Tuesday, April 1, 2008

bathroom reading

Originally uploaded by axeldeviaje
Lots of the thoughts I've been having lately focus on the smallest room in the house. This is because there is a lot of water consumption that takes place here, and there are a lot of consumables here.

The consumables that I can find alternatives to will be dealt with separately. For now, I'm going to think about the water consumption, and the one consumable I don't plan to stop using - toilet paper. Basically, I've just been thinking about it when I use it. By that, I mean I think, do I need to take a foot of this stuff, or could I get by with a little less? That's it. We have quite a stock from a warehouse place at the moment, but when that runs out I'll be putting some thought into what brand I buy. I'll let you know what my research turns up.

On to the water usage. If it's yellow, let it mellow. Pretty self explanatory. Not recommended when using public restrooms.

So I hadn't yet put a brick in the back of the tanks, because I hadn't gotten around to going to a store to buy a brick. Wow, I am so trained to buy, buy, buy! It finally hit me today that outside, there are a lot of rocks...hey, how about I put a free rock or two in the back of the tank? Problem solved! For free! Less water used in every flush. Reduces my water consumption, and saves me money on the water bill. Hooray!

In India, the showers all have a large bucket with a smaller "mug" inside. You don't stand under a stream of hot water. You fill the bucket with water from the tap, then use the mug to dump the water on yourself when you need it. It's a pretty cool idea, and I'm sure it uses a small fraction of water when compared with the typical North American shower. That said, while I was in India, a nice hot shower was one of the things I missed most. As a compromise, I'm thinking of investing in a shower timer (after writing it on my shopping list and waiting two weeks, of course).

I've also started using that silly looking shower cap I've had lying around. I wear it every other day and wash my hair on the alternate days. I'm lucky my hair doesn't need every day washing. I save time, therefore saving water. My better half has always turned the water off while soaping up. I will steal this idea next time I'm in there. I have a feeling it will cut down on my tendency to get lost in thought while standing in there.

My other resolution for tomorrow's shower is to find a bucket to put in there to collect the water to use for my plants. This will allow me to reduce my water consumption by not having to turn the tap on to fill the bucket later, and allow me to reuse some water that would otherwise go down the drain. Also, I'm hoping that I might trip over the bucket while I'm in there and be more likely to actually remember to water the plants in the first place.

Yes, I turn the tap off when I brush my teeth.

And a final word on the weekly challenge to myself (find as many ways to reuse things that are already in the house) I am making some progress on this front. A partial list of things I will find a way to reuse includes:

plastic bottle caps
plastic mesh onion bags
toilet paper tubes

I'll reveal the fabulous second lives of these items on Friday. Until then, don't throw any of these items away!


Debbie said...

I know that when I was teaching I often asked parents to send in the empty toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls for a variety of projects. Art teachers also use them for projects.

And now the big question ~ have you switched to 2 ply yet?

Paula said...

i use shower caps from hotels. i throw them in my travel bag when i stay at hotels and then use them at home so i only wash my hair every other day. i try and use thm as long as possible before throwing them out. i've had one i'm using now since september when i traveled to Boston. How's that for frugal?

Melissa said...

I think the schools are a great example...they have practically no money, so they're almost forced to reuse things. They just don't have the option to consume in the same way that the rest of N. American society does.

And no.

Paula, I was going to say something about your yankee spirit and all, but baseball season is beginning and I don't want anybody to doubt my loyalties. suffice it to say you impress me.