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In wake of recent natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey, may have been reminded of the importance of preparation in face of potential destruction. Recycling water is not only a big way to assure your safety and independence in times like these, it is also a great sustainability practice that will benefit the environment over time. Frugality and preservation are never bad morals when it comes to water use, and regularly practicing both will potentially pay off in dividends down the line.

Here are a few tips for efficient water recycling.

 

Collect rain

One of the easiest ways to recycle more water is to collect rain. There really is not one right way to achieve rain collection — you could simply capture rain in a bucket or container, install a rain garden for natural plant watering, or invest in a rain barrel. Whatever your method is, be sure to keep it active every time a storm passes by, as naturally-occurring water is plentifully available for a variety of at-home needs (such as feeding livestock or washing vehicles).

 

Save water from cooking

Most of us make the mistake of disposing all excess water produced during cooking. Take pasta for instance: in many cases, we simply dump out the water containing the pasta during the boiling phase. This habit is reasonable, but it is one that you should consider breaking if you are trying to recycle more water. Instead, save the water produced during meal preparation; it can be used to aid in toilet bowl flushing, composting, or garden watering.

 

Take more baths

Showers are arguably one of the planet’s most common sources of wasted water, and this is not surprising considering how good it can sometimes feel to stand in a warm, relaxing shower for minutes on end. However, baths are much more efficient as a water recycling method — for obvious reasons; a stagnant, reusable pool of water is always a better option than a constant flow of water. Consider taking more baths, and possibly even save the water from each bath for other purposes.

 

Utilize leftover drinking water

Just like wasted cooking water, most excess or leftover drinking water goes underutilized in terms of its many potential uses. If you have left a half-full bottle of water in your hot car, for instance, you may dispose of this water without thinking, as the water is likely dangerous to drink from the exposed plastics of its bottle. However, in these situations, hold onto the remaining water — dump it on a houseplant or use it in some other constructive manner. If there is leftover water, barring it is not flavored or contaminated beyond use, there is always a way it can be applied rather than wasted.