In light of my recent drought posting, I thought I might share a list of ways to conserve water. Many of these might be so obvious that we don't even think about them.
Turn off the faucet when you're brushing your teeth, or when you're scrubbing your dishes. Don't just let the water run. Use water to rinse, period. (I get laughed at for doing this, and I don't care.)
Shorten your shower by a minute.
Choose a shower over a bath. If you must have that relaxing bath, plug the tub and then start running water. This one is so obvious, but it makes sense. You're going to want a mixture of hot and cold water anyway. Why send that initial blast of cold water down the drain. Adjust the temperature once the hot gets cooking.
If the water coming out of the tap is too hot, turn down the water heater, rather than turning on more cold water. (I just did this at work after months of everyone bitching about how scalding the water was. What took me so stinkin' long?)
If you drink tap water, keep a pitcher in the fridge, instead of running water until it gets cold.
If you are running water, waiting for it to reach the right temperature, fill up your watering can for the houseplants. (I do this in the morning, while I'm waiting for my shower to warm up. I can water my plants, despite being totally asleep. Sleepwalking plant care? Oh yeah, I'm a Master Gardener!)
Use fishtank water to water your plants. Nutrients! Yum! Slimy kitty or dog bowl water is good for plants, too. (I just did a bit of an aquarium water change, and poured the fish water onto my garden at work.)
Use a single water glass all day. Think how much less dishwashing this means.
Compost and mulch. Water the garden or lawn in the early morning or in the evening, avoiding windy (evaporative) days.
And while we're talking about compost, how about giving up the garbage disposal in favor of a compost bin?
Don't wash your driveway. Use a broom. (Also, what's up with using gasoline powered machinery to blow leaves into the street? They makes a horrible noise, uses gas instead of human power and -- hey-would-you-look-at-that -- the leaves just get blown back onto the lawn. As you can tell, I totally hate these things. I'm not the only leaf blower hater. An average granny raking leaves by hand is faster and neater than a person wielding a leaf blower. Really. This has been studied.)
Flush less often. And don't use your toilet as a trashcan, or a spider removal device. (Spiders go out the back door, as every sensible person knows.)
So, how about all y'all? What do you do to save water?