For years, we have composted our food scraps. This week, in honor of World Water Day this month, we started taking it a step further by asking another question:
Can we compost our greywater?
Let's step back a second and make sure we're on the same page. Just to clarify, we're talking greywater (from shower and sink), not blackwater (aka sewage). Learn more about the difference between greywater and blackwater here.
So, really, can we compost our greywater?
It is a timely question for us. All winter, I’ve been reading up on sustainable gardening practices. Over and over again I’ve come across the theme of how important it is to use your water wisely, no matter where you live.
Our micro backyard is currently flat and mostly grass-covered. Last fall, we converted half the backyard to garden space and look forward to planting veggies this summer. We have big dreams of an edible food forest in time, but we want to start small.
Because of a steep slope from our house to the sidewalk on two sides of our corner lot, harvesting all our rainwater will require some planning and redesign. Eventually, we’ll look at how we might alter the slope of our landscape (perhaps with terraces) to naturally get the maximum benefit from each rainfall.
In the meantime, here's what we’ve started adding to the compost bucket:
- Water from rinsing dishes before they are washed
- Rinse water from soap workshop
On the list to get ready before summer:
- Collect shower/bath water for garden irrigation when and if we need it. This sounds annoying but really isn’t too bad if you don’t mind showering with a little tub at your feet. Thanks to biodegradable Redbudsuds, we don’t have to worry about sulfates or synthetic chemicals in the wastewater.
- Explore recycling water from the laundry machine
- Rain barrels: we want to install these before summer. Stay tuned!
We hope these thoughtfully clean habits can help us turn waste into something wonderful as we live more gently on the earth and grow food in the process.
Have you considered a greywater system for your home? Do you currently use one? How is it going for you? Let us know in the comments or on FB/IG @redbudsuds #thoughtfullyclean
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