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What Kind of Measures Can Homeowners Take to Conserve Water?
Some of my suggestions for conserving water may seem extreme and make people go 'eeeeewwww', but I'm hoping some folks will at least think about them or try them.
Do you really need to take as many showers as you do? Sometimes we shower like we over-eat, by habit. Why not give your water bill and your skin a break on the weekends and just take a 'sponge' bath? Too much water on the skin actually dries it our and can be harmful if you have hard water.
This is also true of cosmetics and deodorants, etc. Give the planet, your body and budget by doing without these items on days when you'll be home most of the day or on your days off.
Towels - I know people who use a fresh towel everytime they shower. If you're clean when you come out of the shower, why use a fresh towel each time? Dry off and hang it over the shower rod to dry - you can use it at least once more, which will save you loads of laundry over time, and also save water.
A gardening friend of mine uses her bath water to water her indoor and potted plants. She uses a natural soap, sparingly. Put your watering can in your bathroom. She also keeps a bucket in the bathroom and uses her bathwater to flush her toiled. She 'goes', bathes, then flushes.
I have a large plastic pickle barrel and several large buckets that I catch rainwater in for my garden. It's nice to have a watering can and water near the veggies when they need a drink. I put several drops of cooking oil in the water, which prevents mosquito larvae from taking flight. There are also regular rain barrels you can buy, but I like to find items I can recycle.
Wash your 'dainties' in the bathroom sink. It takes very little water and is easier on that expensive lingere. This will also save energy when you hang them up to dry. I put a shower curtain rod over the middle of the tub (a bit higher than the regular rod. I use this to dry clothes and also to hang my houseplants for watering them. If you use the bath-water method, the 'drip rod' over the tub makes this very convenient.
Check out the needs of your garden plants and put drought tolerant varieties in areas that tend to get hot and dry. Placing a Yucca or hardy cactus in these areas and you'll never have to drag a hose out to water them. Likewise, put plants that like wet areas in spots that stay damp. Hibiscus, Turttlehead and ferns, for instance.