Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dirty Hippy

In America, if you suddenly spout out something like, "I worry that I waste too much water", most people will look at you like you've grown an extra head.

Too much water? What are you talking about? This is the United States, not the Sahara! We'll import more if we need it.

Oh, the follies of my youth.

Regardless of the condescending or totally confused looks I get, I do worry about this stuff. I'm not Super Green Woman (dun du-na na!) but I try not to be completely wasteful and occasionally try to find more ways to cut down. Lately, it's water.

Have you checked your dishwasher lately? Apparently, at some point I set mine to pots and pans to wash something particularly funky and forgot to turn it back. This was probably a few months ago now. That made me cringe a bit. However, I felt even more stupid because I constantly forget that I have a light wash option RIGHT NEXT TO my normal wash option. Guess which one I automatically set it to.

In these old apartments, nothing's been replaced or upgraded for years, so I decided to look up my dishwasher. This took forever because there's no manual online! Even with Whirlpool. Sure, they give you a link, but does it work? No. So after a bit of searching, I found that most old dishwashers use about 12 gallons of water load, more for pots and pans settings I'm sure. I never use the drying option, so that's something at least. I just need to start paying more attention.

I've gotten used to rationing my water for the simple fact that I have to use a filter. I decided to go the cheap route of using a pitcher with a refillable filter, but the downside is that I can only have so much at one time. If I want to cook pasta, for example, I have to wait until I filtered enough. If it's clean, it's not wasted. After that, I don't use my tap (in the kitchen) for much more than rinsing vegetables or dishes. That's good at least.

If you've read articles on water waste, you'll find other kitchen tips like using the water you've boiled vegetables or pasta in to water plants, or not running a dishwasher unless it's full. There's plenty of articles that even dive into the dishwasher vs. handwashing debate (dishwashing is the winner, thank Bob). In case you were interested (I know you're not), I've also been experimenting with army showers and trying to find a brick to put in my toilet tank.

So what are you doing to cut down?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I tried leaving some plant watering cans in the bathtub hoping it would catch a lot of extra water from my showers. It worked but it just bugged me when it got soap in it sometimes.