My cup runneth over…

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My cup runneth over dear friends.

And my rain water barrels.

And my clay soil vegetable beds.

Oh, and the chicken run with a leaking roof.

Not to mention the leaking bedroom roof…

This week for Change the World Wednesday, Small Footprints has asked us to look at water conservation.

She writes “This week conserve water by not wasting it. Consider every drop which typically gets poured down the drain and find creative uses for it. Examine your water use and see where, and how, you can make improvements.”

The trouble is, England, right now looks like this:

Water conservation isn’t exactly top of our minds. Rather we’re wondering how to stop our homes and land flooding!

Meanwhile, other parts of the world are like this:

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just send a few rain clouds to the areas of the world that need it most?

In all honesty I don’t know where to go with this week’s challenge.

Dish washing water can be thrown on the plants, but they don’t need it! If I do that I’ll probably kill them due to flooding them.

My houseplants don’t need it anyway – in these showers I’m putting them outside for a drink!

I could keep it to flush the toilet, but I’m not going to flush greasy washing up water down the toilet; I think that’s asking for future problems.

I could wash the car with it; but hey, it’s raining and I think I wash my car once a year – I’m just not that proud. And hmmm, dirty washing up water on the car windscreen?

And now I’m stuck!

It’s the same with bath water; I won’t bucket it out and use it to flush the toilet because I’ll get water over the floor and that would make it slippery and dangerous and I’m just not going to spend the time towel drying the floor afterwards and then having to do more washing(which equals more water). But hey, my husband and I still share our baths most weeks 😉

I’m good at reusing water I’ve steamed vegetables in – this is used to make gravy, used as stock in soups or reused next time I cook rice or pasta.

And here’s another way I conserve water. You know how I hate all those different cleaning products – I find them a con and believe wholeheartedly you don’t need a product for sinks, another for tubs and yet a different one for floor. No way!

My favourite product is a glass cleaner which I make from white vinegar and essential oils. I use this on my work surfaces, sink, bath, dining table, floors and of course glass.

But the best part? There is no froth or foam and no residue so guess what?

I never need to rinse it with water!

Genius eh?

So while I may be tossing bowls of water down the sink each time I wash the dishes; at least I don’t need a bowl of water to rinse away crummy toxic cleaning products.

What about you – how to you conserve water at home?


  1. Small Footprints on August 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    This is an interesting point, Mrs. Green … it’s very hard to conserve when we have too much coming at us. And, you make another great point … we can conserve water via the products we choose to buy (or not buy). You not only save water by not having to rinse … you save by not buying products. Every single manufactured product requires water to be fabricated … so … you save packaging (no water) and you don’t buy products which typically contain large percentages of water (more savings). Sometimes conserving water is more than just turning off the faucet or using leftover water for plants. Thanks, Mrs. Green!

  2. Jane on August 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    I agree that it is hard to reuse water when everywhere is so wet! Normally, I would pour bowls of water over the garden plants, but the garden really has not needed this recently! However, where possible, I save water to use for another purpose in the house, or to water the house plants. When we have hot water bottles in winter, I use the water to flush the toilet the next day. I only have a bath every 4 or 5 days, with a maximum of 4 inches of water, and often only 2 to 3 inches, and only have a fairly small bath, so that saves water, and also uses much less water than a shower. I also only use as much water as I need in the sink or wash basin, rather than filling it up. We have a dual flush toilet, but (unless we have visitors) I go with “if its yellow let it mellow.” Our washing machine uses less water than I could wash the laundry in by hand, and I wait until things are dirty before washing them, rather than washing items that are barely worn, and that still appear clean. I have not run the tap while cleaning my teeth since we were urged not to in the drought in 1976. We only put the amount of water we need in the kettle rather than filling it up.

  3. Neil on August 12, 2012 at 11:47 am

    You could pee in the garden, ok not literally if you have neighbours overlooking (we don’t so no problems there).

    But collect it in a bucket and feed garden plants with it. Move round the garden so that plants only get it once a week at the most (cabbages love it). Run out of plants, then use it on the lawn for greener than ever grass, plus the nutrients get recycled back when you compost the grass.

    Undiluted urine is fine with all the wet weather, other times it can be diluted at 10 parts water to 2 parts urine, that’s about 2 cupfuls to a gallon of water. Good liquid feed for most plants!

    Using urine this way means you save water by not flushing the toilet and utilise the wasted Nitrogen in a useful way by locking up in plants. Otherwise it could just cause Nitrogen pollution, which the world is suffering enough of.

  4. Jane on August 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Another option would be to empty your bucket of pee onto the compost heap. This helps to make good compost, to be used by your plants at a later date, and avoids the need to dilute it with water. However, if you are taking certain medications, such as antibiotics, I believe that it is better not to put your urine into the compost or garden.

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