Our Simple Living course covered an array of topics and activities both inside the class room and outside it. Outside the class we would get what we called “curses” in our door. There were 2 curses going around “rainy season”, which meant your solar panels (pretending we’re in a remote location) hadn’t been able to get enough sunlight because of the weather and you weren’t allowed to use any electricity for a period of time. The other curse was “dry season”, where you hadn’t gotten enough rain to collect, so you couldn’t run any water in your house, or even flush your toilet unless you hauled the water from the wash house.
The dry season curse revealed to me how lackadaisical I’ve become with water usage. When we lived in West Texas I tried to be a little more cautious as we lived in a desert, but now that we live by a lake and water isn’t really much of an issue I’ve really let it slide.
Do you feel like you could cut back on water use? Here’s 10 ways I thought of to cut back on water use:
- Put a brick (or something similar) in the tank of your toilet, so every time it flushes it uses a little less water.
- Turn the water off in the shower when soaping up and shaving.
- When dumping water out of cups think if there’s any way you can use it, like watering a plant or adding it to your pet’s water bowl.
- If you have 2 tubs for washing dishes, you can put soapy water in one for washing and clean water in the other for rinsing. If the rinse water starts to get sudsy from all the rinsing, make it the wash tub and add fresh water to the wash tub for rinsing. This way you don’t have to replace the water in both.
- Similar to the above tip, when my parents were dorm parents in Paraguay, they used the rinse water from the washing machine to fill up the washer for the next load of laundry. You can see the system my parents rigged up in the picture below.
- Produce less laundry, so you don’t have to do as many loads and therefore save water. Check out the post 5 Ways to Have Less Laundry.
- Turn off water when brushing your teeth.
- Don’t mop your floors using a giant bucket of water. Often I just grab a microfiber cloth and dampen it and go around the kitchen/living room cleaning and spots I see. It’s not the most thorough cleaning, but it works fine between big scrubbings and uses very little water. Plus your floor drys in no time flat!
- Try to use as little water as you can get away with. When filling up the sink for dishes, only put as much as you think you’ll really need to get the job done. Same for other things, like the kid’s bath.
- Live in a dry climate, where your grass doesn’t turn green by its self? Instead of watering your lawn, try xeriscaping.