Conserving Water in the Kitchen

by Diane Lofshult on Jul 01, 2008

Food for Thought

Cooks who want to save the planet can help by taking small steps to conserve water. Adopt these water conservation habits, and make your kitchen a little greener in the process.

  • Don’t run the faucet until the water comes out cold. Instead, keep a pitcher of fresh water in the fridge each day and encourage your family to use it.
  • Instead of buying plastic bottles of drinking water, fill your own bottle each morning before you leave the house.
  • Wash your produce in a large bowl, and use the leftover water for your garden.
  • Instead of using your garbage disposal, peel produce scraps right onto a sheet of old newspaper and throw the whole thing away when you are done dicing. Better still, make a compost using old eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags and produce scraps.
  • Make sure your next dishwasher is energy efficient.
  • Keep the ice maker in the freezer turned off, and turn it on only when the ice supply gets low.
  • Wash pots and pans immediately, before food hardens on them; you will use less water. If necessary, fill dirty pans with water and let them sit a while to loosen the residue, rather than scrubbing them under running water.
  • Run the dishwasher only when it is full, and wait until after dark to turn it on.
  • Don’t bother rinsing plates and utensils thoroughly before putting them in today’s dishwashers.
  • If possible, use two sinks to wash dishes—one for hot, soapy water and the other for rinsing.
  • Restrict each member of your family (and visitors, too) to using one glass a day.  
  • Don’t thaw frozen food or cool hot items using running cold water. Instead, put them in a bowl filled with ice water, or thaw food in the fridge overnight.
  • Save leftover cooking water, and let it cool on the counter for use in the garden.
  • Steam veggies in a scant amount of water rather than boiling them in a pot filled to the brim with water.
  • When heating a pot of water, always use a lid, since the water takes longer to heat without one.

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About the Author

Diane Lofshult

Diane Lofshult IDEA Author/Presenter

Diane Lofshult is an award-winning freelance author who specializes in nutrition and weight management topics. She is the founder of In Other Words, an editorial consulting firm based in Solana Beach, California. Reach her at