Friends, here are five more tips to help you save water, plus the definitive guide to two-minute showers. Forward to friends in drought-ravaged areas like Cape Town and California, and if you’re in a thirsty area, why not share with any visiting holidaymakers? The consequences of climate change will ultimately affect us all, so let’s all become greenies and make some of these habits second nature…
1. AHEM… So we never thought we be writing about matters lavatorial in this mag but, pardon us, needs must. Given that one flush of an older loo can suck up a whopping 13 litres of drinkable water, here’s a new South African product that may manage to reverse that urge to flush. LOO-ME is a foam that stays on top of your unflushed lavatory water, letting all other contents sink to the bottom. Not only does it hide offending items from view, it’s also perfumed to mask any…err…biological fragrance.
Since even ultra-low-flow (ULF) modern loos go through six litres, this is an option worth exploring. It’s not eco-friendly yet, but let’s pick our green battles for now. A biodegradable option is in the offing from creator Milly Meltzer, a 70 year-old Cape Town housewife who took it upon herself to do something to save water this year. Hats off to you, Mrs Meltzer! Available at Shoprite and Checkers in the Western Cape for R34.99.
Milly Meltzer, a 70 -year-old housewife from Cape Town, has created a foam that makes not flushing a lot more agreeable
2. AND WHILE WE’RE ON THE SUBJECT… If you don’t manage to stop flushing entirely, at least disable your long flush button if you have one or, if you’ve got a traditional lever flush, pull up the lever straightaway rather than leaving it to cope alone: saves drinking water every time.
3. KEEP YOUR GREY WATER SWEET WITH A LAUNDRY BALL The jury’s out on this one, but our utterly unscientific testers found that it seems to work. A plastic ball filled with magnets and ceramic pellets, it somehow washes your clothes without washing powder (don’t ask us how, we’re too busy queuing for spring water). Result? Your grey water smells sweeter so you can eke it out longer than the normal 24 hours. Worth giving yourself or someone else for Christmas? Available from Faithful to Nature
4. TRANSFORM YOUR GREY WATER with a device called Garden ResQ, a container that filters your water the moment you shower and sprays it onto your garden via a pyramid sprinkler. It’s got a steepish R6000-odd price tag, but once installed saves up to 33% of your water use, so you should recoup the cost within a year or so. Too expensive? Attach a Water Warrior or similar to your outlet pipe for less than R130. Don’t be scared! Apparently even the DIY-challenged can manage it: just be sure not to run your shower, etc, for too long (turn off water to lather yourself, etc) in case the water pools up and flows back into your system! Use grey water within a day of collecting.
5. 50 SHADES OF CREATIVE Make your plant watering (grey, of course) go further by mulching your beloved flowers to protect them from heat and retain moisture. What actually is mulch? Basically anything that covers the soil. Sea shells, wood chippings, processed tree bark, pebbles, etc. Arty types have even been known to use crushed CDs…
THE ART OF THE TWO-MINUTE SHOWER
A two-minute shower doesn’t mean speeding up everything you do in the shower so you can be in and out in two minutes. What a struggle: wash hair with this product, rinse it, condition it with that product, wash face with another product, wash body with yet another product, rinse body, rinse hair, rinse the flannel/sponge… there’s certainly no way to do all that in two minutes.
A two-minute shower simply means you only run the water for two minutes in total. Here’s how to do it.
- Water on, wet everything, water off
- Lather everything with all your different products
- Water on, rinse everything, water off
You can do that in under two minutes, especially if you:
- Use all-in-one shampoo/conditioner or leave-in conditioner. There are some fantastic leave-in products on the market. Dry shampoo is also an option some days.
- Don’t use a lot of shampoo. You don’t need it and the more you use, the longer it takes to rinse off.
- Give up the flannel/sponge and use your hands – it’s quicker.
- Use a bar of soap instead of shower gel. Also quicker, you use less product, easier to rinse off and a lot less expensive.
Welcome to guilt-free, squeaky clean mornings! If cleanliness is next to godliness, you’re doing just fine, mate.