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By Kathryn

Our first line of defense when it comes to water conservation can start in your own home!

Finding ways to save water and be more sustainable can have a big impact locally and for the planet. Although it may be an adjustment at first, a lot of the following recommendations may also save you money.

As the ongoing drought leaves us wary of summer and what is to come, there are also concerns about increasing water bills, which can have a huge impact on many families in Orange County. Ultimately, we want to save the planet and your wallet.


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Here are some tips and tricks you can use to save water and practice sustainability while doing your dishes in the kitchen, in recognition of National No Dirty Dishes Day:

  1. water-conservation-2When you are waiting for the water to get warm, have buckets or containers close by to collect the water. You can use this water to water your plants or top off your pet’s water bowl!
  2. When trying to clean off those hard-to-wash stains, instead of running the water while trying to scrub, leave these dishes in the sink to soak for a bit.
  3. One of the best ways that I have tried to get the glue off from a glass jar, if you are trying to reuse it, is to use a little olive oil and baking soda on it. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then scrub it off.
  4. Try to lower the water pressure or turn of the water when you are scrubbing your dishes before rinsing them. This is something you can also do when you are washing your hands, brushing your teeth, or shampooing your hair.
  5. You can also look at water-saving, higher-pressure sink nozzles to replace your old ones.
  6. If you want to cut back on plastic waste, you can reuse a bottle (I like using my glass amber bottles with a pump) by refilling it with soap whenever you run out. My favorite refillable bull store is Eco Now (located in Costa Mesa and Anaheim) and they have many sustainable, non-toxic options for your entire home.
  7. You can also opt for non-plastic cleaning scrubbers made from bamboo, for example, which when you are done with them can be composted or can be replaced with a new head.
  8. Being conscious of what you pour down your sink is also very important. Using baking soda and vinegar to clean the inside of your sink when you are done with all your dishes is one way to avoid putting toxic solutions down your drain.

If you are able to integrate any of these tricks into your routine, you’ll be helping the planet and maybe even having fun doing the dishes (if that is even possible)!

Tag @occoastkeeper on Instagram with #NationalNoDirtyDishesDay to show us how you plan to prioritize sustainability in your kitchen. And check out the ways you can get involved in protecting the State of Your Water.