In this day and age, we should all be doing what we can do to become more environmentally friendly. From ditching disposable cups at your next get-together to reducing your electricity use, there are tons of things you can do to reduce your environmental footprint. Even the 28 million small businesses in the U.S. can do their part to be more eco-friendly.
We are not only scientifically aware of the threats of climate change but also beginning to see the effects around us on a daily basis. Take, for example, the wildfires that have ravaged both Australia and the United States this year.
But for many of us, making small “green” changes is no longer enough. Yes, you’re recycling. Yes, you’re using less plastic and attempting to conserve energy on a daily basis. But you’re probably looking for other ways to be eco-friendly, especially if it involves saving and recycling water.
Water shortages are major issues across the world, and even Americans have experienced water shortages out west, where droughts are more common than you might initially think. Each day, the typical American household uses up around 300 gallons of water, and that’s without careless use and overuse. One step that you can take is to make simple changes to your garden, which will not only help you conserve water but ultimately result in a better aesthetic.
If you don’t have a garden yet, great! You’re getting ahead of the curve by creating a garden that is already more eco-friendly than its alternatives. But if you already have a thriving garden, there are plenty of ways that you can recycle water for it.
If you’re familiar with the challenges that can come with creating a beautiful garden, you know that sourcing water on a regular basis is one of the most tedious. By recycling water and making a few minor alterations, you’ll be able to create a system that potentially will be more convenient for you, as well as more effective for your garden.
Recycling Gray Water
Most amateur gardeners won’t immediately think of gray water as a potential water source for their garden. And it’s true that gray water isn’t exactly the most appetizing option. Gray water is the type of cloudy water that is produced after washing dishes, doing the laundry, and bathing. It obviously isn’t appropriate to drink, but it can potentially be recycled for your garden.
You can collect gray water from your sink, your dishwasher, and your washing machine. Your washing machine in particular is a great source of excess water. You can actually direct this water straight to your garden through a simple alteration. Just have a three-way valve installed to the end of your washing machine’s drainage pipe.
This will let you have the option of either sending the gray water straight to the sewer or capturing the water so that it can be redirected to your garden. You can have it drained into a container, which can then be connected to the garden through a hose; you can also reroute it through an irrigation system.
The latter option would involve more work, creating trenches and laying pipes that would carry the water to the plants. Fittingly, these pipes could be recyclable as well, as steel is the most recycled material on the planet, with 90% recycled content.
Rainwater is the most natural source of water for your garden, but that doesn’t mean that your garden always gets the amount of rainwater that it should naturally.
Think about, for example, how much rainwater simply rolls off of your roof, never reaching your garden. You can harvest this rainwater, directing it to your garden through a simple gutter system. This does require a bit of work to install, but once it’s done you’ll be able to divert as much as 500 gallons of water per rainstorm to your garden.
First, find and install a rain barrel; then, install a spigot. You’ll then direct the gutter’s downspout to the rain barrel so that the water will go directly into it. And finally, you’ll add a small hole near the top of the rain barrel to drain excess water.
Siphoning Excess Water
There are plenty of ways that you can use excess water, whether it’s gray water or water that has pooled in your yard after a storm. We’ve already mentioned the ways that you can direct rainwater off your roof and into a rain barrel and the way that you can retrieve gray water from your washing machine. But you can also siphon excess water wherever you find it on your property.
As long as it’s reasonably clean, at least for the purposes of your garden, you can simply siphon the water up and place it in buckets. This can definitely be a bit of a workout, but at times this can be another benefit. You can exercise and burn some calories by siphoning up the water and either transferring those buckets to a container or simply taking it directly to your garden.
Reuse Boiled Water
Now, this may seem simple enough, but a lot of us automatically take water that we’ve used to boil food and send it directly down the drain. This water is actually perfect for a garden, as it’s often picked up nutrients from the food it’s been used to boil. Therefore, you should use this boiled water and transport it directly to your garden, or to a garden that contains the necessary water.
Now, be careful: make sure that the water has fully cooled down before you transport it in order to prevent potential burns. For that matter, if you’re taking the water directly to the garden, overly hot water might wilt some of the plants you’re watering.
These are just a few ways that you can recycle water to use for your garden. You’re already going in the right direction by maintaining a garden in the first place. And there are aso many ways you can add to your eco-conscious garden. Reusing wooden pallets to create raised beds, reusing the over 100 nails in those pallets for construction, you name it and you can make it more eco-friendly. By taking these extra steps, you can make it even more environmentally friendly!