7 Simple, Unexpected Ways to Save Water

Person washing grapes at the sink
Manki Kim / Unsplash

Even though three quarters of our planet is considered water, there is still a demand for it in almost every community, and a scarcity in many. That’s because we can actually only use one to two percent of it, which is why we’ve written a slew of articles over the years about conserving water. And with so many items that are now more available, like low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, rain barrels, and efficient washing machines and dishwashers, there really isn’t an excuse to not be more conscious. Unless, of course, it means spending money. There are some surprising ways to cut down on water that you might not often think of so we’ve taken the simple things we do in our daily lives to conserve water, and wrote them down along the way. Below is a list of creative steps you can take to conserve water and we know there are a ton more - just put the thinking cap on!

1. Only order water in a restaurant if you are going to actually drink it.

How many times have you seen full water glasses left on tables from customers who have ordered an iced tea or soda instead? Next time you sit down think twice about whether you are going to drink your glass of water or ask your server to fill you halfway. You can always get a refill.

2. Reuse your dehumidifier water.

For those of us that have dehumidifiers we know this is an excellent source of water. Since it usually comes from damp basements, reusing it to water your plants and lawn is a perfect alternative rather than wasting it by dumping it down the drain or toilet.

3. Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pot of water.

Instead of washing your delicious delectables from the farmer’s market under a running faucet, fill a pot instead. Not only will you save a good amount of water, but the water in the pot can also be reused to water your plants.

4. Check outdoor hoses, faucets, and sprinklers.

While many of us are very diligent about staying on top of leaky faucets and toilets, another source of wasted water could be coming from outdoors as well. Make sure to check all hoses, faucets, and sprinklers for any leaks that might occur, and check their connections as well. Many times these can often be fixed with electrical tape or duct tape.

5. Use the same glass for water.

Throughout the day we drink several glasses of water. But instead of putting it directly into the dishwasher after each use, simply refill the one that you already have. This will cut down on the many glasses used throughout the day, which means there are fewer glasses to wash.

6. Know the water footprint of your food.

A significant way to decrease your water footprintis to know how many gallons of water the food you eat consumes. While this might seem a bit difficult at first, you'll get the hang of it and can put it to good use when you're at the grocery store or eating in a restaurant. For example, beef consumes way more water than chicken and mangos consume more water than nectarines.

7. Reuse your cooking water.

How many times a week do you steam or boil vegetables? Often that leftover water ends up down the drain. Next time, save the water and use it to start vegetable stock for a soup.