Today’s post was kind of a last minute one. A few weeks ago I participated in the ‘1 Day On 10 Liters’ challenge. This challenge is organized by the Giorgio Armani company and they basically send out a few branded jerry cans to participants and on World Water Day (22nd March) participants are encouraged to document their day and – most importantly – their challenges of living a normal Westerners twenty-four hour period.
Chereen from one of my all time favourite blogs, ‘For The Beauty Of It’ asked myself and Celeste from ‘Being Me With Celeste’ to take part in it with her and immediately I was so excited. I had seen posts regarding this challenge in the years before and it just seemed to be gaining more and more momentum and I felt honoured to be chosen to be a part of it.
I started Googling and asking friends and family for all kinds of water wise tips, and while doing so I discovered just how insane the average person’s water usage is.
- A four minute shower uses 34L of water
- A toilet flush uses 9L of water
- A kind of thorough hand wash uses around three to five litres
- Your sink holds fourteen litres and I could barely bare to Google just how much a dishwasher uses…
I started to get even more excited for the challenge. Always one for a difficult task, I couldn’t wait to impress people with my cool water saving tips and post on social media throughout the day.
How sad was I. Honestly.
So, it was super tough to limit myself on coffee. I generally drink four mugs a day (= 1L) but just knowing I could not indulge on more than two but a damper on my day before the clock even hit 7AM.
Face and teeth washing time. I did the obvious and showered and did a major hair wash the night before the 22nd, so I did not have to shower the whole of the next day. In actuality, I would have had a morning and evening shower without a doubt. I allocated 1L for teeth and face washing, while using my beloved Garnier Micellar Water to cleanse. I also just had to use both my Skin Creamery products on my face, which both require water to activate, so my measly one litre was gone in a flash.
On the way to work I happily drove without a care, got to work and realized I probably squirted my windscreen wipers at least five times. I decided to NOT count these into my litres.
This gets us to the funny so not so funny part.. you know how I mentioned before that a toilet flush uses nine litres of water? Yep. I share a bathroom stall with five other colleagues so I’ll give you one guess as to who did not go use the bathroom all day.
Throughout the work day I had allocated myself 1L of drinking water (this aided in me no needing to pee that badly anyway) and I brought lunch to work that required NO water.
Getting home, I remembered to not squirt those damn windscreen cleaners!
At home my boyfriend forced me to go on our nightly 7KM walk – I tried to get out of it because I knew I would not be allowed to shower but he insisted I treat it like a normal day soooo we went to walk and I was super gross. Thank gooooodness for bloody face wipes!
After our walk I was just in such a snotty mood that we ate our dinner that involved no water at all and then we went to sleep. I just wanted to fall asleep as quickly as possible and wake up as quickly as possible to the 23rd March!
I happily slipped back into my water naïve lifestyle the next morning, until I got to the kettle to make my first glorious cuppa of the day. My hand kind of hovered over the kettle. This made me realize that out of everything I saved water on the day before, this is the one that stuck with me. (I think it is because at work I make rounds of tea and coffee for about five people at a time, and the previous day I could only have one cup, so every time I put the kettle on for them I felt like I was doing something bad).
At the end of my experience I am in two minds over the whole thing. It is heart wrenching to think that families with multiple kids survive on less than 10L per day. Kids and grownups cannot function properly on this and it is so so common in water scarce areas.
On one hand, I wish this challenge was maybe two or three days, just to get myself more into the groove of the 10Ls, as I may have gone on to having other aspects of the challenge ingrained on me. On the other hand.. I know I would have lost my damn mind and more than likely given in by 12pm on day 2.
All I can do is walk away from this experiment with the knowledge that NO-ONE can survive on 10L of water a day. Yet for some families, this is normal. It is the most clichéd thing ever, but really, if we all cut our water usage by the teeniest amount, it will make THE biggest difference.
My blog is not in the least organic, natural and ‘save the world’. However, I will definitely be uploading a post soon enough about small ways to save water. And not your average tips – these will be interesting ones that I have stumbled across that I never even thought would make a difference!
Thanks for reading! Have you ever attempted to cut back on water, and if so, do you have any out of the ordinary tips?