Conserving water is all of our responsibility for a brighter future for our planet. For those that live in a drought affected area it may even be required by local regulations that you make reasonable efforts to reduce water consumption. While we all may love the idea of having a full grey water system for watering our garden most of us need other easy ways to reduce water consumption and care for our gardens by reusing water.
From your kitchen
Save grey water from washing dishes. Using a dishpan in your sink while rinsing your dishes after hand washing is a great way to save water to use in the garden. Use this water to fill watering cans or dump directly in the garden from the dish pan. Original Dawn dish detergent is not only garden safe but beneficial for controlling unwanted insects without harming beneficial ones.
Water from boiling pasta and potatoes. When you drain water while cooking you can save this water that is packed with nutrition that will feed your plants by placing your strainer in a large bowl to catch the water for dumping into the garden after it has cooled down.
Water from steaming veggies. Like the water from boiling foods the water from steaming is packed with nutrition that has cooked out of the food and into the water. This water when cooled and added to your garden is a great way to feed your garden while providing it with water.
Water from washing produce. You should always wash your produce to ensure you are feeding your family the best quality produce without contaminantes. You can save this water by washing your produce in a large bowl or a shish pan. If you are using vinegar to help wash your produce this water is best given to plants that like a slightly acidic soil like tomatoes.
Leftover tea and coffee. When you have leftover tea and coffee that has been chilled these can be used to water acid loving plants like tomatoes, blueberries, and banana plants. Avoid using any coffee or tea that has had sugar and creamers added to it and stick to only reading what is from the original pot.
Water from around the house
Filling your watering can from your bath or a rubber-made tote inside your shower to catch water as it heats up is a great way to reduce your water waste. When using your bath water, make sure you use a plant-safe soap, so you don't damage your plants.
The last rinse of your laundry is a great addition to your garden. You can move the hose to collect this in a large tote to transfer to your garden or use a greywater system to switch a valve and send the water flowing from your sewer system to your garden.
Mop water is a great option for watering decorative plants. You should avoid watering anything that you eat with this water and do not use mop water containing harsh chemicals like bleach that may kill off your plants.