I have a confession to make: I recycle water.
Sounds crazy, right?
Here’s how it works.
My basement is humid and damp year-round. So that the toys and out of season bedding and photo albums and pictures and holiday decorations and other life detritus doesn’t get musty and smelly before I’ve repurposed it in my house—or repurposed it elsewhere—I run dehumidifiers. Two, actually.
The problem is that I don’t have a true water problem. My basement is damp, but it’s not wet, so I don’t have a sump pump and hole in the floor for the water to collect before it leaves.
When I moved into my house nine years ago, I emptied the dehumidifier’s collection receptacle (a/k/a the “can”) water into the toilet. It was quick, but very inefficient; all it did was force flush the water down the drain …and remind me there was yet another something to clean in the house.
I hate cleaning. And chores.
Being the sole adult in the house, the majority of the house work falls on me. Some days its easier to do it myself than request / cajole / order the minions to help. Because I hate it, I try to get it done as quickly as possible. One day a few years ago, I was multi-tasking and was emptying the dehumidifiers while cleaning and watering my plants.
Can in hand, I walked to a plant and poured water into it. Solution found!
While looking for a quick solution to a problem, I became an accidental environmentalist.
And you can too.
Plants are not picky. They don’t care if the water is filtered, from the tap or bottled. They’re just thirsty. It’s still water, after all. I wouldn’t drink it, but my plants love it.
In the summer when it’s extra humid in the basement, I use the water to water my flower garden too.
This has now become a regular part of my cleaning ritual. I imagine my plants waiting, knowing that soon, I will be coming around with the can, getting excited when they see it coming—and happy about the big drink that is on its way. Doing their own little plant happy dance in their pots. It’s a fun thought that always makes me laugh.
Like Mary Poppins said, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.”
By recycling the dehumidifier water, I am using less town water—for which I pay quarterly. My plants are happy, my basement is happy, and my wallet is happy. The only unhappy party here is the town.
And I’m okay with that.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Kendra Hackett
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Chinchilla Photography at Pixoto