Elegant Conservation: Water Wisdom

M-J’s Dry-Climate Garden with Zinnias, Sedum and Sunflowers

The price of water is going up, and its availability in some locations is growing scarce. There are some things you can do to keep whatever water you do have from going down the drain in vain.

Bathing sometimes uses less water than showering. Whether you bathe or shower, keeping the drain plugged will allow you to use this “grey water” later for other purposes.

Use the bath water to give your plants a drink. They especially like Epsom salts, a time-honoured rose-fertiliser in England. I usually carry the used bath-water outside in a large pail or pitcher to the garden. Plants don’t mind a bit of soap--mild detergents act as somewhat of a pest-repellent. I also water my garden with water in which I have washed lettuce, which always contains some hydrogen peroxide and/or vinegar--plants love those two ingredients.

A large, gallon-sized pitcher of bath water will flush your toilet. Pouring it down fast creates a flush; sometimes you will want to do this twice. A tubful of water can constitute twenty or more flushes. It works great.

While running water to get it hot, fill pitchers, glasses, any empty vessels you have handy until the water gets hot enough to use, saving the cooler water for drinking or filtering later.

Water doesn’t grow on trees!

Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008

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