"Talking Dirty News" - Queen of Green, Barbara Loraine

Save Water

Decide to Save Water

by Barbara Loraine


  • 63304695Find and fix leaks at faucets.
  • Check to see if your toilet leaks.  Put a drop of food color in the tank, if the color flows into the bowl, you have a leak to fix.
  • Install a low-flow toilet flap, which can save 5 gallons per flush – that’s $100 a year.
  • Put a brick or two in your toilet tank.  This leaves less room for water in the tank, so less if flushed.
  • Use low-flow shower head.
  • Do NOT brush your teeth or shave while you shower.
  • Capture shower or sink water in a bowl or pitcher as it is warming up; use in washing machine or elsewhere.
  • Take shorter showers; set a timer for 3 to 5 minutes
  • Try “military showers;” wet your body, turn off the water, soap and scrub up, then rinse.
  • Shower less often.  Some days, a clean up at the sink is enough.
  • Wash your hair less often.  This is better for your hair, anyhow.
  • Fill a bowl to shave.  Then use the water to irrigate outdoor plants or  to put into a composter.
  • If you use a face-cleansing routine, wash your face at the sink, instead of in the shower.
  • Do NOT run water at the sink when you brush your teeth, wash your face, or shave.
  • Make sure the faucet is fully turned off after use.  (Do this in public restrooms, too.)


  • 37473504.thbCapture “warm up” water to use in the dishwasher, for making ice cubes, other water uses.
  • Use a bowl to capture water when rinsing or washing dishes in the sink, then use that water for outdoor plants.
  • Soak dirty dishes to dislodge caked-on food, instead of running water over them.
  • Use the dishwasher instead of washing at the sink – it uses less water.
  • Fill the dishwasher before using it.
  • Use one water glass each day; wash it at the end of the day.
  • Use an instant hot-water tap, to avoid wasting water as it warms up.
  • To wash hands, wet them, turn off the water, scrub with soap, then rinse.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl; then use the water for plants.
  • Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator instead of under running water.
  • Water used for cooking vegetables can be saved and added to soups and stews.
  • Trap food at the sink with a drain and put in the  composter instead of using a garbage disposal.
  • If you don’t have room for one outside, use a kitchen composter.


  • 39173206.thbChoose a front-loading washing machine; they use less than half as much water as a top-loading machine.
  • Wash full loads and adjust the machine for the size of load.
  • Wear clothes longer before washing them.
  • Do NOT use “permanent press cycle,” it requires an extra rinse and more water.
  • Hand wash fine washables.
  • If possible, reroute the water from your washing machine to use for watering outdoor plants.

OUTDOORS – This is where most water use – and waste – occurs.

  • 37730845.thbSweep with a broom.  Do not hose off walks and driveways.
  • Eliminate lawns or switch to water-conservation ground cover.
  • Mow less often and let grass grow longer, which retains moisture.
  • Aerate lawns to ensusre water absorption.
  • Switch to regional plants that grow naturally without watering, or use  drought-resistant plants.
  • Plant according to water needs, grouping plants that need watering together.
  • Buy or build a composter. There are many that require little time or space.
  • Use compost liberally to provide nutrients and cut down on need for water.
  • Create plant-free areas with brick or stone to create seating areas and walk ways.
  • Best to use hardscaping that allows water to seep down into the ground – NOT concrete or solid surface.
  • Choose waterfalls (for minimum evaporation) instead of fountains.


  • Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 6.58.43 AMWash your car with a bucket of water, do NOT hose it down.  (Use TLC Clean All-Purpose)
  • Use TLC Clean waterless car wash – no water wasted.
  • If your car requires spray to get rid of lots of caked-on dirt, take it to a commercial car wash, where water is recycled.
  • Buy products (like those from TLC Clean) where you add your own water, instead of those from manufacturers who ship added water all over the country, requiring extra packaging, trucking, fuel, road damage, and more.
  • Order water at a restaurant, instead of expecting it to be served automatically to patrons who may not drink it.
  • At hotels, hang your towels so they can be reused again for a few days.  This saves tons of water.
  • At hotels, ask that sheets NOT be washed every day.
  • Promote neighborhood water conservation and other sustainable practices like recycling and composting.
  • Support farmer’s needs for water; without water, there can be no food harvested.

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