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saving water around the house  RSS feed

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Location: Missoula, MT
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This is about any time you turn on a tap, a hydrant, a hose, or carry a bucket of water.

No matter how abundant your water supply, practicing conservation is a good habit to save money and time, let alone building skills in case of a temporary (or other) scarcity.

We have the mega thread paul made about washing dishes by hand or with a dishwasher , plus the going poo-less thread, both of which are, of course, in part about water conservation.

While I am largely concerned with kitchen water use (can't help it - I'm in the kichen a LOT), I'd like something more general about ANY water use, so I started this thread.

We have sooo many visitors here at wheaton labs. A surprising number have never hand washed dishes before. Even more are young enough (or have been renters) that they have never paid for the things that come with water use: water bills, hot water utility bills, well and/or water repairs, and septic tank or sewer bills.

For the kitchen at base camp, I've made rough signs - one for running the tap in general, the other for helping wash dishes. We also have buckets in each shower to capture water as it is heating up.

I'd love feedback on the signs and additional ideas and tips on saving water.

Whatcha got?

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water wise tips
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dishwashing thanks & requests
 
Casie Becker
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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I feel a little silly putting it here, as it something my family grew up with as normal, but

Turn off the flow when you're brushing your teeth until you need to rinse.

Use a trigger nozzle on your hoses so that it will turn off whenever you're not actively using it.

Wipe/scrape dirty dishes to remove excess grease and food before you put it in the sink

Don't wash clean clothes.. that shirt you threw on to go sit at the movie theater for two hours just needs to go back on the hanger. If you use an apron/smock/coverall during messy jobs you might keep your clothes clean. Depending on the job, it might not ever be worth washing the coverup every time.

Can you find a better alternative (grass or other option) which doesn't need all that water? In Texas it's now law that home owners associations and their ilk must allow waterwise alternatives.

If you just have to have the lawn (my family does use ours) there are low water use grass mixes available now. Here's a link to the one developed by The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center https://www.wildflower.org/habiturf/ ; Another brand name I hear in our area is Thunder turf, which may or may not be the same seed mixture. I'm having good results getting grasses that look like that mix to establish by following paul's instructions for a cheap lazy lawn, no seeding or watering required.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 4150
Location: Missoula, MT
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books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
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Those aren't silly tips at all, Casie - they're good ones!

Running water while brushing teeth reminds me that when my grandparents had a well that could run dry in the summer, my grandma would threaten to slap my hand if I left the water running!

I like your laundry tips, too. Paul and I wash our underwear and t-shirts daily, but if his overalls, or my skirt or pants aren't visibly dirty, or stinky, we keep wearing them until they are.

Excellent lawn tips, too. Paul has even more info in his lawn care article .


 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Most vegetables are 70% water to begin with.
WHY would you put them in a pot full of water to cook them?

An example: I course cut my cabbage.  Heat a pot with a plop of butter (or lard).  Drop in the cut cabbage (and some pickling spices), and put on a (wetted) lid to create a vapor seal.  Once it heats to the point it begins to steam, turn the heat down just to the point it takes to maintain the steam.  The cabbage will now steam in its own juice, rather than getting diluted by quarts of hot water.  None of its flavor is lost, (nor its nutrients).

Since I tried this, years ago, I have never boiled cabbage since.  The flavor is exceptional, and it has a nice crunchy texture.  Uses no water, and also, less energy to cook it.  Plus, the nutrients don't get washed away.



 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Posts: 4150
Location: Missoula, MT
389
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
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John Polk wrote:Most vegetables are 70% water to begin with.
WHY would you put them in a pot full of water to cook them?

An example: I course cut my cabbage.  Heat a pot with a plop of butter (or lard).  Drop in the cut cabbage (and some pickling spices), and put on a (wetted) lid to create a vapor seal.  Once it heats to the point it begins to steam, turn the heat down just to the point it takes to maintain the steam.  The cabbage will now steam in its own juice, rather than getting diluted by quarts of hot water.  None of its flavor is lost, (nor its nutrients).

Since I tried this, years ago, I have never boiled cabbage since.  The flavor is exceptional, and it has a nice crunchy texture.  Uses no water, and also, less energy to cook it.  Plus, the nutrients don't get washed away.





I SO agree! Great tio! If I do boil a veg, it's occasionally potatoes for mashing, and I like to save the potato water for broth or thinning gravy.
 
Jenny Nazak
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Location: Daytona Beach FL
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Jocelyn wrote: "No matter how abundant your water supply, practicing conservation is a good habit to save money and time, let alone building skills in case of a temporary (or other) scarcity."

YES.

Where I live in Florida, we get 49 inches of rain a year. And we have springs in the central part of the state. Hardly a formula for scarcity, right? BUT, *HUMAN* activities are creating a formula for scarcity. The more we likeminded folks are able to normalize what's currently considered "fringe" or radical conservation, the better it'll be for all of us. By normalize I mean make it normal for one's own self, and also spread it to others who are interested in saving resources.

Things I'd like to normalize include rainwater collection; and getting by on 10 gallons of water or less per person per day (the average back in the early 1900s, before irrigated lawns and other water-hogging modern "normal" things).
 
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