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You heard it a million times if not more often: water is life and we keep wasting it. Perhaps you’ve already moved to your new home sweet home on a farm beside that fresh water creek. Perhaps you don’t think you’ll ever be able to find a place like that. Perhaps you live in an apartment in a polluted district. Doesn’t matter, you know? You can save drinking water and that you can do without a real effort.
You can easily measure your water consumption since the base of your bills is a meter that gauges your consumption monthly or bimonthly or so. You’ll soon see that just by a simple move you’ll be able to reduce your water consumption to an absolute minimum and you won’t waste drinking water, not even a drop.
The beauty about it is that you can do it wherever you live. You can do it no matter how much water you normally use and you won’t feel uncomfortable: it’s not that you should restrain your means of hygiene, right? So here we go.
Do you have a bucket at home? A washtub or any suitable container of the kind? Good, so it won’t cost you a penny to do this. If you happen not to have anything that can hold a good 5-10 liters of grey water (that means used water), go find one in a waste recycling site or ask a friend who has two to give you one. If you can, you should have as many of them as many taps you have. Why?
Because you’re going to put one under each sink and simply twist off the sink trap. Don’t worry about the odor, I’ve been experimenting with this for a long time by now and there’s nothing noticeable except when the grey water itself stinks. 🙂
With this type of sink trap, you’re lucky. You’ll just need to twist off the bottom and let the water go down the drain into your newly installed bucket/container.
With this one, however, it might be a bit more strenuous. These old type sink traps require a bit of handyman skills because they are usually attached and isolated with plumber’s putty or other material that can be tricky to get rid of. Don’t let this discourage you. You’ll find plenty of info online how to get it off.
The other thing you’ll want to do is collect your showering water. If you want to live off I’m sure you’ve already given up the luxury of a bath (you’d rather go to a thermal bath on occasion, anyway), so just get a baby bath or any other container that can hold about 10-15 liters of grey water and that you can stand into. If you have something like a baby bath, you’ll hardly notice the difference. But you’ll see how much water you use up, so you won’t waste a drop. It is most likely that you’ll finish showering sooner and sooner. At least that’s what I’ve noticed since I’m taking a shower like that. You just stand into the baby bath and let the water flow (or drip) and have a regular shower within the time (and consumption) limits of the bath.
If you haven’t found anything you can stand into, don’t worry. Again a clean bucket or a bigger bowl will suffice. You won’t take a shower but an old fashioned bath. You fill it up with clean water, add soap if you want and wash yourself with it. After rinsing it into another container or down the loo, fill it up again with clean water and rinse off the soap. Make sure all used water lands in the container.
By the way, it is far more economical in all cases to use a sponge than to pour water (and soap) all over yourself.
Now why on earth would you disassemble your drainage system and have a shower in a baby bath? Especially if you happen to live in someone else’s flat (i.e. you rent)…?
Of course you should know the answer. You want to live off, you don’t want anything to go to waste. And you have been wasting a lot of tap water no matter how hard you tried using it only when really necessary.
Use this water to flush your toilet (that is why a minimum of 5-10 liters is recommended). Use it to water your plants. (If you have no soap in it. If you do, you can still spray a bit of it on your plants’ leaves and all unwanted insects shall disappear from them.) Use the non soapy grey water from the kitchen sink to feed your chicken (if you have some). Just pour it on a plant near where they feed so you re-use both water and food chunks without a loss.
As I said, I’ve been doing this for a while in a regular apartment (one bathroom and one kitchen, two people) and it seems to be just enough for the toilet and plants. We haven’t flushed it with tap water since and there’s no bad smell, no leaks, no problem and most importantly, no drinking water wasted!
Would be interesting to see how much water you used before (as a regular consumer), now (using water sparingly) and how much you use with the help of above method (as someone living off). For me these numbers are as follows:
Regular consumer – 4 m3 per person per month
Using water sparingly – 2,5 m3 per person per month
Living off – 1,5 m3 per person per month
I don’t think the numbers need any explanation or comments. It is just amazing how much water you can save without making any real efforts. Try it yourself and please start TODAY!