Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Water savings

My most favoritest shower headI already previously mentioned how we are saving on electricity since we started low impact week changes back in June and I just got my water bill today. We saved 3,740 gallons of water over the same period last year.

What's different this year? Well, to start, my husband used to take showers at work five days a week (he worked out in the mornings before work) and now is showering at home since he's been home since September. I also had to switch out the water saving shower head to put in a shower accommodation for him. So, our water usage has definitely increased because of that.

Why has our total water usage dropped when it really should have gone up? I think it's because I'm bathing the kids only once a week. Last year, we were bathing them every night. We went down to every other night over the summer when my husband started feeling bad and I dropped it to twice a week while my husband was in the hospital. And, well, now I'm just too damn lazy to bathe them unless they really need it. Which, much to my surprise (which it really shouldn't be), they don't get too dirty.

Anyway, I'm hoping that next year at this time our water usage will be even lower. Mr. Crunchy will be returning to work part-time this month or next, but won't be working out just yet, so he'll still be showering at home. However, this post is kicking my butt into adding a water shut-off switch behind the accommodation thing I added to help him in the shower. I'm off to do it right now. I expect even greater savings after doing that!


Riana Lagarde said...

wow, i just posted about this on my flickr site! same crunchy wavelength across the waters about water.

we got our annual bill too and have reduced it by half but we will be thinking of more ways to reduce even more. it has only been six months for us of trying so i think we can do more. i look forward to seeing everyones ideas.

Jennifer said...

I need to try and do better. Right now I shower once a week or so. My husband showers every 2 or 3 days... he needs to, though, due to BO. :)
I'm sure that is helping, but I KNOW we can do more!

Anonymous said...

We are forced to pay into a shared water usage plan with our homeowners association, plus anything we use in excess of a set criteria. If that makes sense. As Crunchy knows, I have recently started completely freaking out about my waste and consumption so we have implemented new strategies for dishwashing, clothes washing and toilet using. I'm trying to do my part!

Theresa said...

Hooray that Mr. Crunchy is feeling well enough to return to work part time! That is good, good news. :)

Those shower head toggle switches are great! - you can lessen the flow overall or just switch it off entirely as needed.

Chile said...

We really like our toggle switch on the shower head. Unfortunately, water still runs out of the tap; actually it does whether the shower head is on or off. To cope with this, we keep a 5 gallon bucket under the tap while showering. I can't believe how much water this saves!

Glad Mr. Crunchy is doing better.

Cheryl said...

I had to laugh about your kids getting a bath only when they really need it. I used to bathe my kids daily too, but now that just seems crazy. As long as they don't stink or have visible signs of filth, I leave them alone.

That being said, my daughter's entering puberty, so there may be a return to more regular dips in her future!

Anonymous said...

My routine evening hot-soaking-bath has been the MOST difficult habit to break. I'll try many many different things to live a more green life, but it's so hard for me to give up that bath! I'm working on it though. I think that when we build the outdoor shower this summer, the joy of showering near birdies and flowers may make bathtubs seem stale and boring. But until then, I just grit my teeth at night and say things to myself like, "I'm not that dirty, I can use a wet washcloth." and "I won't spiral into an unending depression if I can't soak; I'll be fine!"

salmonpoetry said...

definitely, bathing kids nightly is overrated (unless they have scabies or something, which my daughter did have when she lived in an orphanage in nepal). too much bathing can make their skin dry and itchy (but then again, so can scabies). now back in the u.s. and with scabies all cured, we just wash hands and face nightly and do the bath or shower once a week or so.
unfortunately, while this has had a positive impact on water savings, i'm off of work for a year to write at home, and i find that i use showering for stress reduction as well as cleanliness (i'm a daily runner). without the pressure of getting to work in the morning, i tend to linger in the shower far too long.
to help break this habit, i just got a shower timer from friends in switzerland. the local water companies sometimes have them too. they're a small, water resistant two or three minute hourglass you can turn over when you start the water and watch sift down as you shower.

glad to hear your husband is feeling better.

Janice in GA said...

When we started thinking of ways to save water during this drought in the Southeast USA, the easiest thing we found was to capture the water that previously just went down the drain. Specifically, the water that had been wasted while we were waiting for the warm water to come out of the shower.

We set a bucket down by the tub, and catch the cold water that comes out before the warm water. We then use it to flush the toilets. That's almost the only change that we've made, and our water usage is down by half from this time last year.

Who'd've thought such a little change could make such a difference??

April said...

We had that shower head in our downstairs bath. We had to remove it because it was corroded. We had to hook up the old water softner (do you have opinions on those?). Our water is so hard it starts leaving heavy deposits on the faucets within a week if the softner isn't being used. We've replaced all but one of the faucets in the house since we moved here in September.

We have a well, so I don't know what our water usage is. I'm hopeing to install some sort of rain barrell for the garden.

Unknown said...

I love that I'm not the only one bathing my kids infrequently. I gave the kids a bath tonight - they hadn't had one since Monday. Usually, we bathe my daughter 2-3 times a week and the baby whenever we realize that we don't remember when we've bathed him last. He's getting extra clean this week because my husband is out of town and so i only get a bath if i hop in with them. Hence, extra bathing so mom gets to wash her hairtwice a week. Oh, if onyl the alphamommies at preschool knew...;-)

Anonymous said...

OK, not bathing and is just weird. Our bodies constantly shed skin and produce odors. I'm all for saving water and I do my part....I have a water saver shower head, hand wash dishes, don't water the lawn, catch water in buckets and have a rain barrel. But not bathing is just gross. You can bathe and not waste water. Keeping clean is important to prevent disease and offensive odors. Especially children. Plus bathing is healing. Also, getting really close with your parter....don't you want to be clean for that? Sorry, but not bathing I have a problem with.

Crunchy Chicken said...

anonymous - each person is different, not only with their own personal tolerance but as far as how much "dirt" they accumulate and how much odor they produce. I can't not wash my hair every day or at the most every other day otherwise it's frightening. But, then again, if I had a dry scalp and hair it would be a different story.

But as far as how often people need to bathe in order to keep clean? Well, it depends on the person.

So, before making judgement calls on people who bathe only once or twice a week, I would take into consideration the fact that a couple hundred years ago people fully bathed only a few times a year. And that included the wealthy.

Handwashing and face washing were a daily occurence. Were they more sick because of their infrequent bathing? I doubt it. Did they stink? I guaranteee you they did.

If you are interested in a more general assessment of people's bathing habits, check out the post, Excuse me, do I stink?. If you want a more intense study of the history of personal hygiene I personally recommend, Daily Life in Johnson's London. That will give you at least a little perspective on the thresholds for human cleanliness.

Perhaps reserving your criticism for something slightly more important might be in due order.

Anonymous said...

I think where you live can be a factor as well. In the great state of TX it was so humid where we lived you had to take a shower because of all the sweat. Here in the desert where we currently reside no humidity, no sweat pouring off of you. My DH & I still bathe daily but the kids, not so much..

dabomb said...

My parents immigrated to Canada from Europe after WWII. In Europe back then people did not bathe every day and our family didn't in Canada either. We washed our hands and face at least daily and washed our feet every night in the sink and used a rag to wash our armpits and bottom between baths. My mom thinks North Americans are crazy for showering evey morning...and wonders why people shower in the morning if they are dirty from the previous day. Wouldn't it make more sense to shower at night and sleep in your bed clean?