Be Water Smart This Holiday Season

Published Dec 21, 2020

‘Tis the season to celebrate with family, food, and festivities. Although those celebrations may look slightly different this year, prepping traditional and elaborate holiday meals will likely occur. With that increased food consumption comes increased water use.

While the holidays are a time to relax and enjoy time with our loved ones, we don’t have to abandon our water conservation efforts. In fact, with just a little preparation, you can save lots of water this holiday season.

Dealing with Dishes

• When it’s time to deal with the piles of dirty dishes, people often tend to keep the tap running while rinsing dirty food down the drain. While this may seem like a simple solution, it wastes a significant amount of water, and also, food should not be allowed down your drain . Instead, scrape any leftover food from dirty plates into the garbage, or if you want to go the extra mile, consider composting to make the most of your leftover food.

• Place all dirty dishes into the dishwasher and run it only when full. Use the lower setting on the dishwasher. This will make the most of your water usage.

• If you don’t have a dishwasher and need to clean dishes in the sink, fill two sinks of water, one for washing and one for rinsing to avoid a constantly running tap.

• Also, try to use a single water glass for the entire celebration to lessen the burden of washing extra dishes. You can even get creative with a holiday-themed glass marker or charm, which is a festive way to keep track of your glass.

Proper Food Prep

• Cooking a large holiday dinner requires lots of water. There are vegetables to rinse, steam, and boil, hot water used for thawing, and water glasses to fill. The good news is that all of this water doesn’t have to be poured down the drain after use. You can conserve water by recycling what’s leftover for other purposes like watering plants.

• The same concept for cleaning dishes can be applied to rinsing vegetables. Rather than running the tap, fill a bowl with water to rinse all fruits and vegetables. Also, water used to boil vegetables can be used to make vegetable broth.

• You can also lessen the amount of water you use with a little preparation. Instead of thawing turkeys and other meats in hot water, think ahead and put these items in the refrigerator instead. This will save water but will take extra time.

• The leftover water from glasses and vegetable prep can be recycled in house plants, compost, and used outdoors in your garden. Leftover water from glasses can also be used as a drinking supply for household pets.

Remember, every drop saved does make a difference, especially here in the desert. After all, conservation safeguards our water now, and for future generations, so we must all do our part. Happy Holidays!

For more water and waste-saving tips watch Phoenix Water’s Holiday Tips Video

For over 50 years, the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has worked to protect our member cities’ ability to provide assured, safe, and sustainable water supplies to their communities. For more information, visit .