Anyone who has ever lived with me knows that I like to take my time in the bathroom in the morning. On average, I’d say I spend about ten minutes in the shower each day. I don’t know why it takes me so long: I don’t do anything unusual in there and I’ve tried to be quicker but I just can’t manage it. So a quick calculation – 9 litres of water for every minute spent in the shower – reveals that I use an astonishing 90 litres of water each morning before I’ve even had my breakfast.
So I have been mustering up my best camping skills to find a way of getting clean on a minimal amount of water. Two days in, I feel I have cracked The Art of the Two Litre Bath and this I share with you now:
1) Boil one litre of water and pour into a jug. Have one litre of cold water standing by in a bottle.
2) Stand in a washing-up bowl to conserve as much water as possible for recycling – and to make sure your feet get a good clean.
3) In another bowl, mix some of the hot and cold waters and use to wet body.
4) Apply shower gel and lather. Shave armpits if desired.
5) Mix a little more hot and cold water and use to rinse body.
6) Mix more water. Wet face with a flannel, apply face scrub, rinse off.
7) Mix any water left and use with flannel to wipe down body one last time.
8) Pour used water into waste water bucket for recycling.
Admittedly, this process is a lot more faff and takes probably twice as long as simply turning on the hot water, but I save at least 88 litres of water and still feel cleansed so I think that’s pretty good going.
However, I have now not washed my hair for three days and it really needs it, so I’m off to see if the same technique will work on my lengthy tresses.
Total amount of water used today: Well, I’m posting this blog early but I’ve already used 5 litres and have not yet cooked tea (1 litre), washed up (2 litres) or washed my hair (2 litres). No toilet flushes today though (saved up enough waste water to flush with that) = 10 litres.
For stories of people who don’t even have two litres with which to clean themselves every day, click here and download ‘Facts from the Taps’.
About the author: From Sunday 22nd – Saturday 28th January Rachel Wood will be trying to live on 10 litres of water each day, which she will walk 1km to collect, in order to experience a little of what life is like for those who live in water poverty.
Are you thirsting for change? Go to http://www.cafod.org.uk/thirst to see how you can take the water challenge or get involved with the campaign.