water recycling

Position a rain barrel under a downspout to collect water runoff. ATTRIBUTION: Center for Neighborhood Technology (Flickr)

Water is one of the world’s most precious resources, and as more and more people are becoming eco-conscious, they are discovering all of the benefits of recycling water. Recycled water can reduce the amount of contaminants dumped into rivers and oceans. It can decrease the demand on freshwater sources by providing alternative water supplies. It can also conserve drinking water and save you money. Let’s take a look at how we can easily collect and recycle water both inside and outside our own homes.

Place a Bucket in the Shower

Have you ever stopped to think about how much water runs down the drain during every shower? To reduce waste, place a bucket under the faucet to collect water as you’re waiting for it to heat up to a comfortable temperature. Your water bucket can also sit in the shower and collect stray streams of water.

Reuse Water From Cups or Bottles

Guilty of leaving half-filled cups or bottles of water laying around? Instead of pouring the water down the drain, reuse it. For example, use the water to hydrate your house plants.

Harvest Rainwater From a Barrel

Setting up a rain barrel is an excellent way to collect runoff from rainwater. Just place the barrel underneath a downspout outside your home and the water will automatically run off of your home and into your barrel. Once collected, the water can be used later on lawns or gardens.

Save Kitchen Water

Water is used in many ways in the kitchen, from washing dishes to boiling pasta. Reuse your kitchen water in other areas of the home to diminish waste. Water used to clean and rinse dishes can be flushed down the toilet, and water from boiling foods can be dumped into your outdoor compost pile or directly in your garden. Be sure the water is completely cooled before using it, though.

Install a Gray Water System

Gray water is gently used water that does not contain sewage, typically collected from sinks, baths, washing machines, and other kitchen appliances. By installing a gray water system in your home, you can divert this water so that it doesn’t simply run down the drain. Instead, the gray water can be diverted somewhere else, such as into your toilet for non-wasteful flushing.

Create a Rain Garden

During a typical rainfall, water runs off of houses and into downspouts, which then gush onto lawns and roads and finally into storm drains. By creating a rain garden, you can divert all gutter water to collect in your garden, where it will slowly hydrate the soil and plants. For a rain garden to be effective, the garden should be positioned near a runoff source, such as a driveway, downspout, or sump pump.

Collect Water Drained From Potted Plants

When too much water is poured into potted plants, the excess typically seeps out the bottom to prevent the plant from becoming waterlogged. Place a plate under the plant to collect the draining water. The drainage can then be reused on other house plants or in your garden.