I loved reading Andy’s feedback on his own “Cap and Trade” adventures – we have had some serious and long conversations about this game thus far but I had no idea he was showering with a bucket!! Good on ya Andy! The only time I did that I was in a small village in Tanzania where there was no running water in any homes for miles. Everyone in the village shared one water tank/cistern. You had to use a bucket to bathe, do laundry and dishes. It took some getting use to but I got pretty good at it by the end of my time there. When I knew I was taking from the same water supply that everyone else was taking from, it really made me think about how much water I really needed compared to how much I actually normally use in my American home.
With this in mind, I also have tried to really become aware of my water current usage. I have not been quite as resourceful as Andy (carrying a bucket down the dock with me to the shower did not enter my mind), but I have been experimenting with a few other techniques in saving water outside of adopting the “if its yellow let it mellow” motto. I have been trying to collect rainwater when I can with my own bucket on the deck of the boat. When I am successful at collecting it – I use it for doing dishes. I have also been reusing the water used to hard boil my eggs in the morning or make pasta with for washing my dishes.
Like Andy, I realized that showering was a huge waste of water, so I started to zero in on this one aspect to see if I could change my habits. I have not been collecting my excess shower water but I have been making more of an effort to conserve the water that I currently am using in the shower. As I mentioned before, I live in a marina that has shared bathroom facilities. One of the things I really like about this set up is that the bathrooms are equipped with both energy and water conserving mechanisms. The lights are on a timer dial and the shower has an on/off valve to set the water pressure.
To start off attempting to cut my water use, I started showering every other day instead of daily and sometimes (gasp!) I go 2 days without showering. I also have tried shortening the length of my shower, using the timer that controls the lights in the bathroom. I set the timer for 10 minutes and if I am in the shower for over that 10 minutes the lights will go out leaving me in complete darkness. (there are no windows in the bathroom) This is a great incentive to shower efficiently! Each day I have been trying to beat my record for the shortest shower. My best as of now is 5 minutes. I also realized that when showering there is no reason the water needs to be on the entire time. Like Andy noted, so much water runs wastefully down the drain. I think the best way to save it is to lower the water pressure or turn it off entirely. I started just turning the water off or down to a drip when lathering up or washing my hair. And then turn it back on when I need to rinse.
Out of everything that I am doing to avoid points or subtract them, I think this particular effort is the one practice that has easily become a habit and will most likely stick. I never thought I would be sharing my personal showering habits with an online public (super weird!) but I think it’s actually an effort that anyone could adopt easily that could potentially save a lot on our water usage and bills. My marinas shower has a nozzle similar to this one. It is under $10. Order one now! There is NO reason not to try it out! Please share some more ideas for water conservation if you have them. Every drop in the bucket counts.
This has been my theme song for the past few weeks… and yes you might find me singing this one in the shower.
Just finding this blog today? Read more about the Living Chapters project here.
Great article and I love Otis’s music. You realise that for many running water would be a luxury.
Did you know:
• There are nearly 1 billion people in the world that don’t have clean, safe water.
• The women and children that collect water spend approximately 40 billion hours getting it.
• This detracts from their ability to do other work, or get an education.
• It takes $20 to supply one of these people with a clean water supply.
• Each dollar spent provides an economic return of $12.
• Not least because of the drop in medical care and infant mortality.
• Can you spare a single dollar for this campaign to bring clean water to 50,000 people?
• That’s less than a third of the price of a cup of coffee.
• All money goes to providing water not to admin costs or profit.
If you can’t spare a single dollar, please pass this message on to others that might.
Thanks for your comment and the facts. I just visited http://my.charitywater.org and donated. I also posted the website on the Living Chapters Facebook page. I hope others will read about this cause and donate too. It is a worthwhile effort, thank you for bringing to my attention!