Realistic Water Conservation

Heather says:

Our governor has asked South Carolinians to conserve water as nearly every county has been upgraded to severe drought conditions.  I know, at least in our household that conservation is more likely to be practiced if it isn’t painful.  For our part we’ll be:

  • Taking bootcamp style showers and the boys will bathe in only an inch or two of water.
  • We already have low flow toilets, so I’m considering following the old “if it’s yellow” adage, but I reserve the right to change my mind.
  • Any car washing will just have to wait.
  • Each family member will be limited to one drinking glass per day.
  • I’ll place a bucket in the sink when I wash produce and use that water for my plants.
  • We have a high efficiency washer, but I will be double checking to make sure jeans and pajamas have been worn the maximum number of times possible.

What water saving tips do you consistently practice and what do you do when conservation becomes a must?


  1. pg89 on May 30, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Use the ‘rinse and hold' setting, if your dishwasher has one, instead of rinsing dishes under the tap before placing them in the dishwasher.
    Also, get a timer to place near the shower and make sure you get out as soon as the times up!

  2. Ifeedformula on October 23, 2007 at 10:07 am

    We go through this almost every summer because we’re constantly in drought situations around here.
    Me…I don’t run the dishwasher until it’s completely and absolutely as full as it can possibly get.
    I also wait until I have massive amounts of laundry to do, so that I’m not running the washing machine a hundred times a week.

    And I realize how gross it is, but I only flush the toilet when there’s poo in there. If it’s just pee, I don’t flush. At least not right away. I wait until there are several doses of pee in the toilet before I flush.

  3. Pam on October 22, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    I think the former bares completeing…..if it’s yellow let it mellow…..if it’s brown flush it down

  4. Margo on October 22, 2007 at 8:18 pm

    Oh dear, another environmental worry. I’m glad we’re at least talking about the practical aspects of what we can do!

    We stick with native plants outdoors, so we rarely need to water them.

    We always do the “if it’s yellow. . .” policy (to the grossment of my parents if they drop in!).

    We never let the water run for any reason and turn off the shower to lather up.

    I don’t wash clothes unless they are smelly or visibly dirty.

    The only time we wash our car is when it’s coated with road salt after snowstorms (it can damage the car). Otherwise, rain does a fine job. Ironic, I guess, given that hasn’t rained in the South recently. . .

  5. Mark on October 22, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    I lived in AZ for three years and washed my car twice. Don’t leave the water running while you are brushing your teeth. If you really want to do efficient showers, get in and get wet. Turn off the water. suds everything up, then rinse off. Done. Oh, and have the boys pee outside :).

  6. Margo on October 22, 2007 at 12:23 am

    One thing I do is make sure the dishwasher is slammed packed before washing.

    I could pretend that I let my plants die for the purpose of saving water, but that would be a lie. They just die becasue I can’t keep them alive. 😉

  7. Ron on October 21, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Be glad you don’t live in Georgia. The water demands of Florida and Alabama are sucking them dry. That said, I always do a full load of laundry/dishes, and long ago I decided to let my plants die.

  8. boogiemum on October 21, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    We deal with all the time as it seems Florida is always under drought.

    We use rain barrels for our yard, which makes it easy to keep up expensive plants and such.

    I do keep to the “if it’s yellow” addage majority of the time. My kids do it all the time, but unfortunately I can’t give credit to conservation, but rather laziness.

    We keep a dish pan full or water for rinsing off dishes, use recycled water for our indoor plants, and only run washers with full loads.

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