- Wash the dishes as soon as you're done eating. The longer the food stays on the plate the more like concrete it becomes and it takes more elbow grease and more water to clean.
- If possible, don't stack plates and bowls before washing them. That way you can wash only the top of the bowl or plate because you haven't gotten the bottom dirty... saves about 1/2 of water use per item.
- Wash the bowl of the spoon, the tines of the fork, the blade of the knife. If it's not dirty, you don't need to wash the handle every time.
- Turn your water to a trickle rather than a full stream coming out of the faucet. Yes it's a little slower but it makes you more mindful. You don't need Niagara Falls forcing thru your faucet to rinse a fork.
- If you can, wash a number of items and then rinse them together, letting the water from one item run over or collect in another . For example, let the rinse water from the silverware collect in a bowl as a first rinse. Pour that bowl of water over a washed plate. You'll need to give each item a final rinse, but you won't waste as much clean water rinsing each item with fresh water.
These tips may sound nit-picky if you're not used to thinking in terms of water conservation. But sometimes just a couple of tablespoons of extra water have made a big difference to me when I've been boondocking. If you find yourself in a drought or any situation where you really need to conserve water (as we all should be doing) I hope these ideas will come in handy.