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11 Ways To Upcycle Your Water During The Drought

Don't let the drought leave you high and dry. Use these tips and do your part to Shock the Drought.

1. Water potted plants with kitchen sink water from washing veggies and doing dishes.

Place a shallow bucket in the sink to collect the water, then transfer that water to a watering can. You could even plant an herb garden in your kitchen window, then use your wastewater (plus light) to grow food for yourself! Be sure to check your plants to ensure they can handle the pH of dish soap water.

2. Use hot pasta water to clean your toilet.

Just add a thimble of bleach to it and pour it in your toilet tank and bowl. The heat and bleach will disinfect. Afterwards, flush it and save even more water.

3. Build a rainwater collection unit.

For a crisp $20, you can build your own collector and reuse your rain to water the garden.

4. Plug your drain during the shower every morning and then bail out your water to bucket-flush your toilet for the rest of the day.

Learn how to bucket-flush here. Be sure to drain what you don't use at the end of each day. It's not sanitary to let gray water stand for long periods of time.

5. Collect and reuse your warm-up water.

Warm-up water is the shower water that goes down the drain while you're waiting for the stream to heat up. What a waste! You can collect warm-up water in a bucket and use it for watering plants, washing your face, your hands, or your dog!

6. Run your discharge hose from your washing machine to your backyard, and use the rinse water to water plants...

Please note: Your washing machine will need to be uphill from your plants โ€” because gravity. If that's a struggle, elevate the washer, then drain the hose into a watering pale you can cart outside. Just be sure to use the water that day; it's unsanitary to let it sit for long periods of time.

7. ...or build a simple containment system that allows you to upcycle soapy water into the next wash.

It's cheap to build and doesn't take much technical know-how. Get the details here.

8. Take a bath with your dog.

A little anti-flea shampoo never hurt anybody.

9. Or suds up in the shower with your S.O.

"Babe, we have to โ€” it's for the environment."

Note: If your individual 10-min showers turn into one steamy 20-min shower, you aren't saving anything.

10. Place a bucket under your bathroom sink's U-pipe and fill a bucket while performing your nightly routine.

Then use that water to bucket-flush the toilet during your midnight bathroom trips. You can also do this during your morning routine and water house plants with the wastewater on your way out the door.

11. Lastly, if you want to get really serious, install a permanent gray water system in your home.

Gray water is water used by bathroom sinks, showers, and washing machines. Many municipalities now offer rebates on permits and installation costs. Plus you save on water costs by using the same water twice. Find out if rebates are available in your area!

All images courtesy of Thinkstock.

This drought sucks. Let's do something about it. Learn all the ways that you can Shock the Drought today.

Please note: Gray water usage regulations vary by city, county, and state. Please check to find out which water-saving solutions are legal in your area.