Water, Water Everywhere …..

Taking a day off from bowls!

There was a long article in the Saturday Times regarding the amount of water we use, leading to where we can reduce our water consumption in the homes on ourselves to become more eco and planet friendly.

My Granny used to bath once a week and she and my Mum were fond of ‘flannel’ washes at the sink.  I did not like those!  However, it is suggested we return to this as it only uses about 2 litres of water compared to 20+ litres using the shower – and don’t use the shower for more than 2 minutes!

Baths should be kept for special occasions (birthdays?!).  I’m sure the Body Shop, Lush etc etc will be really pleased about that suggestion.

After 6 weeks of not washing your hair, the natural oils will clean and condition it.  One of my colleagues who is an avid outdoor girl going rock climbing every weekend up in Scotland stopped washing her hair during lockdown.  The photos she shared after 6+ weeks show really glossy, curly locks.  Maybe lockdown was a very good time to start unwashing?  It’s not something I want to try though.

Only wash towels and sheets every fortnight or longer – turn bottom sheet over. Have an extra sheet between the duvet and your body, so you don’t need to wash the duvet cover so often.  I thought I was being slovenly washing bedding and towels every fortnight – polishing my halo a little bit now.

Wash no more than 20 items of clothing a month.  What?  The Eco expert obviously never plays any sport.  I would beg people to wash clothes they’ve sweated in after every use!  My halo is falling down now.  The suggestion is to sponge them down or air them.

Don’t rinse food off plates etc before putting in the dishwasher.  Hmm.  Who wants to scrape dirty scraps out of the filter?  Probably better to use the sink and forget the dishwasher altogether.  At least that gets round someone having to empty it!  (It’s one job I won’t miss when I leave my job at the end of the month!)

Wipe round pans you’ve used for boiling an egg or pasta.  It doesn’t need a full wash.

Use a mop and bucket to wash your floors, then recycle the water in the garden (not the bathtub!)

And, finally, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow.  If it’s brown, flush it down.”  Oh I remember my uncle, Elwyn Duncan, quoting that one.  Apparently we could be using up to 13 litres of drinkable water every time we flush the loo.  Dual flush loos use much less – around 4-6 litres.

The writer didn’t mention water butts.  That’s a good way of recycling rain water.

Looking through all of those suggestions, maybe our grandparents and parents were being really eco-friendly, but not realising it.  We all welcomed washing machines, power showers, hoovers, bath gels, cleaning wipes etc. – especially us girls, so we didn’t have to spend 60-70% of the week doing housework in some form or other.  The innovations also gave us more opportunities to go out and work and become more independent.

I have moved to using ‘bamboo’ cloths instead of cotton wool pads for removing make up at night.  The cloths still need to be washed thoroughly after use.  How does that balance between the plastic in cotton wool pads and the amount of water and soap to clean the cloth?

Have we gone too far now?  What do you remember from your youth regarding water and what are you doing now that helps save the planet?  Any suggestions are good.  You might be doing something that we haven’t thought of but could be really useful.


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