What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

15 July 2011

H (Part) 2 O

Last week I talked about greywater, and some of the ways we've found to capture barely-used water (like in the shower) to reuse it (in our case, for flushing the toilet).

I remembered the other day reading a short story in school called Rain, Rain, Go Away: Mrs. Wright comments that to fill a cup with water, Mrs. Sakkaro put a cup under the tap, turned it on, and then turned if off again before removing the cup. Mrs. Wright thought that was odd, I wondered what was so strange about it, so I began doing the same. I've been doing it that way ever since. I don't know how much water I've saved by doing this-- possibly enough, over the course of the last 20 years, to take one shower-- but I suppose you could say it was this story that set me on the road of water conservation.

Kinda. After all, despite dire warnings from experts, and studies telling us just how much trouble even the US is in when it comes to water shortages if we don't change our hydrating ways, it's hard to imagine running out of water. I mean, Central Texas is in a drought, all the little creeks and streams I cross on a daily basis are dry, but water still comes out of my tap on command. Clean water. It may taste funny some days, but then that's why I have a filtration pitcher. So basically I'm living my life, drinking water like a crazed person, and hoping someone figures it out. Fortunately, since I do have a strong earth-loving streak, I am doing something.

In addition to the aforementioned water reuse, I've started taking what I've discovered are called Navy Showers; that is, I turn the water on to get wet, turn it off for the actual washing bit (soap and shampoo), then turn it back on for a final rinse. I have a feeling that my heat-loving self will not love this approach once the temps drop again, but on the bright side, I have months before I have to worry about that. Another easy one is handwashing, done the same way: Water on for getting wet and rinsing off, and water off for lathering up. We all know about turning the water off during tooth-brushing and shaving. And of course, I try not to spill when filling my pitcher.

Is there more I can do? I'm sure there is. In what I'm calling the easy way out, I live in an apartment complex with somewhere around 200 units. The grass-watering and the pool here, while they all use water, definitely use a lot less than if we all lived in 200 separate homes. There's something to be said for apartment living. But those two things hardly count as my contribution, because I don't intend to have a house with a pool, and I'm just forgetful enough that my grass would probably die with no assistance from me in the water department. I'm not saving a lot, overall, by living here.

How about you? Do you conserve water? I'm sure between us we can come up with some great ideas.


Anonymous said...

We don't water grass even in the worst drought...grass is hardy...one good rain and back it comes. And the weeds NEVER go away.

Su said...

Sometimes I wonder why we bother to plant grass... the weeds are just as green! LOL!

Deniz Bevan said...

Hmm, I like that Navy shower idea. I might try it - if I can get used to it in the summer, maybe it won't be so difficult once winter comes!

Su said...

That's what I'm hoping for... or maybe I'll just get tougher! (Unlikely!)

Faith said...

I try to save water... turn off the tap, don't use full blast, use water left in glasses or water bottles to water plants or rinse dishes... I'm working on getting my husband into the same habits, but alas, apparently he wasn't raised with the "conserve water" mindset so it's been tough. Drives me nuts. LOL.

Su said...

Mixing different attitudes on conservation is kind of like mixing attitudes on anything else in a relationship, I suppose, but it does seem kind of odd. I guess it's odd because they didn't warn me about this in pre-marital counseling.