I had an occasion this winter to go to the local big box hardware stores. This is never good because my imagination gets carried away with all the projects I could do…if only I had the time and I tend to spend way too much money on stuff that never gets finished (I’m talking about you, galvanized wire and uncut tree limbs that will make a new garden border). But while I was there I picked up some seeds. Nothing special, just some perennial wildflowers and chamomile and mint. I got the chamomile specifically for tea and have every intention of adding some tea bushes for black tea to the garden. We go through a lot of black tea in this house. But I knew I really really wanted a tea kettle to heat my water because they’re cute and they whistle so I would stop getting involved in something and the pot of tea boiling over before I remembered it. So I hit up Amazon and Target and the tea websites trying to find one that was super adorable and whistled. I had no idea they were so expensive! A whistling tea kettle costs more than a coffee maker! Eventually I gave up looking because I had other things to do and the reasonably priced ones seemed to have horrible reviews. Well, while I was BJ’s the other day, I saw they had tea kettles! Reasonably priced and actually the exact Cuisinart version I had eyeballed. But they also had almost the exact same kettle from their house brand Berkley & Jensen for just $24.99. I knew from my days working there that BJ’s gets good product for their house labels. I also knew that if it didn’t work properly they would take it back and give me a refund or store credit with zero problems so I bought it. It works just fine and boils more water in the same amount of time as my pot I was using for tea.
What on earth does this have to do with saving water? I went to clean a pan this morning and was about to flip the faucet on and wait for the hot water to come out when my shiny kettle looked back at me. I’ll hang on to that cold water until you can use it, it said (OK, it didn’t actually look at me or say anything, but if it was a TV tea kettle it totally would have!). So I ran the cold water into my kettle and cleaned the pan when the warm water came out. I used the cold water to water my plants. I already paid for it when I turned on the faucet, and it just rushing down the drain every single time I needed hot water annoyed the crap outta me. Especially knowing that I would have to run the faucet again to water my plants. So from now on, I have a new habit of keeping a pitcher, tea kettle or watering can right by the sink to catch that cold water I don’t need right now. I can’t wait to see how this impacts my water bill!