It sure looks like gray water
July 24, 2008 11:27 AM   Subscribe

I do a lot of stuff with paper pulp that I make from recycling newsprint, magazines, etc. The process requires a decent amount of water use (soak water, rinse-out-the-ink water, etc) and I hate just seeing it go down the drain. Can I use this (literally) gray water on my plants?
posted by tingting to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
I don't know about plants, there may be some residual bleach from the paper, but you can use it to flush the toilet.
posted by Gungho at 11:55 AM on July 24, 2008

I think Gungho is right. Unless your plants enjoy bleach and dyes, you might want to come up with another way to reuse it.
posted by carbide at 12:03 PM on July 24, 2008

I think you would be fine using it for established "hardy" plants. I would experiment on a couple of plants you don't love first.

If the water is actually a little inky I would be hesitant to use it with the toilet, it might stain it especially if its an older toilet and has porous places.

If you ever decide to use virgin pulp, that water is immaculate, just a little cotton (or whatever fiber) left over.
posted by stormygrey at 12:29 PM on July 24, 2008

you could always try testing it on one or two plants. Leaving it in an open container may let it off gas some of the not so nice chemicals too. That said, I wouldn't test it on anything I like all that much, i'd also be cautious about watering anything i was going to eat with it.
posted by NormandyJack at 12:34 PM on July 24, 2008

Response by poster: much appreciated mefites, that's pretty much what I was thinking. flushing with it is a much better idea.
posted by tingting at 12:46 PM on July 24, 2008

Paper that is pulped is 1 step closer to compost. Most newspaper ink is soy-based. Should be fine for plants. Shredded paper can be used in compost.
posted by theora55 at 1:17 PM on July 24, 2008

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