5 Ways to Collect and Reuse Water for Plants

5 Ways to Collect and Reuse Water for Plants

Lauren Zerbey
May 17, 2011

Turning on the faucet or hose may be the easiest method for watering indoor and outdoor plants, but there are plenty of ways in which household water can go directly into the garden and not down the drain, saving both money and resources.

Not only does it save money and resources, but recycled household water can also be more beneficial than water straight from the tap! Here are five ways to make your water do double-duty:

1. Collect Roof Runoff - If your area gets enough rain during the warmer summer months, try installing a rain barrel or similar device to divert roof runoff to the garden. (I would love to install the clever Raindrop Mini at my house!)

2. Reuse Pasta and Veggie Water - Water used to boil pasta and vegetables is often nutrient-rich and great for plants. Similarly, water used to rinse fruit and veggies could be reused by placing a shallow bucket in the kitchen sink.

3. Collect Cold Shower Water - Even with an efficient hot water heating system, it can take a minute or so for bathing water to heat up. It's a little extra work, but keeping a bucket in the shower could provide enough water to take care of daily indoor watering.

4. Recycle the Aquarium Water - Aquarium water can act as a natural liquid fertilizer for plants (as long as you're not adding chemicals or salts to the tank), but most sources recommend limiting aquarium watering to once a week.

5. Reuse Unwanted Ice - Don't just dump that glass of ice down the drain or the cooler from last weekend's BBQ on the grass, spread it around plants and let evaporation do its thing.

(Image: Raindrop Mini from Bas van der Veer)

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