18 March 2009

Greywater Usage?

I've been mulling over our water consumption for quite some time. This issue of dwindling fresh water supplies has me in a tizzy, to tell you the truth. Which has led me to question WHY THE HELL we, as a society (North Americans), use fresh, clean, pristine water to FLUSH OUR TOILETS!!! Do none of you see the problem with this?

Our fresh drinking water is not on infinite supply, people!

So. I have come up with a solution, which will help appease my guilt-wracked brain, and, in addition to other water-saving ideas that I've been following for years, will help us to limit our own unnecessary water usage.

I will unhook the water supply to my toilets. I will remove part of the drain pipe beneath my bathroom sinks, and install a large bucket beneath each of the aforementioned sinks. When the toilet needs to be flushed (using the when it's yellow, let it mellow..." rule), we simply pour some of the greywayer into the toilet so that it self-flushes, and then top up the small amount in the bowl.

This is in addition to other water-saving actions we take: (please disregard the terrible misuse of punctuation)
-turn the faucet off while brushing teeth;
-"if it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown, flush it down" rule;
-10 minute showers are not necessary-get in, wash off, rinse, get out. (Better yet, turn off the shower while you soap up!);
-while running the water waiting for the water to heat up for shower/sink, catch that water in a bucket to save for pet or plant watering. (This is something I don't do YET, but plan to implement.);
-don't fill the sink up with water in order to wash the dishes - AND don't leave the faucet while doing the dishes just so you can rinse them without having to turn the tap off and on - BEN!!! (I already follow this rule, it's the convincing-my-husband part I have to work on); and
-wash laundry only when there is a full load; and then, use the appropriate water amount (not having a high-efficiency washer may be best with washing cloth diapers, but it uses a lot more water) AND there may be a way to re-use the grey water from washing clothes (but not diapers!)...hmmm

Do any of you consciously attempt to reduce your water usage? Do you do anything different from what I've listed?

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