Frequently I refer to myself as a failed earth mother. I have all the green intentions, but sometimes when it comes down to it I am so bloody tired that I just do whatever I can to get through.
Living in the city I cherished indulging in wonderfully long hot showers … sometimes I would use up the entire hot water cylinder … sorry flatmates. Now having no access to drinking or hot water I have to be considerably aware of our water consumption so we don’t run out.
An average day at the bach:
4 Litres Drinking water for myself and the baby
1 Litre Coffee/tea
10 Litres 1 x toilet flush per day
6 Litres Baby bath – I use her water for cleaning myself pioneer style with a cloth and a bucket, then the day’s dirty clothing gets tossed into the bucket to soak with napisan. You may think this is disgusting, but the sun’s rays are so harsh here there is no way that bugs can survive!
4 Litres Washing clothing … second hand-washed cycle
250ml Brushing teeth in a cup
4 Litres 1x load of dishes
3 Litres Collected rain water for the garden from a separate tank
3 Litres Cleaning
So we are using approx 41 Litres each day. This will increase when my fiancé joins us. We anticipate purchasing a solar shower and a paddling pool. Just for fun, let’s double this figure and say we will use approximately 82 litres per day.
It shocked me to find out that the average household easily churns through 485 litres of water per day. As a culture we waste a lot of water. At the moment there are several serious droughts in New Zealand. Many dams in the upper North Island are dangerously low. Aucklanders have to pay for their water, while the rest of us take our running water for granted. It this sustainable?
If I endure this lifestyle for another 10 weeks, my family could potentially save 28,210 litres of water – eek, that is a huge number!!!
It would be unrealistic for me to say stop your baths and your showers now … tell your kids to suck it up and wear all their dirty uniforms for weeks on end and join me in the hippie life – that would be ludicrous! My hope is that next time you turn on the tap you take a moment to consider … is this a necessity or a luxury?