How we’re kicking ass at saving water…

So while pouring a bucket of water collected from our shower into our toilet cistern, hubby turns to me and says “I’m really proud of how much we’re thinking about this water thing”… Pat on the back KF’s.

We’ve taken the most recent water restrictions seriously. Lank seriously. Inspired by a post written by blogger Blessed Barrenness, and the post I wrote here when given 10L of water to use a day, I’ve been thinking a LOT more about how ignorant I’ve been to the ease of clean water however and whenever I want it, and how my thinking about all this needs to change, permanently. Ask my 4 year old about water availability – he’ll tell you all about our dam levels.


Sure, we want to spend less money on water and not pay the hefty fee hike if we dare tiptoe above our threshold, but more-so, we want to play our part. It’s a bit like when you have a group project at school and that one slacker gets off scott-free, and all the other hard working students are irritated (and rightly frustrated). Let’s not be that lazy kid guys – let’s be better than that.

I like a challenge. Why else do you think I have 3 kids? But really, I do like a challenge, and now I have this internal competition with myself to see how little water I can use. It started off with collecting the initial cold (will-soon-turn-warm) shower water in a bucket and emptying it into our water dispenser in our fridge. It filled a 4.5L water dispenser. WHAT! Challenge accep-ted! (I’ve also been known to collect the water pooling at the bottom of the shower with my empty hands, to fill the bucket now living in our shower, ready for my next toilet flush. I told you. The challenge is on.)


So here’s what we have been, and what we are currently, doing… (armed with our borehole – to be used on stipulated days – as well as our grey water systems my handy hubby has recently installed)…

If it’s yellow let it mellow! If it’s brown flush it down: Yes I know, I’m having flash backs of my mission trip to Mozambique in 2006, and it can be super gross, but really. As soon as the toilet starts to reek like the public toilets on St. James Beach I grab that bucket and give it a gooooood flush. And then use a natural bathroom spray.

Bathing the kids: As much as I’d love to ignore bath time, and have any excuse to skip it and throw my kids straight into bed, they need a bath. Like need. I feel like I’m already constantly running after them with wet wipes in hand. So, we fill the bath with a minimal amount of water, wash wash wash, and out you get. We have taught the kids to then use their beach buckets to scoop up and throw the water on the grass. We’re teaching them to be water wise, and that somethings can be used twice.

Washing kids clothes: Do you ever just find so many clothes on the floor you scoop them up in an exhausted huff and throw them in the wash basket? Well I do, and actually, quite often, those clothes are not dirty. I’ve become more military about checking these clothes and I fold and put back those which don’t actually need a wash.

Showing: We have a new showering buddy. Our bucket. We fill it with that initial cold shower water, and then sit it on the shower floor and have it lap up the shower spray while we are showering. If I wash my hair, I intentionally ring out my wet hair into the bucket – try it – you will be AMAZED (and equally horrified) how much water it collects.


Be intentional about cleaning/shampooing/teeth brushing: Turn off the water when soaping up, washing your hair or brushing your teeth. This clean drinking water does not fall from the sky. Okay, it does. But supply and demand guys. Supply and demand.

Use the ‘short cycle’ on your washing machine and the ‘eco’ setting on your dishwasher. I also, put my biggest tupperware in our kitchen sink and let it collect the used water when I’m washing fruit or veggies or rinsing something. When it fills, I take it out to the garden.

Fix leaky taps and don’t fill your pool (if you have one). I’m so addicted to water saving, when I find drinking glasses upon drinking glasses holding sips of water next to hubby’s side of the bed (or school water bottles), they are emptied onto our indoor pot plants, my hanging fennel or my 4th child, my hand-reared lemon tree. We genuinely try not throw a drop down a pipe that won’t land up somewhere beneficial.

Get a borehole for your garden, and install some grey-water systems.

What have I missed? Join in the challenge… and watch your wallet, and your country, benefit.

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