Water Miser, Water Lover: Creative Ways to Conserve Water in the Home

From greywater showers to the old-fashioned rain barrel, here are some creative ways to conserve water in the home.We humans love water. We love it hot in showers and hot tubs. We love it cold to drink or in pools on a warm day. But other animals and plants love it too. How can we share this precious resource with them, keep it clean, and enjoy it ourselves?

You probably turn off the tap when you brush your teeth. Beyond the tap, here are some new ways to become more frugal with your water use. Honor our precious water by using it again and again.

Do the One Flush, Two Flush                                                          
Looking for ways to conserve water? Allemande right over to the toilet bowl. New low flow toilets are amazingly effective. Some are even dual flush, with two buttons for … larger and smaller loads, shall we say? Going beyond the low flow toilet? The Aqus Water Saver toilet system goes a step further, allowing you to reuse water from the bathroom sink in your toilet.

Go Grey in the Garden                                                               
Grey water isn’t always grey, but it is water that has been used before. This is the water you use in your sink or shower. It may have some soap and food waste in it, but it can be used again in the garden or for flushing the toilet. The simplest way to reuse your grey water is to place a dishpan in your sink. As you wash fruit and vegetables, clean your hands or pre-rinse dishes, collect the water in the dishpan and use it to water your garden. This water is not all that soapy and would normally head down the drain to the sewage treatment plant.

Rain, Rain, Come Again, Drip Into My Barrel                                              
Rain barrels have come a long way from the traditional keg-style open barrel. They come in all sizes and shapes, many suitable for installing right against the wall of your home. Attach a downspout diverter to your outdoor spout to catch the rainwater as it falls and funnel it into the barrel.

Sing in the (Low Flow, Greywater) Shower                                        
Low flow showerheads are widely available. Installing one is fairly simple and will dramatically reduce your water use, especially if you love long showers.

Looking to reduce your water use even more? Due to its water crisis, Australia is at the forefront of showerhead innovation. Recent inventions include the Quench Showerhead, a shower head that allows you to wash, lather, and rinse. After the soap has gone down the drain, turn the shower into an automatic recirculation mode. This allows you to take a long, hot shower that uses only 4 liters of water.

The Aqualim is another Australian shower invention. The inventor was inspired by his teenage daughter’s epic showers. He created a showerhead that allows you to pre-set a desired amount of water. As you get close to your designated water use, the Aqualim gradually turns the water flow down and off.

A combination of new and old technologies can help you honor and conserve our water. Whether it’s with a simple dishpan or a water recirculation system, you can use and reuse water in your home.

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