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After living in our apartment for over a decade, we bought and moved into our very own house this year. Sure, it’s way smaller than our old apartment, but it’s our own space, and fortunately, we have lovely neighbors surrounding us.
One of the best things about being a homeowner is having a yard for Baby Spawn to play in. However, that is also one of the costlier things to maintain. As you know, California is in a major drought situation. All cities and municipalities are restricting water usage and dinging people for water waste.
We have a patio in the back, and while I tricep-dipped on our picnic bench, I kept staring at our backyard. Two thoughts ran through my head: I hate tricep dips, and damn, that’s a lot of grass to water.
The grass was getting drier and browner. According to our city’s water conservation website, lawns make up 90% of garden water usage. How could we keep it relatively green and still not break the watering rules in our city? What else could we do to conserve water in our household?
Water Conservation Tips
5. Full loads of laundry – Yo. You are talking to a person who lived in apartments all her adult life and had to lug quarters for 20 years. So you know I’m going to pack in the clothes to wash and not waste my quarters (or water). By doing full loads and mostly using the cold water setting, we save about 50 gallons per week!
4a. Trees and Shrubberyyyyy – Did you know that trees and shrubs help decrease evaporation? They create natural shade and windbreaks so water stays on the soil a little longer. You can also not water (or turn the sprinklers on) for two days following rain. W00t!
4b. Mulch – You should check with your city to see if they offer free mulch! We recently put mulch all along the house perimeter. Mulch insulates and protects soil from overdrying or baking. Mulched soil is also cooler, so it also absorbs water faster. Mulch is also a windbreak and can prevent soil erosion. Bonus – it’s harder for weeds to grow where the mulch is placed.
3. Water-saving porcelain throne and flush after the second pee. TMI? Too bad. I admit it. So does Sharon Osbourne. The Wife thinks it’s gross. I don’t care. It’s just pee. No one else is paying our water bill. When we moved in, we replaced the old toilet with a water-saving toilet. By doing this, I’m saving about 1.3 gallons of water per flush. Flushing the toilet accounts for almost 1/3 of household water usage. So, I’m right in flushing after the second pee. There.
2. Tankless Water Heater – The house had an old giant vat of a water heater that heated our water. It is possible that it was over 10 years old. We removed it and replaced it with a tankless water heater. Instead of having a flame keep a giant vat warm, the tankless water heater we have only kicks on when we want hot water. (This Takagi tankless water heater is similar to what we have.)
That said…. it still takes a couple minutes to get the hot water to flow. 120 seconds of water running is still a lot of water. So we catch the running water with a…
1. Bucket – The cheapest and easiest thing to save water! Buy a bucket! You can get a sturdy heavy duty bucket or you can get a cheaper bucket. Doesn’t matter. I have this $8 bucket from Target. (Similar.) Let me just tell ya how great our lemon tree is doing ever since I’ve begun watering it with our bucket water. It went from almost dead to thriving with over 30 lemons growing.
Also, if I’m not bathing Baby Spawn in soap, I’ll dump her bath water on our lawn too. That’s right, we are growing bathwater lemons. (And they are thriving!!)
In addition, I’ll also use the graywater to “flush” the toilet. Ta da!
We have a couple “outdoor bucket” that catches rain water. In the future, I’d like to get our rain gutters modified to catch in rain barrels.
There you have it.
I know you have other water saving tips!
Won’t you share them with me in the comments? How have you been able to cut on down your water bill?
Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. Hope you buy a bucket!