Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What's your water footprint?

Water footprintMy kids have been intent on standing at the bathroom sink lately and letting the water run, and run, and run. They think it's water-works time. Hand washing turns into washing whatever toys happen to be in there with them (usually Legos) and I find myself yelling all day long "Turn off the water! You're wasting water!"

Then I still need to physically go in there and wake them from their water-stupor. Usually when they hear me coming the water goes off. Since I can't tell half the time if they are actually washing their hands or screwing around in there, it gets a little difficult.

So, I've been expecting my water bill to be higher than usual. It wasn't. It was actually 26 gallons per day less than this time last year. This is even more astounding since it's been hotter this year and, truth be told, the Slip 'N Slide was put into miserly use a few weeks back.

When I read recently that the average American uses about 100 gallons of water a day I figured we'd be right up there. For comparison, the French and Germans use about 60 gallons a day and people in some tribal villages use less than 10.

So, how did we compare? We use about 45 gallons a day per person, which still seems high to me. What am I doing different than last year? Well, the kids are getting bathed a whole lot less and we aren't flushing the toilets as often. I am wearing some clothes a few times before washing them. I never water the lawn, but that's nothing new. We do a lot of laundry, but we have one of those front-loader water saving kinds, but that's not new either. So, I have to chalk it up to less bathing and flushing.

What's your water footprint? How does it compare to the average? What do you do or what suggestions do you have for reducing your water usage?

Finally, does anyone know of some contraption I could put on the kid's bathroom sink to, at the very least, limit the flow?

58 comments:

Rapunzel said...

I used to work for the water department where I learned that the average person consumes 3,000 gallons per month. In my house we average between 7 - 9 thousand gallons per month, depending upon the season, for a family of 4 - 6. (Beren's 2 children are here every other weekend). Not bad.

LimeSarah said...

You can get low-flow faucet heads just like low-flow showerheads -- ask at the hardware store or the internet :-)

I don't get a water bill, so this was measured very approximately...I can get it down to 10 gallons a day if I really try, but I'm content with my current usage of 30 or so, since the Northeast is a pretty water-rich region. My main problem is that we have an old toilet which uses 5 gallons per flush. We can limit that somewhat with a bottle in the tank, but it's still really wasteful. And it leaks. But since I can neither measure how much it leaks nor fix it (we've tried, and we rent so we can't replace it either), I generally ignore that for computing my water use.

allisone said...

As for keeping kiddos occupied...
How about a watering can that they can pour out over another container (and then pour back into the watering can). It might let them play in the water without wasting a bunch.

Kelsie said...

You could get the kids a kiddie pool, hold off on watering the garden for a day or so, and then siphon the "used" water from the pool into the garden! Just a thought...

As for my water usage, I calculated that for the month of June, my boyfriend and I used a total of 4,000 gallons, which seems REALLY high to me. It breaks down to 133 gallons a day, which is roughly 66 gallons per person--still below the national average, but...still. The thing of it is, I use much less water than him--he takes daily, 10 minute showers. I take a weekly 4 minute shower (and my hair is actually nicer for it!) and a daily sponge bath out of a basin (with a brief foot washing under the running tub tap). I also follow "if it's mellow, let it yellow," but he claims his pee stinks too badly to do that...

At any rate, we've had an impressive drop in our water consumption since I started saving rainwater, reduced my showering to once a week, and began pouring "spent" cooking water and such on the garden instead of down the drain. I have a feeling our winter usage will be extremely low, as a big part of our summer usage most likely goes to keeping the veggies happy.

Grad Green said...

My kids love to wash their toys too. I try to control it by filling the sink with water and then turning the water off.

I agree with allisone -- some sort of watering can or measuring cups might keep them busy too. My kids (especially the 2 yo) mostly want to pour stuff from one container to another. After they play, it's also a good time to wash down the bathroom counter (ha!)

Robj98168 said...

I'm melting! Melting! LOL! BUt after reading chile's posts about the heat in the desert, I don't think I will complain about our 80 degree weather- And I have been able to keep the house at around 75 using my ceiling fan and strategically opening doors and windows.
As a plumber the only tool I know of to keep kids from playing in the water in the bathroom you already are using- other than that make sure you have low flow areators on your sinks, you can get them as low as 1.5 GPM. And be thankful your kids haven't hit puberty- and the need for more time in the bathroom!

Nadine said...

I try to be responsible with my water usage. One thing I still need to tackle is that I let the water run when I brush my teeth just until it warms up. I have extremely sensitive teeth and cold water cause excruciating pain. Maybe I just need to leave a bottle of room temperature water in the bathroom?

What really chaps me is seeing my neighbors wash their driveways. Why?!

Joe said...

Reach under the sink, and adjust the knobs that control flow to the faucet. The kids will probably turn the handles to the regular spot, but less water will be coming through.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Joe - I just adjusted the knobs on their sink! There will be no full-blast hand washing in there again!

Thanks!!!!!!

Theresa said...

We have water delivered by truck to our cistern. It holds 3300 gallons and that takes the two of us two months to use. That turns out to be 27.5 gallons each per day, which isn't too bad. I save my shower warm up water in a bucket to flush with, and I do the yellow/mellow thing as well. I turn the tap off when brushing teeth or when lathering up my hands. Low flow showerheads/faucets everywhere. Mostly navy showers, every second day. Front loading washing machine. But I could be doing more. I do still run the tap water to get it warmish to wash my face, and I use more water to rinse veggies and wash dishes than I probably have to. It's a work in progress....

Chile said...

We were doing really well on cutting back our water until summer hit. The evaporative cooler uses water. The garden sucks up water, partly because the soil is so lousy in this yard. And, unfortunately, since it's a rental house, I can't just let all the non-edible landscape plants die. I cringe when I get the water bill even though we're really conservative with our use.

Chile said...

Oh, I never answered your question either. I'm ashamed to admit we're right at the national average. Still, for desert with 12 mature trees and lots of shrubs in the yard, that's not too bad. I've been doing a little contouring to try to guide rainwater to trees to help, but I'm limited, again, by the constraints of being in a rental property. :(

Susan B said...

We've been working on our water footprint; our high since we moved here two years ago was 3,000 gallons. For our household of two adults - one home all day, our June bill was 1,000 gallons as was May, which works out to about 17 gallons/person-day. I'm not sure why that low because that includes handwatering the garden/containers. We do on average one xlarge topload of laundry, mellow/yellow because the toilet is an old full flush, and run the dishwasher about 5-6 times a week. I think that's about as low as we can/will go, absent desperate need (if we ever had to haul water) or civil ban (but we're pretty water rich here for now).

Oldnovice said...

I don't know how we're doing compared to national averages, but we try and conserve water wherever we can. I'm currently doing what some call "Spring cleaning" ... washing blinds, windows, furniture, carpets, etc. Started with the water I'd saved from waiting for the shower water to heat and then moved on to tap water. The most waste, IMO, is in rinsing the rags used cleaning really dirty stuff.

Theresa: I put water in a bowl and stick it in the microwave for 3minutes to get it hot enough to scrub my carpets. Takes only a minute to get it warm enough to wash my face. Microwaves use almost NOTHING in the footprint department; I never understood why Kim didn't like them.

Greenpa said...

Here's where we are in the Little House: water supplied by an Aermotor windmill, and "walking" not running; for 2 adults, 1 3-year old, dog and cat: average 12-15 gallons a day. No flushing at all, of course.

Then; something we don't talk about much; we have a small greenhouse business- around 1,000 sq feet operating at the moment; water supplied by solar well pump. The watering system is what is called "ebb-flow"; ie. the tables flood, then excess water runs back into tanks under the tables- no waste. A few plants in big pots are watered the old fashioned way, and excess water is lost. Daily water use may be as high as 200 gallons, but more commonly it runs around 100 gallons. That's a number so low most greenhouse operators refuse to believe it.

Those numbers are not realistic goals for anyone living in a "normal" house. And the greenhouse was built from the ground up with energy and water conservation as a top factor. But those freaky numbers should be reassuring for anyone seriously worried about "The Apocalypse" looming in our nightmares. You can live just fine on much much less than most think possible.

Sarah said...

My kids also love to play in the water. It has helped that I have one rain barrel exclusively for their play. It doesn't stop the indoor play but our outdoor spigot doesn't go on anymore.

RC said...

As a plumber I was going to say something, but Joe and Rob covered it.
Also make sure all your taps have super aerators. You can quickly tell by placing a gallon jug under the tap and seeing how long it takes to fill the jug {use one of those plastic milk cartons}. If it seems like it takes forever {a minute} to fill the gallon, you are already set.
BTW, in the suburbs in the states in the north, most water use is for the plants. That's why consumption there goes way down in the winter.
On my farm in the brutal tropical summer heat I water 35,000 tightly packed plants for less than $30 dollars a month. They just get enough to have a sip each. They can wait for some rain to luxuriate. I inform clients that the dear things are pretortured.

Chile said...

RC, don't forgot to mention that if you have those aerators and live in an area with gritty water, it's a good idea to unscrew them occasionally and rinse the rocks out. Hard water also tends to clog them up, reducing flow (a good thing maybe?) but can be cleaned with vinegar.

Correne said...

I had to do some fancy math to convert my monthly water bill (in cubic metres) into gallons per person per day. It's good for me, I guess!

I started the water conservation effort last year when I realized that we were using as much as 27 cubic metres of water per month (60 gallons per person per day!!!). Our water meter is in the basement, so I would check the meter, then flush the toilet, then check it again. Then I would run a load of laundry and check it again, run the dishwasher and check it again. It was an obsession for about a week.

Over the past year, we have cut our water use down to about 37 gallons per person per day. Of course, that doesn't count the water we use when we're out. We fixed a leaky toilet, we do the yellow/mellow thing, I collect the shower warm-up water in a bucket to flush with, and I only do laundry when it's really dirty and it's a really full load. I have never bathed my kids very often because I hate fighting with the kids in the evening.

The only other area that I think is a huge water-waster is simply the kitchen sink - rinsing dishes, washing vegetables, running water for cooking, washing my hands, cleaning the sink, etc. I really don't know how to improve that, either.

I am thinking about changing the faucets and installing a foot-pedal. This way, it would be much easier to turn the water on and off while working in the sink. I have heard they can reduce water use substantially.

Kristi said...

According to Riot for Austerity, the average American uses 100 gallons of water per person, per day. We use half that, including watering the garden. I don't own a front-loading washer, can't stand low-flow shower heads (but take short showers), and dh takes occasional baths. However, I use drip irrigation in the veggie garden and orchard, don't water the lawn at all, use drought-tolerant plants where it's hard to stretch the hose, and use aerators at all the sinks.

We recently started having trouble with our water heater leaking out of the pressure relief valve. Turns out the water pressure to our house was over 150psi! We got a pressure reducing valve installed, and now not only does the water tank not leak, but the water comes out of the faucets slower (and quieter).

It's hard justifying using less when your neighbors water their lawn (we live on acre lots) every day, even though they're only supposed to do it every third day.

The one week a year we use much less water is the week we go camping, and have to lug the water 100yds from the hand-pumped well. Then we're down to about 15 gallons a day. Bathing is done in the lake (watch out for the leeches!). So the water is mostly for cooking and cleaning, and washing grubby little faces.

Jen S. said...

It looks like I'm at about 91 gallons per day, which I'd like to decrease but I'm OK with it. I'm a single person living on 1/4 acre of land, so that water goes to watering the vegetable garden (I don't water my lawn, either), cooking and cleaning uses, etc, which would be not much more if more people lived here. If I suddenly had a roommate, as long as he or she used water at the rate I do, we'd average even less than the 91 gallons per day.

It's nice to know where I stand. I think I've been overwatering the garden so I'm going to be more careful about that, and also about letting the hose drip, etc. I can't imagine what I can do differently on the inside of the house. I already wear things more than once before washing (as long as they aren't stinky or stained), and I don't take particularly long showers, etc.

Anyway, thanks for the info!

Chile said...

You know, as I read these, I think my sweetie may be right in thinking we have a leak somewhere in our drip irrigation system. I haven't noticed any wet spots, though. Since the main system is buried about 6" deep, it's impossible to check without having some kind of surface clue. But our water use really seems excessive considering how careful we are.

Texan Mama said...

Hey Crunchy, I guess I'd consider you to be a very eco-friendly, eco-conscious person, so I have to admit that it's refreshing to hear that even you have trouble with your kids understanding the whole conservation thing.

I found myself SCREAMING at my daughter the other day (insert guilty look) for standing at the fridge and, because she had nothing else to do, open one inch, close, open one inch, close, open, close, open, close.... STOP IT NOW!!! YOU ARE WASTING ENERGY!!! (tears) (apology)

Now I really can feel it that all us moms are the same, trying to get our kids to learn, but I guess they'll learn at their own pace, no matter how great of teachers we are.

Deann said...

The condo complex I live in gets the water bill, and then each of us pay for it as part of a set association fee, so I don't know the exact usage. I have though been very concerned about water, especially living in Arizona. Its amazing to see all the golf courses and outside foundations in this desert environment! Over the past year, I have been making an effort to be more aware of how much water I use, and how its used. Think I have a leak in the pipe that feeds my shower- and can't afford to have the entire wall ripped apart to find out FOR SURE, so I've switched to taking shallow baths. Actually measured using an old gallon ice cream bucket how much water I usually put in the tub =6 gallons! This is for face, hair and body. If I've not been especially dirty, it will also cleanse the cat (she gets into the strangest things!) Toilet is a new low-flow, all faucets have aerators. Water use per day 46 gals (this includes washroom use at work, which is an older building that has the old 5 gals per flush toilets.) Per week (2 loads laundry per week, dishwasher once per week - single folks can get away with this!!)367 gals =1,468 month. Hmm. I thought I was doing so good... If I add in 1/90 share of the water that is in the condo swimming pool and hot tub, plus all the irrigation for plants, I'm a water hog!

Deann said...

Correction, water fountains, not foundations. Also, for you plumbers out there, do they make aerators for the larger tub faucets?

abbie said...

We have a well, and I don't think there's any way for me to know how much water we use in gallons. Does anybody know? We're having the well pump replaced this week (it's a lemon and only 6 months old, keeps shutting down!) so I'll ask the guys that come about it.
As a science teacher, I have nine sinks in my classroom: one at my desk, two against a wall, and one at each of the six student tables; not to mention two in our greenhouse and one in my prep room. I am CONSTANTLY hearing kids turn on the water. They walk by and for some reason feel the need to turn on the water and watch it run. It is so bizarre, and I've started to yell at them: "I'm an environmental science teacher, stop wasting water!" It's a good thing it's summer, cause I couldn't take that anymore.
It would be great if we could measure how much water we use as a class and turn it into some kind of water saving challenge next year. Any ideas of how we could do that????

Robj98168 said...

Well you blogged about watr usage and guess what? My water bill was in the mail box! Next time think you could blog about me winning the mega millions lotto? Anyway figuring out my usage and such and multiplying by 2 we are well below the national average- 36.2 gallons per person per day!!! From 4/20 through 6/20- Yippee!

Midnightsky Fibers said...

I use maybe 50 gallons a day. That includes for my business. Sadly, no real ability to use greywater on the lawn or garden here as I am in an apartment. Considering the amount of rinsing dyed yarn takes though, I consider that quite good! About 1/3 of it is hot water.

Are these stats *per person* or per household?

I have a special incentive to save water now that I am actually being charged for it :). Like with power, it is cool to see "how low can you go?"

Anonymous said...

We average 35-40 gallons per person per day. I guess that's not too bad considering old toilets and a pregnant lady in the house. We're almost ready to install a dual flush toilet which I'm really excited about! For our bathroom sink faucet I got a little screw-on aerator that limits the flow to .5 GPM and our shower head is limited to 1.5 GPM.

Allie said...

100 gallons a day? Seriously? I thought we used a LOT of water in our house, but we use just about 34 gallons a day for 2 people (1000/month total). The most we've ever used in the year and a half we've lived here was ~68 gallons a day for 2 people (2000 that month, for both of us). I don't feel so bad, now!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Here's the conversation from this morning...

Henry (right after I "fixed" the faucet): Mooooom! Come here! The water isn't coming out much anymore.

Me: That's 'cause I fixed it to come out slower.

Henry: Oh, okay.

And, that was it. We'll see how much complaining there ends up being, but I figure he'll forget soon enough about the 50 gallons a minute flow he was doing before.

Texan Mama - yeah, the kids just don't seem to have it under control yet. No matter how many times I tell them, they forget in 5 minutes.

Rob - that's because I peeked in your mailbox right before I posted this.

Midnight Sky Fibers - the figure is per person.

Kelsie said...

In light of all of these comments, my 66 gallons per person suddenly seems HORRIBLE, and a failure.

*shamed*

*runs off to look at low-flow faucets and shower heads*

TheNormalMiddle said...

Our family uses about 10,000 gallons a month, according to our water bill. This of course doesn't include water we use outside of our house, or water used to produce products we buy, etc.

However, for a family of 5 and a dog, I think 10K gallons a month is not that bad. I'd like to reduce it, but I'm not sure how. We already use rainbarrels to water flowers/garden (when we get rain, ugh!). My kids share baths/showers (shh! don't tell, they're all still under 8 years old). My hubby and I share showers occasionally, and I try not to shower EVERY day, but in the sticky summer it is more than I'd like.

I try to wash only one load a day, but that is a stretch.

We have low flow toilets, etc in place so that is good, but....

TheCrone said...

Have you thought about installing rainwater tanks to water your garden? That way you don't use any mains water for outside at all. Another way is to set up your washing machine so that all the water discharged goes out to water your garden.

You might get a plumber to come to your home and divert your shower water to a tank to use in washing your clothes

Think about using water more than one time: showers-washing machine-garden, are there any more ways to re use water?

Put a timer on your shower system. Buzzer goes off, so does the water.

Go google the Tao eco village to see how they are dealing with being off the mains in a desert 'suburb'.

Anonymous said...

We use 16.1 gallons per person per day. Anything more than that is wasteful.

Isle Dance said...

Teach the kids to catch and redistribute the greywater. They'll have fun watching the process of oops-it's-filling-up and reuse.

Aunt_Evie said...

A lot of wasted water is actually just from it leaking. Do a little test and make sure everything that consumes water is turned off, then go out to your water meter and make sure it isn't moving, if it is something is leaking.
Also, I don't know there they have them over there but here we have a little gadget thing that you can put on your hot water pipes under the sinks so you have hot5 water straight away, there is so much water lost from people just waiting for the water to warm up also.
Also, as someone else said you can recycle certain water, of a summer I bought a simple $10 hose that connects to my washing machine and it diverts all the water to my garden. You do however have to use special detergent if you want to do this otherwise you will kill everything, and your council will have a crap if they find out :)

Robj98168 said...

Crunchy- just puff yourself up and tell them NO!

kat said...

Just wondering Crunchy, with the water useage numbers that you posted, is that just home water useage, or does that also include water used to produce the food that people eat, etc..?

Here in Australia many petrol service stations lock their public toilet doors so that it's only people who buy something who are allowed to use the toilet. I'm envisioning a locked bathroom door with Mamma Crunchy as key holder.. Something like this; "..you want to use the toilet? well, you gotta exchange it for some goods or services first!". .. ok, maybe that wouldn't go down so well.. But just think of all the chores you could get done with that added incentive! ;)

Glad you could find an easy solution for the handbasin, that's great stuff.

Robin said...

I don't think I saw this suggested- we have an automatic (low-flow) faucet in our bathroom. You can set the timer to shut the water off after a preferred interval- esp. nice when brushing teeth. Of course, you can always turn the water back on by waving your hand to trigger the sensor, but in this case it could serve as a little reminder- once the water shuts off, water time should be over.

Anonymous said...

Oh My, I had to look! We use 10,000 gallons a month. Went I divide that by the 9 people in the house it works out to 37 gals per person per day. Thanks for the scare!

Green Bean said...

I thought I was the only mom yelling at my kids about wasting water all the time. It seems wrong, on one hand, to not let them run in the sprinklers on a hot day or do a slip n slide. I feel like a big ole meanie but we try to limit things to the wading pool, which we can then use to water the grass.

Inside, I have much the same problem as you - usually with the three year old but you can never tell. My issue doesn't occur as regularly, which almost makes it worse because as soon as I forget they like to do that, they're at it again. I'll have to try the knob under the sink trick.

fmll said...

We're currently experience a very long term drought here in Australia and where I live we're on level 6 water restrictions. That means the household usage limit per day is 37 gallons (just over 1100 gallons per month).

ceridwen said...

Lots of water where I am - Britain -(the rainwater). so I've got a waterbutt now - so thats my water for the garden sorted and I dont have to use metered water anymore for that. Thinking of carrying some upstairs and experimenting with using that for flushing the loo.

What I would be interested in is could it be used for human consumption (ie drinking) - with it having come through upvc guttering and pipe into that waterbutt? If so, what way would I prepare it (ie sterilise it) for that purpose please?

maryann said...

I wish I knew how many gallons we use but we're on a well and there is no meter to track it. We switched the shower heads to 1.5 gpm, and the faucet airators to the same (bath and kitchen). The shower heads have the button to shut the water off so we've going navy shower style. We also don't flush everytime. My biggest waste is probably in the kitchen but I try to reuse the water from wasing veggies for plants. I need to figure a way to reuse the pasta water. All the appliances are newer and energy star and water efficient. I think overall we've reduced the usage, the well pump doesn't run as much and I'm hoping less water for showers means less oil for hot water.

Jason C said...

One other thing that you can do - and others eluded to it - is remove the j-trap from the bathroom sink and put a 5gal bucket in there. If you have an aerator and/or limit the water flow, then the bucket won't fill overflow when getting the kids ready for bed. After everyone has brushed their teeth and done their duty in the potty, dump the water in the toilet bowl and it will flush.

Or you could buy a toilet tank sink. I want one of those :-)

Bugs and Brooms said...

I have the same problem with my daughter! She wants to 'wash' all the time and that includes her toys! It drives me crazy! But we are doing much better than any other time - I have no idea what the numbers are right now because we are on well water but... We are limiting baths (only once a week for daughter unless she gets really dirty). I just give her a good wipe down the rest of the time. Same for me. Hubby, on the other hand, loves his shower but has cut back on the amount of time in there. And we only flush for #2. DD and I wear clothes several times before washing. I wash most dishes by hand and run the dishwasher and washing machine only when completely full (except for the cloth wipes - those have their own cycle with hot water - everything else is washed in cold).

I do not that many people in this country still do not have running and are very conservative with the water they have. Having conveniences definitely makes it easier to be wasteful - I think it should work the other way....

WILDBLUESbysus said...

No measuring our water usage here. We have our own well but we started conserving. Less water to bathe in and shorter showers. Save water from both bath and shower in buckets to use for flushing the toilet. Flush let often. The yellow mellows here. Well, the boy yellow mellows. The girl yellow goes into Apottopeein and then out to the garden. (My response to your Golden Showers Garden Party :) We have a started a system for collecting rain water, saving it, and using it to water the garden as needed.

Cheap Like Me said...

Last year, we averaged 56 gallons per person per day. This year, we're at 46, but we haven't had our highest-of-the-year bill yet (I don't think). We are in Denver, Colo., in a house where we need some landscaping to preserve property values -- neighbors run sprinklers every day, we follow water restrictions and do 2-3 times a week, plus the garden. That's where most of our water goes (we are around 30-35 gallons per person per day in the winter/spring).

I like the idea of rainbarrels, and thought of putting some in this year, but we had a total 0.73 inches of precipitation in June, which would have produced a whopping 450 gallons or so if we caught the rain from our whole roof. Better than nothing, but not yet justifying the expense of installing the barrels. If I can get a freebie, I'm in!

Melissa said...

As of our May bill, we were down to 45 gallons per person per day. I think I probably use less than that and my husband more, but who knows. We'll be getting another bill end of this month, so hopefully the average will have gone down more by then!

Sharlene said...

We aren't on a meter here. Our water bill is a flat rate. We don't water because we have no lawn. I put a bucket in the shower to water houseplants with the water from us bathing. My kids bathe together (well they are twins and only 21 months old) and they only bathe every other day unless disaster strikes. We have low flow shower heads. I don't flush the toilet very often unless its a number 2 or started to get full of toilet paper or we have company (I try to spare them shots of my waste), we have low flow toilets, okay I can't think of anything else. We do use the washing machine alot since my son is constantly peeing through his clothes and I used a dishwasher because I am lazy. Once I get out of this rental and into something long term with a decent yard I plan on restarting my crops and that will take water but I feel since it will be turning into food its not a bad thing. Lawns in this 90 plus degree heat are such a waste. We used to have one back when we owned a house but not that I think about it, I am not so sure I would want one again. I am sure my husband would put up a fight but I think an expanse of green that needs to be constantly soaked in order to survive the summers is just a waste when our reservoirs are so low right now and our population is continuing to climb at a rapid rate in California.

Monster Librarian said...

Your story reminded me of how our parents used to yell (after we'd already walked out of a room), "march back in there and turn the light off if no one is sitting in there!"

Jennlala said...

We have been living in a camper while we build a house for the last 9 months. Our water tank holds 40 gallons and we fill it about 3 times a week. That's 120 gallons for 2 people. I guess that is less than 10 gallons a day per person. And half of that is for coffee (Ha,ha. We will be in the camper probably for another 8 months. But I have definitely learned how to conserve water. We will finally have electricity next week and then we will hook directly to the well. WoooooHoooo! I am gonna us all of the water in the 6 gallon hot water heater!!! Can't Wait! But we really have modified our habits. Like turn off water when brush teeth etc. And I do laundry,2 loads a week, at my daughters but she has a front loading washer and conserves water too.

Le cinq blog said...

Hi there !
Incidentally , I wrote about the water footprint on my july 11th entry on my ECOLOGY BLOG .
I did have a different facet to the waterfootprint discussion on there.But, I am sure, we are all eventually talking about water conservation.
Happenned to come across your blog from the BLOGS OF NOTE section.It was nice to read a fellow blogger who is passionate about issues that matter too me too.

Jason C said...

I wrote earlier about removing the J-trap and placing a 5gal bucket in the vanity.

I want to note that you have to disconnect the j-trap and reconnect it to the sewer-side and fill it with water to prevent sewer gas from filling your bathroom.

-Jason
http://www.screamtobegreen.com

curiousalexa said...

an alternative to navy showers - showering by the cupfull. Fill dishpan with water. (I use the hot faucet only - by the time the hot water gets there, the pan is full enough and perfect temp!) Place dishpan on stool next to shower. Use cup to dump water over body. Otherwise shampoo and wash as usual, using cup to rinse.

Sometimes I'll sit on stool with feet in pan of warm water - ahh, luxury! In winter, start at top and wrap in towel as you work your way down to stay warm. In summer, breeze from window or fan helps cool you down!

mochaboudica said...

I challenge my 12 yo to take 5 minute showers. I try not to shower unless I have to go somewhere that day. I am trying not to flush so much at home - that's a toughie. I am also encouraging the kids to wear clothing 2x. My hubby already does. I was wondering - is it acceptable to weqr clothing more than once to work? I work in a clothing store mostly doing things like stocking shelves and marking down merchandise. What about showering everyday? Is it ok if I dont get sweaty?

nymphatacita said...

I'm really not sure how much water I use. I live in a dry cabin with a great dane and a roommate. I also bike, so there's no carwash or antifreeze gallons to add. We go through about 3-4 gallons a day when everyone's home. I can bathe at the cabin with less than one gallon of water (including two rinses on my long hair), but I prefer to take showers in town when I can. How much water do I use taking a four minute shower? How much water does one load of laundry every ten days use?

I also work in food service, and so I wash my hands constantly at work. Does the 100gpd figure include work gallons? I assumed yes until I read that most commenters were only figuring by their own water bills.

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