Friday, May 11, 2007

Frugal Fridays: Watering Plants

Reusing bath water is nothing new--some families use it for plants, others to flush the toilet. Lost grey water can truly be money down the drain!

Here's a tip that will make your bathwater recycling a little easier. Use a container with a straight side--not a round bucket. I don't know why it took me so long to realize that the flatter I could lay the container against bottom of the tub, the quicker it would fill up. The larger the container, the fewer trips it takes to reuse all that water. This oval bathroom trash can scoops enough water for my outdoor plants each evening.

With all the dirt my kids bring in, it's nice to send a little back to nature every night!

Crystal's Biblical Womanhood has all sorts of Frugal Friday fun!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, I do this too. With my oval garbage can from Dollar Tree...It also helps keep the trash can clean. Thanks for the blog. It is always fresh and I love the pictures you share. Roxie

bonnie: said...

I'm new to this gray water idea. Does the soap not harm the plants? We put soap in the running water for bubbles and scent...I guess I could *stop* doing this so as to be able to use the water....

bonnie

Mrs.X said...

Now why didn't I think of that? eXcellent tip - thanX!

Damselfly said...

What a great tip! It's bathtime now, so my plants will be happy!

Kathy, Jeff's wife said...

That is a GREAT idea, especially since we are in a drought here in the south.

Thanks for sharing!

Gini (Hallquist) Young said...

Curious about the soap as well? Is that not bad for the plants? Wish I had thought of all this earlier

Christy said...

Now this is just what I was talking about earlier today! To you, this seems like such a simple common sense idea. But by golly, the rest of us are bopping ourselves in the head wondering why we hadn't thought of that before!

I'm so glad you're sharing here on your blog.

Meredith said...

Well, I'm bathing my babies in this water, so I don't add very much soap or bubbles to dry out their sensitive skin. Even then, my flowers have never complained! Up to you whether you would use it on something edible, though.

Although, I believe one organic remedy to certain bug infestations is a light spray with soapy water.

About the time it takes to carry water--it's about the same as it is for me to go around to the spigot, unwrap the hose, spray the flowers and then wrap the hose back up.

Anonymous said...

I think that the discharging of gray water on to the ground is illegal in some states. I guess it could contain pathogens that could be harmful to the soil etc. Using it for toilets is probably fine though.

mama k said...

I've been thinking of ways to do this myself. How would you store it to flush the toilet? I don't have many plants to water, well other than the lawn. We pay for our water so I'm always thinking of how we can cut that bill...

Amy said...

The soap shouldn't harm the plants any, But I'm not sure about bath oils. The soap may even provide a mild fertilizing action (Phosphorous) and maybe a little insecticidal action (mainly aphids). Certain soaps are used for 'insecticidal soap' which is a safe and mild organic pest control.

I am curious about the effort to use your graywater. Does it make much of a difference in your bill? Our bill is only about $40 per 3 months,but I haven't done much watering here yet. I suppose it depends on the area of the country?

(I was an organic farmer BC)

Growing in Grace (Nicole) said...

It sounds like a great idea, but for me I can't imagine hauling the water down from upstairs. Mabye to save on our hugely high water bill I would though.

Meredith said...

Our normal bill is about $35 and has always been from house to house. I expect that's not much more than the baseline charges.

I'll have to see if it helps the water bill over the summer. I haven't had potted plants until just now.

Nicole, I guess it helps if your bathroom is steps away from the potted plants!

Meredith said...

I understand that systemic greywater emissions could be prohibited, but a few gallons of hardly dirty bathwater into my flower pots shouldn't raise any eyebrows.

A. Magner said...

I would be curious to see if this would save any money for us. Our baseline water bill with Dorchestor County in SC is over $45 per month, and our bill is around $50 normally and $55 to $60 while we are in the peak of grass watering season.
While I am not the most frugal or thrifty girl in the world, I do enjoy some of your ideas. I thought the blinds you found a while back where awesome. I don't even want to talk about how much we spent on blinds from Lowe's when we moved into our new house.

Maggie said...

I bought some cheap clear tubing to drain the water from my second floor bathroom to my shade bed.My bathroom is on the second floor so just running the tubing out the window and and using it like a straw for a second to get it started works great. It comes out slowly so you can set it down for awhile and then move it to another spot. I don't have to run up and down the steps and our water is expensive ( $80 month).

whimsy said...

You can flat backed buckets in farm stores (and probably other places - but that's where I see them) They are GREAT for things like this because the handle is built in and they have a pouring lip on the round side.

The mineral my DH feeds our mules comes in them so we have an abundance around here.