The capricious whims of the weather have finally dealt some precipitation; snow, sleet, and rain, again, all forms of water. Which, hails me into my February water report.
We use water in pretty mundane ways, we’re not filling up swimming pools, watering our secret hog farm, or growing certain herbs for our personal use. In face, our usage of water is very modest, so, you’ll probably find this a little boring! It was harder to measure how much water we use because a) we don’t pay for it, and therefore aren’t billed directly, and b) calculating water usage is a little trickier than you’d expect. Therefore I’ll paint in broad brushstrokes the general categories of water usage at our home.
First, we consume it. I drink most of the water, averaging about 6 glasses of water, another 2 of tea, and 2 of coffee every day. My husband drinks about 5 glasses per day, and my son about 32 ounces of formula. (or 4 glasses) Cooking wise, we boil water for rice, pasta, oatmeal, and soups. For such an important aspect of living, (yes, humans can only go about 3 days without drinking any water before they extinguish), this is probably the category with the least water usage.
Second we cleanse our bodies with it. During February we took a total of 39 showers, and 27 baths. Shower times ranged from seven minutes, to as long as fifteen. Since travelling to Guatemala last year, I know I appreciate every single warm shower I take. (Really! Every one of them!) We also brush our teeth about once daily each (I know, we could do better), and wash our faces once each day, and I know I wash my hands approximately 6-12 times each day (but can’t speak for the husband). There’s also the small matter of the wonderful excretory/urinary system, which adds up to about a dozen “flushes” each day, even when we do adhere loosely to the “if it’s yellow…” system of things. (TMI? Yes, Definitely!) This is probably our most prolific use of water overall.
Third, we cleanse our belongings with it. We average about 2.5 loads of laundry each week, for which, of our monthly 10 or so loads, 8 are done on the cold cycle. In case you didn’t know, this is more friendly for your clothes, as well as the environment.
We wash our dishes by hand, usually once per day, which takes about 25 minutes of consistent water usage. We’re not the most conservative of wash-ers, since we leave the water running at a low rate the entire time, this would be the easiest way for us to conserve water. (That and for me to halve my rate of bath-taking) If I do a little washing in the midst of the day, it’s usually only one time, for less than 10 minutes. That’s the bulk of our water cleansing, with the very sporadic mop thrown in there about once every other month.
We live in an apartment without a backyard, and don’t garden, but if we had the space I definitely would. If that’s you, you could always consider a rain-barrel
The average American household uses water each month, sometimes to the tune of 100 gallons of water per person per day (according to the epa, this seems extravagant to me…) and here’s their breakdown of water usage, which, turns out to be pretty much what I just said.