Port Elizabeth is going through a very real drought situation at the moment. So I find myself absolutely gobsmacked when I ask people what they’re doing to save water…..and they look at me as if 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? #DayZero anybody? This makes me wonder, is everybody thinking: well somebody is recycling water, 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!! We all need to be recycling water in some way, shape or form!
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.
Catch the clean cold water from the shower as the water heats up.
You could also 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 used to be in cloth diapers, so we had to find a way to really decrease our water consumption when it came to the laundry.
Cloth diapers need to be rinsed before washing, so I’d usually use the kids bath waterto rinse the nappies. (Thereafter it will be washed with clean water and rinsed with clean water, as per our normal laundry)
We redirect the washing machine outlet 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.
Try to plan your washes, least soiled to most soiled, so the ‘cleaner’ wash water is available for load 2. VS Washing denims and sneakers first and then that water would not be useable again. (Make sense?)
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:
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 if the grey water offends you 😉
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.)
Guys and gals, water recycling is not for sissies! It can me time consuming (the laundry is the worst), but we’re in crisis mode! I would implore you all to do what you can, save, recycle…any and everything! These are just my simple 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 good water recycling tips for me!