Jane Wolkowicz

Photo by Flickr user Jessica Spengler

If you plan to shop at your local farmer’s market this season, you’re likely going to bring home plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables that need to be rinsed and cleaned.

But hold the water. Letting the faucet run during a drought is never a good idea, and vegetable washes and sprays still require rinsing off, wasting valuable H2O.

As an alternative, try this method from Cherise Henry, a consultant with the Save our Water program.

Henry recommends treating your produce like dishes, filling one bowl or pan with wash water (soap optional) and another with rinse water. Start by dunking or leaving produce to soak in the wash water, then rinse off in the next “clean” bowl or pot, and finally wipe clean and dry everything off with a towel.

For bonus points, try to save the rinsing bowls and pots for use for the next day or two (or until they get too grimy/dirty). You can also, of course, recycle the water for your plants.

“Going from leaving the faucet on for five minutes straight to rinsing produce is a huge step,” Henry says. “We want Californians to think about the little things that can quickly add up to a big help when it comes to conserving water.”

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