Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.  We may be stuck in a lockdown, but we still have environmental concerns to address.  Just this year we heard shocking news of the Australian bush fires. In the UK we have issues of wildfires in several areas of the country as people have had picnics and barbecues at remote beauty spots during the driest May since 1986.

We are already getting to the stage of water shortages in my area.  Even though the weather is forecast Bottle of water being splashed about. 5 easy ways to save water in 2020to cool down, there isn’t much rain on the agenda.  The outlook suggests that we will have light drizzle one day, with a few drops a week later.  This doesn’t bode well for those who have had more time to tend their gardens during lockdown!  But what can we do to help the situation, when many of us are just trying to survive?

Last summer I heard a story of a man who reused as much water in his house as was possible.  Some of his ideas seemed to be pretty extreme, but I decided to look into it.  While I am not suggesting that we all wire up our washing machine outlets to irrigate our flower beds, there are some good tips to share with you.  Let’s hope we can improve things before a hose pipe ban is imposed.

1. Running the kitchen tapPan of spaghetti in boiling water. 5 easy ways to save water in 2020

I don’t know how often you do it, but with us being at home significantly more, I seem to be running the tap on and off all day.  Washing up: we need hot water.  Cool drink: no-one likes it to be tepid.  Warm, cool, warm, cool.  Stick a washing-up bowl under the kitchen tap and catch that wasted water.  It is amazing how much you can gather to pour over your sunflowers.

2. Pasta and vegetable water

Something I didn’t know – water that has been used to cook pasta contains plenty of nutrients.  Add to this water from boiling or steaming vegetables, leave it to cool and put on your plants.

3. Rinsing salad

Again, we can put a bowl or jug in the sink and collect the water that we use to rinse fruit and salad.  If you have a lawn, it will be grateful for it.

4. Running the showerShower head running in front of an open window. 5 easy ways to save water in 2020

I’m sure my children aren’t the only ones to take an inordinate amount of time to get into the shower after we have started running it.  Put a bucket under the shower head to amass the wasted water while you wait.  I tried this last night, and turned off the shower as soon as it was the right temperature (rather than continually bellowing about how I would not need to have a job if people got in the shower straight away rather than wasting hot water, and so on…).  An astonishing amount of water waited for me.

Now, this water is clean, unlike that which has been used for rinsing salad.  It can be used for other household tasks.

5. Salvaging shower or bath water

For shower water, it is the same principle as above.  I showered with two washing up bowls in there last night.  (If you work with small children, you do seem to build up a collection of these essential items!)  Person under a waterfall, washing their hair. 5 easy ways to save water in 2020While I wouldn’t use this water to wipe down my surfaces, there is another application: flushing the toilet.

The principle is that you lift the seat and slosh down a quantity as quickly as you can.  If you dribble it in, the bowl will continue to fill up.  By getting the shower water in there fast, it imitates a flush.  This is not something I would necesarily encourage my children to do (think of the state of the floor afterwards…) but as an adult, it isn’t too difficult.

The same goes for bath water.  Before taking out the plug, get a couple of bucketfuls and keep them ready the next time you need the loo.

So, let me know how you get on!   Have you been surprised at how much water you can reuse?

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  1. We totally do number 5!!! So much water is wasted waiting for the hot water to heat up, that it totally makes sense! I’m not a gardener in the slightest so no chance of me wasting water there, I also live in Manchester… we are currently experiencing a mini heatwave, but when the rain comes, we will totally know about it! 😉 Sim x

    1. Oo – a mini heatwave in Manchester! That’s a novelty (she says, having lived there 🙂 )

  2. These sound like some wonderful ideas to help save water, I have to admit I am awful for leaving taps running and I really need to stop it. It’s always been a weird habit that I don’t mean to do.

    1. I guess it is just what we get used to. I am not yet used to flushing the loo with shower water, but I have been collecting the kitchen water for the garden

  3. Some great tips here especially when it is getting so hot now with a lack of rain. I am using vege, rice and pasta water for my veg patch as well, as it is so healthy

    1. I must admit is it not something I had thought about before doing my research! We are doing it now, though

  4. I never thought to use pasta water on plants. I do sometimes add some into the sauces I make though. Great tips, I’ll try to do more myself.

    1. Oh, I hadn’t thought of adding pasta water to sauces. Interesting! It’s great to share tips

  5. I had no idea about using pasta and vegetable water on the plants, this is such a great way to reuse and save that water you’d otherwise throw out x

  6. Even prior to all this Covid situation we as a family have always made effort to make sure our water usage is as low as possible

  7. I’ve bought a few shower water collectors which I’m using to water the plants. By biggest downfall is I love a bath.

  8. Great tip on the pasta sauce. I have heard about the starch but didn’t realise it can be used to cook veg! Thank you this is great especially with the weather we have had recently

  9. Water is such a blessing and in lockdown we are using it more than ever. You have some amazing tips and I agree that water should be conserved as much as we can.

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