Red Shoulder Hawk

Red Shoulder Hawk

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Drying clothes, and how much water?

The new dryer weighs perhaps 40% less than the old one, so it was much easier to horse into the house. It's in, it works, we're catching up on the laundry. I'm drying jeans and towels out doors. That makes it free! I might tumble the towels a little bit, just to soften them up.

Our water meter showed we used 12 gallons a day for the last 60 days; surely, that's an error in reading the meter, and the next billing cycle will be something crazy, like 300 gallons per day. But wouldn't it be awesome if it were true? If we could find a way for a family of four to use just 12 gallons per day? Let's see, all the water would have to get used three or four times before draining to the treatment plant.

Drinking comes first, that's 2 gallons.
Waterless urinals save 50 to 100 gallons, depending on the current flow of the toilet.
Hi-pressure, low gallons toilets for solids would be 6 gallons, and this could be re-used water from washing dishes or clothes. If composting toilets ever get allowed by the municipal code, then it's no water! Either way, it could be left out of the equation.
Bathing/showering. Hmmm. I know we use 20 to 50 gallons each time, here, depending on who is bathing. We'd have to perform sponge baths daily, and a deep clean once per week. if we each saved up 2 gallons per day, then we could take very small baths or short showers (10 gallons or so) once per week. Yikes.
Cooking would have to use fresh water, but even water-intensive food like boiling noodles is less than two gallons per day. Noodle water can go right into the garden.
Finally, washing clothes requires 3 gallons per load in the most water-frugal front loader machines. We'd need to do at least 2 loads a day. This water could be second use from hand-washing or bathing.

So, drinking is 2 gallons. Washing hands charges bathing, bathing and dishwashing charges the laundry, laundry at 6 gallons maybe fills a graywater system, the yard gets another 2 gallons from cooking, toilets are composting, that's only 10 gallons per day!

That means we can save up another 2 gallons for that weekly bath!

You do know that Americans bathe too much, right?

1 comment:

  1. Bathing is nooooooooooooot the thing to cut down on! isn't residential water consumption tiny in comparison to industrial and agricultural uses? So the obvious solution is to use limitless water for hygeine, then use our cleanliness and hygeine skills to impress influential agriculturalist and industry leaders, to convince them to cut down on consumption. Also, being a secondary consumer on the food web helps A LOT! A pound of bread used a hundreth (or something amazing) of the water used to make a pound of meat.