.
If you must use water, sweep first before using a bucket to pour the water sparingly.
As these tips and techniques show, it doesn’t take a ton of effort to be a water saver. Pay
attention to your water usage and you’ll come up with many more water-saving projects you can
implement around the house.
Image 1: https://www.pexels.com/photo/silver-lever-handle-faucet-2574664/
Image 2: https://unsplash.com/photos/kBdssMci5EQ
James Deutsch is a writer with a passion for interior décor and DIY projects. He writes about the art of decorating small spaces, home maintenance projects, and that #vanlife aesthetic.