Tips for reusing water at home

Avoiding water waste is important not only in times of crisis. Adopting a lifestyle and production with rational use of water is necessary not only today, but always. This is because the water and energy crises that Brazilians have been facing are not just a result of the drought. There are several other factors such as problems in the distribution structure, deforestation and waste in agribusiness, industry and residential use .

Waste of water must be fought with the help of all social actors: all levels of government, industry/agribusiness and the population. Agribusiness and livestock, together, are responsible for the highest consumption of water, 82.8%, and industry for 6.7%.

Households, despite being responsible for a low percentage of total water expenditure (10.6%), can also contribute to this resource not running out, as the scale gain is significant. To illustrate: if all residents of Brazil turned off the tap when brushing their teeth, the water saved during a month would be equivalent to a day and a half of the volume of water that falls over the Iguaçu Falls!

It is essential to “de-automate” water consumption, by engaging everyone, as citizens, in a new posture of conscious use of this essential resource, on a permanent basis.

There are many water consumption habits that can be modified to result in significant household savings. It is necessary, however, to collect, store and use reused water properly to avoid health risks for you and your family . There are risks in attitudes that seem harmless, such as accumulating water in reused containers, in outdoor swimming pools, or drinking rainwater.
Here are tips on how to reuse water safely:

1.Use aquarium water to water the plants
Are you going to clean the aquarium? Because use the “old” water for other purposes, such as watering the garden. Your aquarium water can be a rich source of nitrogen, essential for photosynthesis, as well as phosphorus and potassium, which strengthen plants, acting as fertilizers. But remember: plants do not do well with salt water or PH control. And if it is very dirty in the aquarium, use only a little water mixed with clean water. Source:

2. While the shower water heats up, fill the bucket Does
your shower have gas heating? Letting bath water run down the drain while it heats up can waste a lot of clean water. Use a bucket to collect clean water that hasn’t reached the ideal temperature.

3. Catch water while taking a shower
Also collect spilled water while taking a shower. This water can be reused for flushing, washing the bathroom itself or external areas such as backyards and balconies. In one year, a family can reuse enough water for one person to flush daily for almost 5 months. You can also collect the water you use to wash your hands with a small container and accumulate the liquid in a bucket, to use for flushing.

4. Collect rainwater, but don’t drink it
Building a cistern at home or using a container to collect rainwater is a great tip for saving water. It is important that the container is well covered, to prevent the proliferation of mosquitoes that spread diseases such as dengue. No loose covers, canvas, wood or tiles. Rainwater can be used for flushing, cleaning the backyard, the car and the floor at home, for example. However, it is not suitable for human or animal consumption, as rainwater brings waste from the atmosphere – boiling it simply won’t work. If it goes through the roof and down the gutter before falling into the container in which it will be stored, it is even worse. The maximum storage period for rainwater is four days, as it contains a lot of organic waste.

5. Meal prep water is nutritious, reuse it!
When cooking, one of the secrets to consuming water with a conscience is to follow the recipes exactly. To cook pasta for one person, for example, you don’t need a pan completely filled with water, just as you don’t need a lot of water to steam vegetables. Also, if you don’t use too much water, you’ll better preserve the nutrients in your food. And in some cases, the water can even be used again. If you cooked vegetables and had water left over, reuse it to make soups, or wait for it to cool and water the plants.

6. Melted ice should be used
If you need to defrost the fridge or freezer, remove the ice sheets and reuse your water to water the plants and the garden. And if you happen to drop ice cubes on the floor, put them in a container to reuse the water later. When you buy a bag of ice, use it wisely: don’t let it melt in the tank or on the ground, but put it in a bucket, so that you can reuse the melted water later.

7. In a hurry, defrost food using a bucket of water
If you can’t plan or use the microwave, frozen food can be soaked in water using a tub or basin – and this water can be reused later to wash the dishes or water the plants. Defrosting in the basin instead of running water, you will save in one year, an amount of water equivalent to 300 washing dishes, opening the faucet just to wet and rinse.

8. Washing machine water must be reused
The water that comes out of the washing machine can be reused by directing the machine’s drain pipe to a bucket. Each cycle of a five-kilogram machine uses 145 liters. This water can be collected. The water in this bucket can be used to flush toilets, wash the yard or wash the car. And see how practical: this water already comes with a little soap! This reuse of water from the 5 kg washing machine saves enough water to reduce the monthly water consumption of a household by 5%. The machine’s second rinse, “softener water”, which is cleaner, can supply the next wash.

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