Save The Water
It’ll save energy, see.
It’s easy to miss the point of water conservation if we live in the largely drought-free western world, and particularly if we live in the largely sun-free, always-rained-on UK. We’re surrounded by seas, lakes, lochs, rivers, streams, ponds and puddles, and spend up to 80% of our adult lives under umbrellas. We don’t have much of a problem there but that’s not the issue. This is: The UK gets through about 840 billion litres of water a year. That’s a lot, all of it taking energy for treatment and processing. Saving water is about saving energy, which is about saving resources, which is about saving the planet.
Fortunately there are plenty of ways to save the wet stuff, of which these are some:
In the bathroom
First, we won’t leave a tap running when shaving, cleaning our teeth, washing our hands, shaving our hands, or washing our teeth. That can save up to five litres of water per minute according to our man in the Environment Agency. Next, we’ll be sure to turn off taps properly and fix taps that continue to drip, knowing that a dripping tap can waste up to four litres a day according to our man in the Environment Etc. Next, we’ll remember that a five-minute shower uses about a third of the water of a bath. But we’ll also remember that in less than five minutes a power shower uses more water than a bath, meaning yer old pal The Zero retroactively concedes those five thousand arguments he had with exes about his water-chomping showers.
Knowing that a toilet cistern can use up to nine litres of water for every flush, we’ll stick a bottle in it to reduce the amount needed for every refill. That’s what my old dad did, though that was less about environmentalism and more about chronic alcoholism and a need for hiding places. Still counts. Lastly, we’ll only flush when visitors are coming because who are we trying to impress here?
In the kitchen
We’ll wash fruit and veg in a bowl instead of under a running tap, and then use the water for house plants or for offering gullible younger brothers some tasty mud squash. We’ll use the minimum amount required when boiling water in kettles and pans, and steam veg instead of boiling it because using less water saves water, you see. These tips are gold. Pure gold. And we’ll waste less food because it takes a ton of water to make it.
If we’re swanky enough to have a dishwasher we’ll make sure it’s fully loaded and on the greenest of enviro-settings. If we’re basic enough to have a washing machine we’ll do the same but with clothes instead of plates and things. And we’ll keep a jug of water in the fridge so we don’t have to run the tap until it gets cold. That little action – or Butterfly, if you will (or action if you won’t) – will add up to a big difference.
Out of doors
Assuming we sometimes leave the house, we’ll use watering cans in the garden instead of big massive hoses or sprinklers that use as much water in an hour as a family of four uses in a day. Unless that family of four uses a big massive hose or sprinkler, in which case the maths gets sort of circular and complicated. We’ll collect rainwater in a barrel like some backwoods survivalist, and water stuff first thing or last thing in the day to stop water evaporating from the surface before it reaches the soil. And we’ll stick mulch around trees and plants to slow the evaporation of water, you mulch fucks.
When we see a burst water pipe on the street we’ll meddle good and proper, reporting it to the water suppliers like a straight-up snitch. Lastly, if we’re still driving cars – which would be embarrassing, given the state of the climate crisis – we’ll clean them way less often because, honestly, who gives a shit?
So that’s water conservation sorted. Nothing drastic, nothing that’ll leave you thirsty or thinking you’re on a post-apocalyptic desert planet. It’s a piece of piss, really. Which reminds me: Drink piss. Okay. On to the next thing!
Save the water
Save the energy
Save the goddamn world
Related Blog Posts
Among the million things we need to do to avert climate breakdown, kicking the arse out of plastic is one of the most urgent. Plastic comes from dirty-bad oil, gas and coal, using about 4.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions and about 6% of coal-fired electricity in its production. We’re bringing on the sixth mass extinction for the sake of shrink-wrapped broccoli.
In my withered, Covid-infested state I find myself doing less and less for the big battles we need to win: Yer climate breakdown, yer rise of fascism, yer eating the rich. But recently I’ve discovered a critical area of climate activism that requires even less effort than doing very little: Doing nothing at all! By which I mean I’m buying less shit.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the IPCC – issued its latest report this week, pointing out how monumentally fucked we are because we like cars, burgers and mass extinctions. It makes for grim reading – but only if you actually read it. Here are nine ways you can avoid giving it any thought at all!
Desperate to avoid petrol I hired an electric car for the purposes of hard science. I requisitioned a Renault Zoe for a few days, rented a lab coat and three pens for its pocket, bought a clipboard outright and began the grand experiment. The key tests were how well the battery lasted with my commute and the business of social work, how quickly it drained when parked overnight, how big a pain in the arse public charge points are, and how often I’d have to use the buggers.
Back in the arse-end of 2019 I finally ditched my car, having decided humanity was marginally more important than an easy commute. But then Covid hit. And hit me right in the face. Almost two years later I’m still having trouble walking, still working fully from home and only just starting full time hours. I need a car. Which means I need an electric car, which means a lot of expense…
We’ve made it halfway through COP26. It’s been a week of photo ops and erasures, announcements and sucker-punches, protests and Borises being colossal shits. On the surface there have been some decent announcements…
And so we find ourselves on the eve of COP26, where highfalutin delegates from around 200 countries will come together in Glasgow to either unite the world to tackle climate change or to talk shit, greenwash their failures and prove virtue signalling is a real thing after all. In preparation I’ve been hard at work on my soul-crushing climate anxiety. This requires long nights lying awake fretting, long days doomscrolling social media. It requires your heart pounding against your ribs so hard it actually makes a noise.
My grand return to the world of disability hasn’t been great for carbon footprinting. The early, housebound stage was amazing, obviously. The plus side of not leaving my bed for months is that it reduced my emissions – and my activity, social life and hope – to zero. But as I got more with it, public transport was no longer an option…
As the climate crisis escalates and we begin laying track for Fury Roads, most of us are living our lives much as before. It’s a society-wide combover, with all of us pretending not to notice the very clear bald patches poking through. But even with our eyes closed and our fingers in our ears, climate breakdown will keep on trucking. Here’s how, Buzzfeed style: