I am an extreme worrier. I worry about the fate of stray animals; construction vehicles parked next to rivers for long periods of time; the evidence of an area’s decay; where moles and hedgehogs live because there is so much ground cement these days; and what is going to happen to us all when we run out of water? With age, I’ve realised that worrying about things doesn’t actually make the issues better. So I have started to occasionally do something other than simply shed the tears. Occasionally, I stop and let the stray animal into my car and drive it to a place of safety. Occasionally I strongly voice my opinion to colleagues who have plans to ‘gas out’ the moles who decorate their garden. With regards to the water shortage, however, I’ve really upped my game. I decided that it was time for me to rid myself of a practice that had been deeply ingrained in me, a practice of ‘one wear, one wash’. I could never possibly tell my mother that I was rebelling against her extreme cleanliness, but I’ll tell cyberspace and then run with it should she find out.
I have started wearing clothes more than once, before putting them into the quick wash cycle. Socks, bras, pants, skirts, stockings, jackets and jerseys, they are all pretty much re-wearable provided your place of work is not a sweat lodge. Which mine isn’t, so score! So in order to change the world, I’ve changed myself. And no-one has really commented about me wearing the same clothes over and over. And why should they? I smell and look fine, and my rotation system is pretty sneaky.
Here are the other ways that I am trying to preserve this precious element of ours:
1) I use the water from the cat’s water bowls, to water my plants (the water from my hot water bottle shares the same fate).
2) I shower as quickly as possible. I also brush my teeth in the shower so as to avoid the water wastage that occurs when one waits for the basin tap water to warm up before rinsing the old ‘pearlys’.
3) I use a pot of water to boil eggs for breakfast, and that same water steams veggies at night.
4) I don’t always need to flush the toilet, not every time.
5) When I run a bath for my husband (who loves to wallow in a filled-to-the-brim-bath), I run them as low as I possibly can without him noticing. If, however, I fill the bath too low, then he cottons onto the fact that it’s low and fills it right up. It’s a psychological trick of the mind for me to get this point right but so far, I’m reigning champ.
I know there are loads more ways to preserve our water; I’ve only scratched on the surface. The point is that we all need to start thinking of the small habits we can change to make a big difference in the long run. What will you do today, to make sure that water is available tomorrow?