#1Day10Litres Challenge Diary

10 litres sounded like a lot until I got the jerry can. At first I thought it was 5 litres and I had to fill it twice throughout the day. But no, this was it, 10 litres.

06:00 Wake up and do some water facts research. Probably not the best idea considering the amount of water I have access to today. After learning that even our eco-flush toilet uses 4 litres per flush, I decide to work at home for the whole day. We only have eco-flush toilets in the house, but two and a half flushes will use up my entire 10 litres.

07:00 Sitting faced with the full jerry can, I start to feel a little panicky. I have my usual glass of warm water with lemon, but already start to feel a bit guilty.

Portable Shower

I did some sums, and decide that I can use up to 4 litres on washing, so have a very quick shower in my solar portable shower (making sure to save all the water). We got this for when we went 4x4ing in Namibia. You can fill it with up to 18 litres, but I only put my 4 in it for today. I managed to wash all the essential bits – it obviously wasn’t a hair-washing day. Getting conditioner out of long hair is definitely not a 4 litre job. According to the UK based Waterwise Project, ‘the average eight-minute shower used 62 litres of hot water, and some power showers can use up to 136 litres, compared with an average bath’s 80 litres.’ So a quick shower (preferably with a water-saving shower head), is the best way to go.

08:00 I have Pronutro for breakfast with warm milk, so no water needed. I nearly just run the tap to wash my bowl, but stop myself and leave the bowl in the sink for later.

I measure out 250ml to brush my teeth (I set aside another 250ml for this evening’s session.) During my early morning Googling, I learnt that you save up to 5 litres of water per minute just by turning off the tap while brushing your teeth.

Coffee Home

10:00 I make myself my usual mid-morning cup of coffee. I make a lungo on my Nespresso, and add warm milk to make a full mug.

11:00 I wash my hands often, but have switched to waterless hand cleaner for today. It works well, but I still have to rinse them to stop them from feeling sticky.

13:00 I really was in the mood for a salad for lunch, but all the greens come out of the garden and would have to be washed, so I opt for a sandwich instead.

15:00 I fill up my water bottle for the last time. I have kept careful watch over my drinking water consumption, but as I never drink more than 2 litres of water a day (excluding coffee and tea), I don’t feel too stressed about this.

16:00 I have a small cup of green tea.

Pho Bo

18:00 Cooking: This evening’s dinner has caused quite a fair bit of worrying on my part. Have you every thought about just how much water you use cooking? In the end I decide on Pho Bo (Vietmanese Beef Noodle Soup), as I cook the noodles in the broth, so I only use 750ml to make dinner for two of us.

19:00 It’s Tuesday, and I realise that it’s plant watering day! There was no way that was going to happen if we had to use mains water, but we have a borehole and it rained yesterday morning, so thankfully they’ll be ok.

19:30 I had set aside 2 litres to do washing up, which I manage, although I didn’t mange to rinse the crockery and cutlery as well as I’d like. Thankfully I can go back regular water consumption tomorrow, but I’m very aware that million of people just don’t have that luxury.

21:30 I brush my teeth with the remaining water and flush the toilet (finally) with water I’ve saved from showering and washing up.

It was quite a day, but a very useful exercise. Our house is already quite water wise, but today highlighted where we use the most water. Toilet flushing is the worst culprit, but we already have eco-flush toilets, which we use correctly. But maybe leaving a few uses between flushes (within reason), would be a good idea.

The other is showering, and again, we already have a water-saving head, but we could probably shorten our showers by a few minutes, which would save up to 10 litres a go.

Water usage:

Drinking water: 2 litres

Tea & Coffee: 500ml

Washing: 4 litres

Teeth brushing: 500ml

Cooking: 750ml

Hand rinsing: 250ml

Washing up: 2 litres

TOTAL: 10 litres

1 Toilet flush from saved water: 4 litres