Conserving Water in the Kitchen

White_Cactus-Flowers_Copyright_Elegant_Gardening_M-J_de_Mesterton

Water-Conservation_Elegant_Survival_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton
The water in a sink-sized white bucket, in which coconut oil was once packed, after rinsing some dishes and utensils in it, can be saved and given to plants. This pail came with a tight-fitting cover, which I sometimes use if I wish to agitate utensils in the water. A little washing-up soap is welcomed by trees and flowers; soap helps to keep away insects and mould. Be sure there is no trace of animal product in the kitchen rinse-water, though (or in your compost-heap), because it will attract rodents and other pests. I live in the Mojave Desert, where water is scarce and expensive–a little of the precious liquid goes a long way, especially in my dry-climate garden of cacti, morning glory and palm. ©M-J de Mesterton

Cactus_Flower_Bouquet_de_Mesterton_4-06-2018

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Cleaning your lettuce and other vegetables with a little hydrogen peroxide or vinegar in the water makes them more sanitary. The rinse-water can be conserved and used in your garden. Plants benefit by being fed a little hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. ©M-J de Mesterton

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Elegant Water Conservation

Flowering in the Desert

M-J’s Dry-Climate Garden with Cactus Zinnias, Sedum and Sunflowers
Water-Wise Gardening Photo ©M-J de Mesterton 2010

The price of water is going up, and its availability in some locations is scarce. There are some things you can do to keep whatever water you do have from going down the drain in vain.

Bathing usually uses less water than showering. Whether you bathe or shower, keeping the drain plugged will allow you to use this “grey water” later for other purposes.

Use the bath water to give your outdoor plants a drink. They especially like Epsom salts, a time-honored fertilizer in England.

Use a large, gallon-sized pitcher of bath water to flush your toilet. Pouring it down fast creates a flush; sometimes you will want to do this twice. A tubful of water can constitute twenty or more flushes. It works great.

While running water to get it hot, fill pitchers, glasses, any empty vessels you have handy until the water gets hot enough to use, saving the cooler water for drinking later.

When you bathe instead of shower, you usually use less water. To further enhance your water-saving program, carry the used bath-water outside in a large pail or pitcher to the garden. Plants don’t mind a bit of soap, and they especially adore Epsom Salts, which are well-documented as an effective fertilizer.

Water doesn’t grow on trees! In fact, there may come a time very soon when water is scarce. Look at the farmers in California who are not allowed to water their crops because of a tiny minnow that “must be saved”! I am more concerned about the future of the human race than I am about a useless minnow.
Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008

Economical, Cooler Use of Your Dishwasher

When the weather is hot, use your dishwasher in the late evening, and turn off the heated drying feature. The glasses and dishes will dry naturally overnight. Your place will not heat up as much, and because heat has a bad effect on polymers, rubber and plastics, the items made with those components will last much longer without it.

©M-J de Mesterton 2010

Conserving Candles


Wick material is pushed to the bottom of the newly-formed candle with a disposable wooden skewer.
Container Candles

Set your old glass candles in simmering water, pour the wax into newly-cleaned candle glasses or ones that have reduced amounts of wax in them. Put in new wick material by pushing it in with a wooden skewer when the wax is almost set.~~M-J

>Conserving Candles

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Conserving Candles


Wick material is pushed to the bottom of the newly-formed candle with a disposable wooden skewer.
Container Candles

Set your old glass candles in simmering water, pour the wax into newly-cleaned candle glasses or ones that have reduced amounts of wax in them. Put in new wick material by pushing it in with a wooden skewer when the wax is almost set.~~M-J

Conserving Candles

Conserving Candles


Wick material is pushed to the bottom of the newly-formed candle with a disposable wooden skewer.
Container Candles

Set your old glass candles in simmering water, pour the wax into newly-cleaned candle glasses or ones that have reduced amounts of wax in them. Put in new wick material by pushing it in with a wooden skewer when the wax is almost set.~~M-J

Conserving Candles

Wick material is pushed to the bottom of the newly-formed candle with a disposable wooden skewer.

Container Candles

Set your old glass candles in simmering water, pour the wax into newly-cleaned candle glasses or ones that have reduced amounts of wax in them. Put in new wick material by pushing it in with a wooden skewer when the wax is almost set.~~M-J

Elegant Survival: Conserving Water

Conserving Water


Flowering in the Desert, copyright M-J de Mesterton 2007

The price of water is going up, and its availability in some locations is scarce. There are some things you can do to keep whatever water you do have from going down the drain in vain.Bathing usually uses less water than showering. Whether you bathe or shower, keeping the drain plugged will allow you to use this “gray water” later for other purposes.

Use the bath water to give your outdoor plants a drink. They especially like Epsom salts, a time-honored fertilizer in England.

Use a large, gallon-sized pitcher of bath water to flush your toilet. Pouring it down fast creates a flush; sometimes you will want to do this twice. A tubful of water can constitute twenty or more flushes. It works great.

While running water to get it hot, fill pitchers, glasses, any empty vessels you have handy until the water gets hot enough to use, saving the cooler water for drinking later.

Water doesn’t grow on trees!

Photo and Conservation Tips Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008

Water Doesn’t Grow on Trees

Conserving Water


Flowering in the Desert, photo copyright M-J 2007

The price of water is going up, and its availability in some locations is scarce. There are some things you can do to keep whatever water you do have from going down the drain in vain.

Bathing usually uses less water than showering. Whether you bathe or shower, keeping the drain plugged will allow you to use this “gray water” later for other purposes.

Use the bath water to give your outdoor plants a drink. They especially like Epsom salts, a time-honored fertilizer in England.

Use a large, gallon-sized pitcher of bath water to flush your toilet. Pouring it down fast creates a flush; sometimes you will want to do this twice. A tubful of water can constitute twenty or more flushes. It works great.

While running water to get it hot, fill pitchers, glasses, any empty vessels you have handy until the water gets hot enough to use, never letting any of it go down the drain for nothing.
Water doesn’t grow on trees!

Photo and Conservation Tips Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008

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