Looking for more ways to save water this summer? Taking shorter showers and turning off the faucet aren’t the only ways to use water more efficiently at home. Collecting and recycling water can also help you lower both your water bills and your carbon footprint.

The excess water left behind after you wash your hands, clean the dishes, do the laundry, or use the bath or shower is called greywater. Unlike blackwater, which contains traces of sewage and is unsafe to collect or reuse, greywater is not hazardous; it can be safely collected and recycled manually or as part of a more extensive greywater system that may require some reconfiguring of your plumbing. If you’re interested in starting a water-recycling system but aren’t sure about rearranging the pipes just yet, take a look at some of these ways to reuse greywater on your own.

From the SinkFrom the Sink

When you wash vegetables or strain pasta, place a larger bowl or pot underneath your colander in the sink; that way, the water you used to wash or boil your food can be collected and reused later. You can also use a plastic tub to collect the water left over from washing your dishes, and the plastic layer even doubles as a way to keep your dishes safe from breaking.

From the Air Conditioner

Do you use a window air conditioner? Place a bucket below the drain or drip spout. You may not accumulate as much water as you would while doing the dishes, but an air conditioner will leave you with enough to water your houseplants without turning on the tap.

From the ShowerFrom the Shower

You can conserve excess shower water by placing a bucket beneath the faucet or under the showerhead right after turning the water on. This will save any water that would otherwise be wasted during the time it takes to adjust the water temperature to your liking.

From the Garden

To repurpose water left over from tending to your potted plants, put the pots in a larger container while you water them. After any excess water has drained into the larger container through the holes in the bottoms of the pots, you can reuse it to water your other plants. Harvesting rainwater is another efficient way to water your garden—look here for a few ideas on how to collect and store rainwater for gardening use.

From the Laundry Room

If you have room for a plain washtub or barrel in your laundry room, think about reconnecting the drain from your washing machine so that the remaining water from a rinse cycle drains into a larger container to be recycled.

Finding ways to recycle water at home is a great way to cut down on your utility bills, go greener, and brush up on your DIY know-how. If you think you’re ready to commit to a more complex greywater system, many Best Pick plumbers are available and ready to help you get the most mileage out of recycled water.

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