8 tiny tips for reducing water waste

savingwaterThis week’s change the world Wednesday challenge will have you checking your water conservation.

We’re not talking major stuff like giving up your pressure washer, turning off the tap when you brush your teeth or not bathing for a week, we’re talking about the little differences that add up to make significant change.

Small Footprints writes “pay close attention to the water which gets tossed down the drain. For example, if you put ice in your drink, toss the ice in a planter rather than toss it in the drain. Is there a small amount of coffee left in the pot? Try freezing it for use in iced coffees or to flavor cake….

The idea, here, is to pay attention to those small amounts of water which usually get tossed down the drain and find more Eco-efficient uses for them … and thereby reduce waste.


Well I already have my top tip for reducing water waste, which is to reuse any water you steam / boil your veggies in. This water can be used cooled and used the following day for boiling pasta or rice. It’s an added bonus for you too because you get extra vitamins and trace minerals!


On a Sunday the vegetable water gets used to make gravy. Once again you’re reducing waste and gaining nutrients.


If I hard boil eggs, that water gets cooled and used on houseplants or added to the rain barrel.


Another thing I do here at Chez Green is with the water from my hot water bottle. Instead of pouring it down the sink each evening, I give the cooled water to my houseplants. If my houseplants are not thirsty I put the water in a room steamer I use; it keeps the air healthy and purified.


If you have a dog, they’ll happily lap up your ice cubes or the dregs from the bottom of your glass (just make sure it’s not wine!)


If water is left in the bottom of a glass after a meal we simply leave it to drink later. I use an old yogurt pot lid to keep flies and dust out in the meantime. The same with Little Miss green’s water bottle from school. If there’s anything left she drinks it with her evening meal instead of throwing the water away and replacing.


The rabbit’s water comes from a rain barrel rather than the tap and we put water out for the birds – this is rain water too. It’s much better for them than chlorinated, flouirinated water. When we had cats I noticed they would refuse the nice ‘clean’ water I put down for them and prefered to drink out of puddles 😉


If you have fish, the dirty water is a valuable fertiliser for plants, rich in nitrogen and phosphorus.

What about you – what tiny steps do you take to improve water conservation?


  1. Small Footprints on September 21, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Love your tips, Mrs. Green! Using the fish water to fertilize is brilliant (makes me want to start an aquarium).

    When you first shared your idea of reusing the veggie water … it was, for me, a light bulb moment (smacking my head thinking “why didn’t I think of that” … lol). My grandmother used to take the water from boiling potatoes and use it in her bread … the extra starch from the water made her bread beautiful. I really like the idea of not wasting any nutrients.

  2. Zoie @ TouchstoneZ on September 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    These are great tips! I think I got the tip to reuse our veggie water from you a while back and our garden has never been happier (I don’t make gravy, currently) We recapture as much of our grey water as we can and don’t use detergents or cleaners that we couldn’t use on plants safely (instead of making gravy, I make our household products 😉

    I know a lot of people waste water getting it hot, and I’m always pleasantly surprised that people are glad to hear of the simple solution of putting a bin, bucket or bowl to catch that water in as it warms up. The same goes for washing our cars, we drive the cars onto the lawn and wash them there-nothing goes off into the storm drains. Of course, one day, I dream of converting our front lawn into an urban garden…

  3. Good Girl Gone Green on September 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    All great tips too! 🙂

  4. April H on September 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    We always dump old water on plants outside, since it’s so dry here most of the time. Even boiling water I use after it cools off. I’d love to have a grey water system one day, that recycles water from the sink and such unto your veggie garden!

  5. Mrs Green on September 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    @Small Footprints: Oooo, love the idea about potato water for bread – thanks SF!

    @Zoie @ TouchstoneZ: Oh yes! brilliant idea about washing the car on the grass; absolutely brilliant! thank you for sharing 🙂

    @Good Girl Gone Green: THanks GGGG; nice to see you hanging around in my part of the world 🙂

    @April H: I’d love a system like that too and one that gathers rainwater and flushes the toilet with it – one day 😉

  6. Ailbhe on October 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Greywater and rainwater plumbing are on my dream list.

  7. Mrs Green on November 5, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    @Ailbhe: Oh yes! What I would give for a greywater system here at Chez Green