It was world water day last week Tuesday, the 22 March. I was asked to take part in the 1 Day 10 Liters challenge which formed part of the global Giorgio Armani “Acqua for Life” initiative. This campaign, spearheaded in partnership with Green Cross globally, aims to raise awareness on water related issues.
Every year, since 2010, as part of Acqua for Life, Armani has educated people on issues related to water, and, in partnership with Green Cross International and UNICEF, installs water points, latrines, rain water collection, water filtering and purification systems, in areas that lack water or drinking water, a natural element fundamental to life. Since its inception, this initiative has given 108 communities in 8 countries and 3 continents access to drinking water.
If you follow me on social media, you may have seen me tweeting and instagramming about my #1Day10Litres challenge. Now, I’ve always considered myself pretty water wise, hell our water bill even states we use less than the average in our neighbourhood. Also, I grew a grandmother who was VERY water conscious and almost militant about not wasting even a precious drop. She had many nifty techniques in place like only flushing on a number 2 (TMI, I know), never leaving the tap running when brushing teeth, and collecting rainwater for the garden.
When I was asked to take part in the 1 Day 10 Liters challenge, I didn’t hesitate for a moment. It was only when my 10-liter Jerry Can arrived that I realized just how little water 10 liters actually was. How the heck would I manage on so little water for a day?
For the full 24 hours of the challenge, from the minute I woke up, to the moment I went to bed, water was on my mind.
My first toilet stop of the day had me pouring just a mug of water into the toilet after I’d finished my business. Did you know that around 9 liters of water used in just one toilet flush? I didn’t and was actually quite shocked when I found out.
Next up was my daily cuppa. Usually, I fill up my kettle – purely out of habit – before I turn it on to boil. Today, I poured just enough water for a cup into the kettle and was amazed at how quickly it boiled (saving on electricity too).
I showered and washed my hair the night before the challenge, so only had to brush my teeth and wash my face. I decanted a half a cup of water into my sink and submerged my face cloth before wiping my face. When I let pulled the plug, I immediately realized my mistake – I could have used that still clean water for something else, like watering a plant!
I used another half a mug of water to rinse my teeth.
After making my family breakfast, I had a few dishes to wash up and used around 1 liter of water for this (no, I don’t have a dishwasher).
I normally drink around 1.5 liters of water a day, but today I wouldn’t be doing so. Now, I’m not sure if this was psychological, but I had the most intense thirst the whole day and was only drank 3 glasses of water.
At about 1pm I needed to go for a number 2, but alas…I had to hold it in, or use the remainder of my water to flush my goods. I decided to knype, and eventually the need went away.
I’m a compulsive hand washer, so really struggled with not washing my hands with soap and water. This hand sanitizer by The Body Shop was a godsend. I found it quite gentle on the hands too and the scent was divine.
At 6pm I had just a small amount of water left – enough to boil some pasta, wash up after, then brush my teeth. I went to bed moody, as I wasn’t able to have a long, hot bath and felt sweaty and dirty. I also had a bit of a headache, as I hadn’t drunk enough water during the day.
Lying in bed, I realized just how lucky my family and I are to have access to clean water at the turn of tap. Many millions of people don’t have this privilege.
While I think I’m pretty aware when it comes to my water usage, I know I can do better.
We removed our water thirsty lawn 4 years ago and replaced it with turf. BEST DECISION WE EVER MADE. Can you even tell the difference in the pic above?
WATER SAVING TIPS
- Shower instead of bathing. The average four-minute shower uses an average of 35 liters of water – still less than a bath – which uses around a 100 liters of water.
- Compost – Compost eliminates the need for a garbage disposal and adds water-holding organic matter to the soil.
- Replace water-loving lawn with turf. We did this four years ago and it’s been the best investment. It’s green all year round, doesn’t need cutting, raking or airing and always looks good.
- Turn off the tap in-between brushing your teeth and rinsing, this saves around 30 liters of water a day!
- Water your garden early in the morning, or late afternoon, early evening. Watering midday is counterproductive as so much of it evaporates.
What are your tips for saving water? Please share, as it’s SO important that we are all cognisant of what a precious resource clean water is. We are very fortunate we are to have access to it, but with the terrible drought gripping South Africa, it is a resource we have to protect and not waste.