No make up talks today gal….We have something serious we need to chat about! South Africa is going through a very real drought situation at the moment. The devestating #KnysnaFires and #PEFires a week ago only added to the gravity of the situation, placing an enormous strain on our already low water reserves. So I find myself absolutely gobsmacked when I ask people what they’re doing to save water…..and they look at me like I’m speaking Avatar. I wonder if they don’t understand the gravity of the current situation when it comes to our water levels and the consequences of us actually RUNNING OUT OF WATER? This makes me wonder, is everybody thinking: well somebody is doing something, so I’ll make them my proxy and I’ll just continue as I am? No no no people…..everybody needs to be doing something about the current situation.
In today’s post I thought I’d share what we are doing to try and reduce our water usage…and it benefits us if we’re saving cash on that darn water bill as well you know? It’s a win win….as back breaking as the work is that goes into recycling water.
Stating the obvious here, but a shower is going to save water over a bath.
Even better than switching out your bath for a shower, catch the clean cold water from the shower as it heats up. It’s winter, ain’t nobody taking cold showers unfortunately.
Not stopping there, you could opt to stand in a large plastic washing bath/baby bath and recycle all that wash water.
This is the one that literally is the hardest work in our home. My youngest is in cloth diapers, so we had to find a way to really decrease our water consumption when it comes to the laundry.
Cloth diapers need to be rinsed, so I’d usually use the kids bath water (all 3 bath together in 1 very shallow bath) to rinse the nappies. Thereafter it will be washed with clean water and rinsed with clean water.
This is where the fun begins…. So before we start with the washing of the nappies, we redirect the washing machine pipe to a big bin (that’s been cleaned) or a big plastic bath. All the wash water is then collected and ‘stored’ in the bin for the next wash load.
The rinse water, same thing, redirected into a bin/bath and saved to be used as the rinse water for the next load. Once the first load of clothing/nappies are done, we start the next load and manually add the used wash water into the washing machine. That water is collected, and if still use-able, will be used for another load of dirty laundry. Same for the rinse cycle and water.
Things to consider:
- Wash your least dirty/light coloured items in the first wash and plan it that way. We usually do jeans and darker items dead last.
- Check the water, that it’s still soapy and doesn’t smell. If it doesn’t smell, it’s good for another load 😉
- Hand washing uses up way less water (and electricity) if you have the time to go that route.
You’ve done your last load of laundry, now the plants can get some water right? WRONG! That water is now bottled into used 5L water bottles (let the kids do the bottling to get involved) and about 3 or 4 bottles are placed in each bathroom, so that water can be used to flush the toilet! There is NO NEED to be flushing the toilet with clean water, ever. That water you collected in the shower can also be used for toilet water. Pop one of those blue nice smelly blocks into the cistern and you don’t have to worry about what colour your water is after 17 washes. lol.
Garden and plants
If there’s some water left after #OperationBottleToiletWater, by all means, water your garden or plants now. 🙂
In the event that we do actually get rain:
- Catch rain water in clean buckets to use for washing.
- Channel your inner Macgyver and try to run the water streaming into the gutters, into your pool.
- We run the water tanks into the pool when it rains, because once the tanks fill up, any excess water that could have gone in there is lost. So run it into the pool and then after a while, let the tanks fill up. (This is assuming you don’t have enough vessels to catch and store water, then the pool may as well benefit.)
Sadly, in the last month, with the water situation being so dire, I have put The Toddler onto disposable nappies for half of the time. It kills my soul as a cloth mom, but we are doing what we can at this stage.
That’s my tips and what we as a household do to try to reduce our water consumption. Please let me know what you think of these ideas, and also if you have some great tips for me, I’d love to hear about it <3