Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

“Water, water everywhere …

…. And every drop to drink.”

I’ve always been very frustrated that in the west all water in the house is drinking quality.

We wash with drinking water,
we wash our clothes with drinking water,
we clean the car with drinking water,
we water plants with drinking water,
we wash the floor with drinking water, we drink drinking water,
we cook with drinking water
And we flush the toilets with drinking water.

It seems very hard. We have been to many places
…where there is no drinking water available from a tap in a house.
…where water has to be collected from a shared well or tap
…. where water has to be boiled and filtered before it can be used
… where water carries diseases and dirt.

I try very hard to be aware of this with every drop that comes from the tap.

Meanwhile the average water consumption in the west is around 160 litres a day.
58,400 litre a year.
water facts south west

Yet people only drink about three litres a day.

What do we do with the rest of it? All of the above.

In our house it’s 53 litres per person on average.

This year’s water bill summary brought news that we’d reduced our consumption again.

Here’s one key thing we do.

We conserve water for washing.

1. When we shower the hot water system takes a long time to produce water warm enough to wash in.
So now we have a really smart solution.
It’s called a bucket.


When use it to collect the cool water.

And then


It’s another way to flush.

Meanwhile having a shower is something we don’t do all the time. Since I stopped using shampoo it means I wash my hair with water and it needs washing less. So often I don’t need a shower. I just wash.


First we run the cold water again and then use the hot to wash. And then it goes to the same place.

This way a lot of clean water is not allowed to run straight down the drain.

14 comments on ““Water, water everywhere …

  1. roughseasinthemed
    December 1, 2014

    Those are good ideas. We actually have salt water in Gib to flush the toilets, and the rest of the water is desalinated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      December 1, 2014

      I was there once but not aware at the time. What a great idea but again supply is more challenging but people have to be more resourceful.


  2. bymarion
    December 1, 2014

    That’s the way to go!
    Spending a whole summer in a cabin without a bathroom made me realize how much water I could save without even feeling that it affected by well-being. I’m finding it quite easy and natural to get into the habits you describe here now that I have a bathroom again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      December 1, 2014

      That sounds like a fantastic experience. I guess that water is too easy to take for granted. We’ve also stayed a few places wherdcwater was scarce. Particularly on boats.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen
        December 1, 2014

        When I lived in China we went travelling during the dry season and in the more remote areas they had no water to flush toilets. Can’t say it was pleasant but that really was an eye-opener!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lizard100
        December 1, 2014

        Yep. It does help you realise.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Helen
    December 1, 2014

    I generally wash rather than shower now. I started when I first got a water meter about seven years ago – and nobody has complained!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      December 1, 2014

      This is true. Its not that big a deal either. Showers are often a way to wake up not to get clean.


  4. OmniRunner
    December 2, 2014

    I’ve been doing the bucket routine for a few years. My wife isn’t in to it. When she showers first the bucket is empty. When I take my shower the water gets hot fast.

    So I rinse my eye glasses and fill a cup to use for brushing my teeth or shaving.
    I’ve also been trying the no shampoo idea. I think I’m comfortable w/ every other day, unless I run. Then I’m a bit of a mess!
    Cheers – Andy

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      January 5, 2015

      I missed replying to this comment. Sorry. Sounds like you’ve a good system there.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Rambling Woods
    December 3, 2014

    I Was thinking that those people in the west were pretty selfish….. Then I realized that I am one of those people in the west…sigh

    Liked by 1 person

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