Saving Water: Buckets of Fun!

It’s no secret that we’re environmental enthusiasts here at APFE.  BP and I try to live as mindfully as possible and do the least harm to our planet in the process.  Whether it’s opting to walk instead of drive, taking shorter showers, or shopping mindfully and passing up usual guilty pleasures so as not to purchase unnecessary and unrecyclable packaging in the process, we are really trying to do our part.  Living in Oregon and California has definitely made us some crunchy folks, and I just love it.

You know what I don’t love?  Wasting water!  Being a California resident has definitely made me conscientious of how much water I use daily.  And with the large container garden we’ve just recently set up and the fact that we have a rental whose grass we must keep alive, I wasn’t looking forward to all of the watering that inevitably happens during the super hot summer months.  Luckily, I’ve found a solution:  What if I started collecting the water that otherwise goes down the drain when I’m waiting for hot water and used it for watering?

BP and I are both on the lookout for ways to improve our habits and our space.  This house is pretty old, and while the hot water heater works just fine, it does take a hot minute for the water to heat up for showers and washing dishes.  And since we’d been spending so much time in hardware stores as of late, I suggested that we get some buckets for water collection.  I was mostly curious to measure exactly how much water we were losing down the drain while we waited for the water to heat up.  I grabbed a 3 gallon bucket for the kitchen and a 5 gallon bucket for our shower.

And y’all… I was astounded!  Absolutely astounded.  On the first day alone, with BP and I both showering and having done just one load of hand-washed dishes, I collected almost 10 gallons of water.  10 GALLONS!  Holy cow!

It’s not the most elegant solution.  It’s pretty cumbersome to carry the full shower bucket from the back of the house to the backyard—there’s quite a bit of spillage potential.  And because the buckets offer little control for watering, I then transfer it to a watering can so as not to just tsunami-drown my more delicate plants.  But in the few weeks that we’ve been collecting our waiting-to-heat-up water, I haven’t had to turn on my hose once to water my container garden!  I even use any leftovers to water our front decorative garden!  It’s so great to be able to repurpose this previously wasted resource!

Obviously this isn’t the most permanent fix; in a perfect world, we could redo the house to make it more eco-friendly and efficient, but as I mentioned, it is a rental property and those decisions aren’t up to us.  But it does illuminate some factors and qualifications for a space when we do start house hunting!

I’m so proud of my little buckets and the work they do.  I’m stoked to have such a supportive partner who doesn’t look at me like I’ve grown a third head when I suggest we start carting heavy buckets of water through the house.  I’m happy to be saving water (and money, duh) and keeping my plants happy and healthy without more strain on the environment.

So tell me…  What are some of the more unconventional ways you make an effort to help our environment out?  Share below in the comments!


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Keep us caffeinated while we save the world?

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