Posts tagged "water"

How can I make a water butt/rain barrel using recycled stuff?

water-buttLast week’s Reverse This question – about how to make a rain chain using recycled materials – has kicked up another question: how to make a water butt/rain barrel using recycled, reclaimed and repurposed stuff.

If you’ve got a rainwater barrel, it means the rain chain doesn’t need to end up in an ugly drain and, of course, it also saves the precious rainwater for use around the garden or in grey water systems.

The specific requirements for the butt depend on what the water is being used for but most I’ve seen tend to be reasonably opaque (to reduce algae growth) and many, particularly commercially produced ones, include a tap or a hinged lid to make it easy to access the water.

Any suggestions? What have you seen being used by creative allotmenteers? Has anyone got any experience of making an old-fashioned barrel like the one in the picture?

How can I reuse or recycle chemically-scented blossom water?

orange blossom waterFollowing on last week’s waterthemed posts (in honour of World Water Day yesterday), we’ve had a related-but-different email from Meiko:

I really like the idea behind your site and I’ve been reading all your past suggestions. Here is a small question for you (maybe too irrelevant to consider).

I have a bottle of orange blossom water (to use as a flavouring in desserts and cakes) whose taste I really don’t like (tastes too much like chemicals, not like natural flavouring). But there’s a lot of it and it does smell nice, so I don’t feel like
throwing it away.

Do you have an idea of how I could use it to make something smell nice?

Nothing is too irrelevant for this site ;)

I had the same problem with some rose water a while ago but unfortunately the strong scent – whether fake or otherwise – got in the way of many of my first reuse idea – using it as a facial toner: bringing the scent closer to my nose, not wise ;)

I suspect it could be used in soap making or the like, or in a spray bottle as a quick-and-easy air freshener – the strong smell might be more palatable in those places.

Any other ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle water from boiling veg or pasta etc?

It’s World Water Day on Sunday so this week’s Recycle This is water themed.

Following on from Monday’s reuses for bath/shower water and Wednesday’s, hot, clean water, I thought we’d feature cooking water today – the stuff leftover after boiling vegetables or pasta etc.

Like with the freshly boiled water from Wednesday, it seems a waste of power to just power it down the drain when we’re done.

With pasta or potatoes, the water is often starchy and with veg such as broccoli, the water can be “discoloured” from the veg itself – so not really suitable for washing stuff.

So is there anything that can be done with it? I know some people use veg water as the liquid when making stock but what else?

How can I reuse or recycle clean, hot water?

boiling water in a kettleIt’s World Water Day on Sunday so this week’s Recycle This is water themed.

Following on from Monday’s post on reusing bath water or water from a shower, I thought it would be good to get some reuses for misc CLEAN hot water.

As good citizens of the world, we only try to heat as much water as we need when we use the kettle but sometimes someone changes their mind over a cup of tea or we just simple misjudge how small a container is, and there is freshly boiled clean water leftover. It would be a waste of both power and water to just let it cool again then tip it away.

I also had sinusitis for most of last year and the best way to get temporary relief was to steam open my block cavities with a bowl of boiling water and a towel over my head. The water was always still super hot when I was done so again, it was a shame to just throw it down the drain.

I mostly use our leftover hot water for pre-washing pans or other cleaning tasks around the kitchen – at the very least, it gets swooshed down the dish-draining rack on its way to the plughole.

Away from the kitchen, I have half a memory of very hot water in a spray can being good for getting rid of aphids or something. And crafters could use it for hand felting small objects like felt balls.

Any other suggestions to make the most of it?

How can I reuse or recycle bath water or water from the shower?

BathwaterNext Sunday is World Water Day so I thought we’d run with that theme here on Recycle This this week.

Hopefully we’re all already doing what we can to reduce our water consumption – low-flush toilets, taking showers rather than baths, turning the tap off between rinses when cleaning our teeth, a water butt or two in the garden, etc – but what about reusing greywater from around the house – from that shower or bath, for example?

Proper greywater systems, which recycle washing water to flush toilets, can be expensive (in terms of set-up and space) to fit but drop household water usage by around 30%.

I know other people with showers-over baths take care with their soap use and save the water to use on their gardens, or use the still pretty-clean water to pre-soak heavily soiled clothes. (I take muddy clothes into the shower with me and stomp about on them to get the muck out before washing them as normal, saves needing a second run through the machine.)

Any other practical ways to reuse that water?