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As you are probably aware, we are in the middle of a drought in California. Farmers won't be given any water this year, which is crazy considering that we produce about a third of the country's produce. Things are getting a little scary, and I've been trying to find creative ways to cut the amount of water that I use, especially considering that the prices of food and water are going to rise. Even though my apartment complex doesn't require me to pay for water, it's still important that I don't waste any! Thanks to advice collected from friends and family I have some great, easy ideas to share, and I plan on using these ideas in the future to save money.
Have a Shower-Bath
What is a shower-bath, you might ask? It's probably one of the best ways to save water this year and still take all the time you need in the shower to get your hygiene/shaving needs taken care of. I was feeling discouraged about cutting my showers shorter and still fitting in a normal routine. Thomas told me that he normally takes a two minute shower, but this is almost impossible for girls who have greater hygiene expectations. My friend, Hayley, gave me the following brilliant idea.
When you're in the shower, stop the drain so all of the water collects in the tub. When you're done rinsing your body and shampooing your hair, turn off the water. Use the warm water collected in the tub to shave, file calluses, moisturize, anything you need to do. The best part is that you can take your time because water isn't being wasted. When you're ready, briefly turn the shower back on again to rinse out the shampoo in your hair, let out the drain, and you're done!
1. Make sure the shower water is hot enough to stay warm when it collects in the tub, if it's too cold then your shower-bath won't be very relaxing and cozy. It's hard to shave with goosebumps.
2. To get even more use out of your water, while you're waiting for the shower water to warm up put a container under the cold water to collect it for your garden. My friend Maggie told me about this idea and I think it's great.
Watch the Faucet Like a Hawk
This tip is simple. Do you need to leave the faucet running while you're brushing your teeth? Nope. Turn off the water, even if it's just for a second. You'll save gallons of water over time.
Wait to do Laundry
Collect as many clothes as you can before you run a load of laundry, and wash certain things together. For example, I try to wash my jeans with my socks, towels, and sturdier clothing. Then I wash all of my delicates with as many sweaters, cotton tops, and light clothes that I can find. Then I do a whites wash. That's 3 different wash cycles, so I try to save up as many clothes as I can before I put them in.
1. Ask yourself "can I wear this one or two more times before I wash it?"
2. Buy jeans or pants that don't quickly stretch out, so you can wear them more times before washing them.
3. Have enough underwear and socks to get you through 2-3 weeks.
Beware of Packaging
I learned in my Environmental Science class that it takes about 3 liters of water to create a 1 liter plastic water bottle. These numbers might not be exact, but it is clear that a lot of water gets wasted with packaging that we throw away daily. Boycott unnecessary packaging to save water. I use my own reusable water bottle, and I pack my own lunches in reusable containers.
I hope these tips are helpful and that they'll save you lots of money (and water!). Comment below and tell me what your favorite ways to save water are!