Water is essentially a precious natural resource. This resource is adequate for our needs, and even so, there is increased pollution, which is slowly leading to its depletion.
As such, we need to conserve the water we currently have, which can be done through recycling.
We live in a disposable society. It’s easier to throw things out than to fix them. We even give it a name – we call it recycling.
~ Neil LaBute
Here are the 15 ways to recycle water at home.
1. Water and Soap Used for Cleaning Cars Can Be Drained Into the Shrubs or Lawns
Normally, soapy water does not hurt the shrub plants and lawns. Hence, when a person is washing their cars, they can park the cars close to the lawns and shrubs.
When washing the cars, the water flows down to the floors, and it is in the process drained to the nearby plants or absorbed.
2. Instead of Using a Dishwasher to Clean Utensils, One Can Use a Plastic Tub of Water.
The dishwashers, whether fully loaded or not, use a lot of water. Further, by using the traditional way to wash dishes, the rinsed water can be directed to several activities such as cleaning sinks, floors, and toilets and watering flower pots and houseplants, among others.
There are times when this water has grease. In this case, a few drops of lemon or lemon dish soap can be added to make it grease-free. In other circumstances, baby shampoo can be used to make it grease-free. All in all, the water will be reused in other activities instead of being thrown out.
3. One Can Install a Rain Barrel
Typically, when it rains, water goes straight into our sewage system. However, this rainwater is clean and chemical-free, making it valuable for various purposes. It can be collected in barrels and then purified for drinking by boiling.
Additionally, this water can be used for household cleaning, sinks, toilets, and dishwashing, making it a sustainable and environmentally friendly resource.
For those areas that get a lot of rain, one can install rain harvesting systems. The stored water can be used to feed the livestock, especially for those rearing livestock in their homes. These barrels, most of the time, have taps that help control how much water is used for other purposes/activities.
4. Collect Rainwater Through Gutters
Usually, when it rains, the water flows down from the roofs of the houses to the ground, and in the process, this clean water is lost. This water can be reused for watering flowers in pots, plants in the garden, and around homes. It can also be used to wash veggies, cook food, and be boiled before drinking it.
In some areas, access to this precious commodity is very hard, and there is a need to look for other ways or collect it when it is available. Once collected, this water is stored and used when needed.
5. Opt for Buckets Instead of Showers
On this account, gallons should be used when showering, which saves a lot of water. If someone decides to use showers, they can collect water using buckets when the water is still warming.
Collected rainwater serves well for cleaning bathrooms, toilets, and floors. When you shower, about 7 to 10 gallons of water typically go down the drain, which can be conserved by utilizing this excess water. Furthermore, it can also be employed for tasks like washing cars or watering lawns, promoting responsible water use and conservation.
6. Reuse the Water that Has Been Poured Into Cups and Not Drank or The Water Bottles and Not Used
Never pour away the water left out in bottles or glasses half drunk. Some people may shy away from reusing this water. But then, it serves perfectly for watering purposes.
Creating small holes in water bottles and using them as an irrigation system is an excellent idea. Once the holes are made, you can insert the bottles into the soil, allowing them to release water slowly to nourish the plants. This efficient method ensures that water isn’t wasted by pouring it away and can be put to more valuable uses.
7. Use Buckets Instead of Running Water
When using buckets, the amount of water needed is less than when using running water. With the buckets, excess water can be saved and used for other activities, such as watering plants.
8. Dry Sweep Your Driveway Instead of Hosing It Down
Before cleaning your car, consider dry sweeping your driveway. By doing so, you can position your car on the driveway and wash it, allowing the soapy water to simultaneously clean the driveway. In this way, both the driveway and the car are cleaned using the same water.
Additionally, you can direct this water into the lawn to water herbs or shrubs, enabling it to serve multiple purposes and be used efficiently instead of being wasted.
9. Water Used to Clean Hands when Preparing Food in The Kitchen Can Be Reused Instead of Thrown Away
Before you embark on any recipe, the first thing you apparently do is clean your hands. But what happens to the water that you use for cleaning your hands? Do you just let it go down the drain?
If that’s the case, it’s high time you embrace a new use for it. Sure, the water can be dirty and laden with bacteria, but you can use it to water plants, herbs, or shrubs.
10. Pasta Water or Water Used to Clean Veggies Can Be Saved
Pasta water has for years been used for preparing soups, thanks to its starchy content, while water from boiling vegetables works ideal for making soup stock.
But then, did you know the usefulness of pasta water and vegetable water extends beyond these renowned roles?
Water from washing vegetables can be reused in the kitchen gardens to water our plants, herbs, and shrubs. The same applies to the water that remains after boiling pasta.
But then, for pasta water, ensure that you leave it to cool down first before using it for your gardening roles. Otherwise, it may burn the roots and cause severe damage to the plants.
11. Install a Greywater Recycling System
This system saves up to around 35% of the water one would otherwise flush out in the drain. It is connected to the home plumbing system and works so that it automatically treats used water from the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry rooms for reuse.
For example, one can fit their tub’s outlet with an outdoor or indoor water recycling system. Through this, once a person finishes their bath, they can turn on this recycling system to drain water from the tub for other needs.
12. A Rain Garden Within the Home Compound Can Be Created
This system uses the land’s natural water runoff to nourish plants there. Instead of allowing this water to pool and potentially create breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes, like those responsible for malaria, it can be redirected for plant irrigation and serve a more beneficial purpose.
13. Water Used for Washing Clothes Can Be Recollected and Used to Clean the Floors Instead of Taking up Clean Water
Water from laundry chores is not that dirty to clean floors. Hence, you can consider using it instead of clean water.
Water used for washing clothes can also come in handy for cleaning the toilets, bathrooms, and driveways. Of course, using it for watering herbs, shrubs, or other plants in the compound or the garden won’t hurt.
14. Water That Drains Out Of the Flower Pots Can Be Reused
Irrespective of the size of the pots, a bucket or plastic paper can be placed under the pot so that any water that drains from this pot is reused in the kitchen gardens. The excess water does not have to be left to drain out when it can be reused for other activities.
15. Kitchen Water Can Be Reused
Water used for dish cleaning can be recycled by directing it into the toilet bowl for flushing, eliminating the need for clean water for this purpose. Additionally, this reused water can serve a more eco-friendly function, such as watering the plants and flowers in your home, making it a sustainable and practical choice..
Advantages of Reuse of Water
The advantages of using wastewater as a resource rather than a waste product are:
- Reduced water bills, thus saving money.
- It promotes the use of fewer water resources.
- Provides a way to irrigate the garden during drought or water shortages.
- It helps reduce the amount of pollution going into waterways.
- It helps save money on new infrastructure for water supplies and wastewater treatment.
- It leads to decreased demand on infrastructure for sewage transport, treatment, and disposal, allowing it to work better and last longer.
Disadvantages of Reuse of Water
Reusing water at home is a good practice; however, several precautions must be taken to ensure it is safe and environmentally sound.
- Avoid watering vegetables with reused water if they are to be eaten raw. There is a chance that some pathogenic organisms may still be present even after treatment.
- Check your detergent and cleaning compounds. Most laundry detergent contains high concentrations of sodium and chloride compounds. These make the water dangerous to plants.
- Excess nutrients may run off or leach through the soil to enter waterways, contributing to algal blooms and other water quality problems.
- Soils can become physically clogged with organic and suspended material or damaged by salts in the wastewater.
- Greywater can contain significant numbers of pathogens that spread disease. It also begins to turn septic and smell if stored for longer than 24 hours untreated. Therefore, it must be treated and disinfected before storage and general reuse.
- Avoid skin contact with greywater. It may cause skin diseases.
How to Overcome Reuse Problems?
Some of the ways to overcome water reuse problems include:
- To maintain the health of your garden, the level of reuse of wastewater needs to be balanced with the amount of water, solids, and nutrients that the plants and soil in the garden can absorb.
- Switch to biodegradable phosphate-free and salt-free liquid or environmentally friendly detergents if you recycle this water for your garden. Avoid using any cleaners that contain boron, bleach, or sodium. Ammonia cleaners are a safe substitute.
- Pre-filtering to remove solids.
- Wearing gloves while carrying the buckets and using greywater.
The primary thing towards reducing your impact is to know where and how to reuse water around your home. The next step is to start doing it. Before you know it, you’ll be saving hundreds of gallons of water every week.