Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Frugal Tuesday Tip: Recycle Your Water

Frugal Tuesday Tip is a monthly feature of my blog. On the first Tuesday of each month, I will present a frugal idea that we actually use in our household. The objective is to inspire others to discover ways to live frugally while living well. It can be done.

We have a whole house dehumidifier in our home, which is a great feature for removing excess humidity from our air, for keeping our wood floors in good condition and for maintaining a cool living space in our basement. However, the drain pipe for the dehumidifier runs from the furnace, through the wood paneling, and drains into a rusty hole smack dab in the middle of our new fourth bedroom. When we recently completed our remodeling project, we decided it was time to reroute the unsightly PVC pipe. We cut the pipe before it entered the wall and placed a bowl beneath the pipe to catch the excess water. A few overflowing bowls and a piece of ruined baseboard later, we decided our "solution" needed some tweaking.

So, we came up with a great plan: collect the water in a gallon milk jug for reuse throughout our home. Since implementing the new plan, we've collected nearly three gallons of water, which I have used to water our plants and trees. In time, I may even use the water for cleaning. In an emergency (and if properly sanitized), the water could be used for drinking. Recycling water is great for a few other reasons, too:

  • The water is free

  • Collecting it is easy; and

  • We're keeping the cycle of life going: collecting water molecules from the air; condensing the molecules into H20; and using the water to nurture our plants, which then produce more oxygen.

I realize that a whole house dehumidifier is a luxury item and that some people may not have one installed in their homes. But there are other ways to recycle water: rain barrels are a really good alternative. In some of our counties, they are prohibited so be sure to check local ordinances before setting up your own.

There are lots of other ways to live frugally and still have a full life. The trick is finding something that works for you, that fits your lifestyle and is relatively inexpensive. So, while making your own toilet paper is a great way to trim the toiletry budget, chopping down trees and harvesting the wood into TP, may not be the best use of time or money.

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