Top 10 Ways to Save Water This Summer

1. Make soup from cooking water. 

Who doesn’t love soup? Better question – who doesn’t love making soup more than a water-conscious superchef? Cooking, steaming, and blanching often leaves whole pots of water that is full of nutrients: throw in some stock ingredients, peas or lentils – whatever you love in a soup – and get cooking!

 

2. Water your lawn or garden from a rain barrel instead of the faucet.

As summer heats up, your garden is probably going to need more and more watering. You could spike your water bill by hooking up the hose or loading up your trusty watering can – or you can take advantage of the free water that literally falls from the sky by setting up a rainwater harvesting system. 

 

3. Ditch the hose for outdoor cleanup.

 

Summer means lots of outdoor work; it’s easy and really wasteful to hose away grass clippings and spilled soil from your driveway or patio. Instead, use an old broom at the end of a project to save water – and money!

 

4. Dehumidifier = Plant Water Machine.

Dehumidifiers are great for damp basements, and as an added perk, they give you a pretty much unlimited supply of instant free water for your plants or garden.

 

5. Wash your farmer’s market haul in a pot, instead of running water.

 

You probably wash fruits and veggies under running water. There’s a better way, and it’s pretty simple: Fill a pot. Wash your goodies. Use the leftover water to give your plants a drink.

 

6. Have a pool? Cover up!

No, we’re not urging modesty here – you do you! – but you should cover your pool when you’re not splashing or lounging. You’ll keep your water free of debris, but most importantly, you’ll keep water from evaporating away, especially on hot summer afternoons!

 

7. Don’t feed the weeds.

 

Healthy lawns and garden plants love a good drink. Unfortunately, so do weeds – and they’ll fight your plants for all the water. Getting rid of weeds regularly will keep your plants quenched and happy – plus it’ll save on water that would have been wasted on weeds!

 

8. Defrost frozen meats in the microwave, not under the tap.

If you’re not grilling this summer, you’re doing it wrong. Also doing it wrong: Running frozen foods under water to thaw them. Instead, turn to that king of kitchen efficiency – the microwave! It even has a setting for it and everything.

 

9. Handy with a wrench? Upgrade your shower head/faucet to a WaterSense model.

 

Modern shower heads save water without sacrificing the water pressure we all love. That WaterSense label means that the shower head performs at least as well as a standard model, while also being 20 percent more water efficient. It’s a satisfying project for a weekend afternoon, and you can save LOTS of water!

 

10. Use a shower bucket and put that cold water to work.

There’s no getting around it – your shower takes some time to warm up. So keep a bucket in the shower and fill it while the shower warms up. Once the water is warm enough, set the bucket aside, enjoy your shower, and afterward you can use that cold water for your plants or humidifier.

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How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?

As summer starts to heat up and the sweat starts to bead, remember staying properly hydrated helps prevent fatigue and overheating. You won't believe how much water you SHOULD be drinking everyday. Use these tips and information below to help you stay hydrated under the summer sun:

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7 Tips to Make Your Neighbors Green With Envy

These water-conservation tips help create beautiful, eco-friendly gardens. Follow the list, save water, show up your neighbors.  

1. Locals know best. Just ask the plants.

 

Help your garden go back to its roots. In their eons of existence, native plants have cultivated an entire heritage. They fought the fight, adapted to the climate, and victoriously flourished—essentially, they know the land better than any other plants. Visit your nearby cooperative extension or botanical garden to research species! 

 

2. You cut grass. Grass cuts mulch costs. Mulch cuts water-loss.

With stuffed nose and balled fist, you may have cursed a pile of no-good grass clippings. But if used right, all that fresh-cut grass serves as a productive citizen of your yard. Spread mowed grass and ground-up leaves in flower and vegetable gardens for a free mulch supplement. 

 

3. Sorry James, imagination won’t get you your giant peach.

 

Now is the team to start watering your trees! If you want plump fruits, be sure to provide adequate soil moisture during April and May. 

 

4. Keep your plants social drinkers.

Some flowers enjoy the occasional sip of H20. Plant them far way in a “natural zone” where they can survive on rainfall. Others guzzle water down like a frat boys. Keep the thirsty guys together. Near the house, they can drink roof runoff. Think of it as Greek row, only the red cups contain water.

 

5. Do donuts. 

 

No, not in the grocery parking lot at 2 a.m., reliving your Jack-and-Diane days. Tending to shrubbery is a much safer, greener, and socially acceptable mid-life crisis. Form donut-shaped soil berms around young trees and shrubs. Then fill it up with water. The donut will let the roots absorb water slowly, a must for adolescent trees. 

 

6. April ______ bring May flowers. 

Something might be missing from the old nursery rhyme. We associate spring with rain, but don’t be an April fool—as the weather warms up and the days grow longer, you still should water your plants

 

7. Xeriscaping saves up to 80% of water.

 

Xeriscape” rolls off the tongue and flows like the water it saves. The water-conscious gardening technique can decrease consumption by 150 gallons a day. Avoid any water loss, use drought-tolerant plants and design gardens according to your location (see #1).

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