Enough for Everyone

I wrote this post this morning — in my head — in the shower, while recalling how this unconventional habit began.

One summer weekend a few years ago, I was faced with a challenge: how could I offer all my house-guests the opportunity to shower during the 3 days they were staying with me?  

You see, we were 7 women who would use one bathroom, supplied with one aging 40-gallon hot-water tank.  And we were in a July heat-wave.  The thermometer indicated 30 degrees in the shade and there was a humidex of  40.   We “glowed” even when we limited our movements to raising a glass of lemonade.

My hopeful suggestion was that we each limit our time in the shower, and use a bare (pun intended) minimum of water while there.  Simple to suggest, yes, but not easy to expect: we each had pits and bits, and feet and legs to wash and/or  shave — preferably daily.

So I included a set of guidelines for us:

  • Turn on the water with medium to medium-full pressure and quickly adjust the temperature.
  • Get completely wet, including the hair if you wish.
  • Turn the water off, or at least right down to a trickle.  This works best if you have a pusher to control the volume, so the temperature stays the same.
  • Do your thing with the soap, and razor, and shampoo, etc.
  • Turn the water on to medium pressure for the rinse.
  • Turn the water off.

Well, believe it or not, it worked.  And it worked well.  In fact, it worked so well that to my surprise and delight, one of my six guests told me last summer that, after her visit here, she had actually adopted the habit at home; she has been following this same routine ever since!  Congrats to prichie!  And to Ms Necessity, the Mother of Invention.

You’re right:  This simple technique is not revolutionary.  Whether because of a limitation of water supply, substantial financial savings, or the principle of “waste not, want not,” there are certainly others who do this, or something similar.  But for most of us who live in the “civilized world” this is a crazy idea.  We believe that we have lots of hot running water here in Canada, so why shouldn’t we use it!

But, for me, this routine is just one very easy, very small step that goes together with the big picture of being consistent and coherent in my choices.  I  have consciously decided  to not squander our resources, and to limit my consumption, and to help our planet by changing my habits.  I’m certainly not a perfect environmentalist,  but I am working on it.  And I’m convinced that, since I know where I want to go, taking one step at a time in that direction will get me there.

In one small way, perhaps this will help to make sure that there is enough for everyone.

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About Audie Jean

I love volunteering for Thrift Shops for Nova West Island. I also spend a lot of time taking photos, making greeting cards, exploring on the computer, and doing all kinds of other things that stimulate learning. It is very important for me that I LEARN or DO something every day. I have a special fondness for milking cows, reading poetry, cutting grass, walking in the woods, chatting with my grandchildren, and much, much more. Life is indeed fun. Reach me at: ajdrakie@gmail.com
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3 Responses to Enough for Everyone

  1. DohNa says:

    Yes, I use the same principle at the trailer when showering. I am not quite so diligent at home however my showers rarely last more than 5 minutes. We are conservative with our heating which means the bathroom is a very chilly 62 degrees or lower on a winter monring. I am a fan of quickly in and quickly out!

  2. PatsyRich says:

    I’m glad you posted this, AudieJean. You just may inspire someone else to conserve a bit too and we all know every little bit helps! What’s even more amazing is that WilleR has adopted the same practice in our home.
    The practice of how we brush our teeth is another waste of water, in my opinion. Why the tap is left running continuously while we are polishing our pearly-whites is just another bad habit. That was something else I learned from my visit many summers ago. The tap is turned on to wet the brush, then off, on to rinse, then off, etc. It is a wee amount of H20…….and I am proud to save it.

  3. gchristie says:

    I am amazed that the things that I do, come out with the rest of my sisters. Was leaving the water running while brushing our teeth a conscious decision at the start? I have not done that for years, and, I find it even more important now that we have well water and a septic system. It is good to conserve, not because of the cost, but just because it feels good to do it.

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