Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Change the World Wednesday: Reduce Water Waste

It's been a while since we joined in on the Change the World Wednesday (#CTWW) challenge at Reduce Footprints. In case you're reading about this for the first time, the goal of CTWW is to get a bunch of people to make a small change that has a big impact on the environment (in a good way), especially if they all do it at the same time.

We have been too busy to post, comment, and write about Change the World Wednesday, but living harmoniously with the Earth is in our blood. So it's not like we've been galavanting around, turning on lights and wasting gas. But now we're ready to get back in the game and work on this.

Please join us. The more people who work on the same environment-saving activities each week, the more of an impact we'll have.

This week's challenge is to reduce your water waste. This is straight from the horse's mouth this week's Reduce Footprints blog post:

This week pay close attention to the water which gets tossed down the drain and reduce it. For example, if you put ice in your drink, toss the ice in a planter rather than toss it in the drain. Is there a small amount of coffee left in the pot? Try freezing it for use in iced coffees or to flavor cake. How about the water left in a pot after steaming vegetables? Mrs. Green taught me to save that water & use it for making rice, pasta, etc. The idea, here, is to pay attention to those small amounts of water which usually get tossed down the drain and find more Eco-efficient uses for them ... and thereby reduce waste.

This is how it went down:
Gaby: It feels strange saving water when it's been pouring for a week.
Liz: I know. I could gather it from my street and hand it out.
Gaby: You would have to boil it first. But seriously, I always go on saving water binges. Is that bad? I get obsessed with saving water while I wait for it to warm up for a few weeks, but then I forget and the water sits around in my bathroom.
Liz: What do you mean?
Gaby: I used to save the water from the shower in those big buckets that hold cat litter. They have a lid, so I would fill them up while the water was getting warm and then set them aside in the bathroom with the lid on. They are heavy. So I would get lazy about taking them outside. And it would annoy Big T because they would sit there forever.
Liz: I've been getting in the shower when it's still cold and just washing my hair while I wait for it to warm up!
Gaby: That's courageous. I can't do that, even when it's this hot out. I can't imagine how much harder it would be to save water if I had a 2-story house. I would never take those 5-gallon buckets outside.
Liz: What about washing dishes? Do you use your sink or your dishwasher?
Gaby: It takes us a long time to fill up our dishwasher, but I use both. If I was dishes in the sink, I soap everything up and then rinse it all at once. And I don't really worry about using hot water. Is that bad?
Liz: No. I try to just use my dishwasher, but I fill it up before I run it.
Gaby: During the growing season, I get a box of vegetables every week from the CSA. There are a lot of greens, and they can be very buggy, so I use a lot of water washing them. I wash them in the salad spinner and put the water in my rain barrels or my garden.
Liz: I'm going to go one step further and start saving the water from boiling vegetables.
Gaby: Me too. And make leftover coffee ice cubes.

What are you going to do to save water?


  1. Oh fabulous post! Here's a tip for Liz (poor thing washing her hair in cold water ... brrr) ... use the shower that is closest to the water heater. It'll take less time to warm up. :-)

    I got your article a little late for this week's posting but I'll be sharing it and will include it in next week's "wrap-up", okay? Thanks so much!

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