Water-Saving Tip: Keep a Bucket in Your Bathroom

The back porch pots are filled with plants that flower year-round, like the society garlic my housemate likes to pick to put in his grandmother's sherry glasses. (Buck Bagot/KQED)
The back porch pots are filled with plants that flower year-round, like the society garlic Kat's housemate likes to pick to put in his grandmother's sherry glasses. (Buck Bagot/KQED)

Mint plants. I love mint plants.

It’s being a child of Oregon, wandering out to pick mint leaves in the angled morning sun and chewing them while wild rabbits hop around the yard.

But here in the California drought, my mint plants are getting thin and spindly.

I refuse to water the plants we keep on the back porch, since I believe farmers and salmon deserve the water more than my plants. The whole house is in on this; we’re turning off the shower when we soap up, we’re letting it mellow, the landlord is even researching rainwater catchment.

Every time I use water I ask myself how I can use less, and that’s how I came up with the answer for my mint plants.

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It always takes five or 10 seconds for the shower water to heat up. How about we capture that water in a bucket and use it to water the plants? Even with just five seconds' worth of water a day, we get enough for all the houseplants, front and back porch plants and the lettuces I’m about to plant.

You could also pour this water into the dog bowl or use it to wash dishes.

If you want to try it, get a bucket with a handle and a spout for easy pouring.

(Your bathroom’s not big enough to store a bucket? Talk to the hand! I live in San Francisco, where kitchens are the size of bathrooms and bathrooms are the size of twin beds.)

How are you saving water during the drought? Share your stories on our State of Drought Tumblr or email Olivia at ohubertallen@kqed.org.