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.