Friday, 22 June 2012

Frugal Friday (22nd June)

The weather here today has been windy, wet and cold - not at all like summer!  Not everyone is complaining though.  The rain has been welcomed by gardeners and farmers, and Grandmama Bear has been glad of it too.  Her wild strawberries look better than they ever had this year!  She has lots growing in hidden spots and corners in her garden.  They taste wonderful.

To make sure she has enough water for her garden without having to run a tap, Grandmama Bear has a big plastic tub in her garden into which one of the drainpipes runs.  It means that every time it rains, the tub collects the water that is running from the guttering on the roof, instead of it going back into the ground.  The water isn't safe to drink, but it can be used to water the garden or wash the car.

There are other ways that you can save water around the home too.  Showers use less than baths, but if you don't have a shower, you can still be economical with your bathwater! If you have tinies, bathe them together rather than one at a time.  And if you bathe every day, there is no reason why you shouldn't "recycle" your bathwater - the cleanest person washes first, and then the next cleanest can use the same water!  This is how my parents bathed as children - in a tin bath in front of the fire - there was no running water.  You may prefer not to do this nowadays, when water comes freely from the taps - but in England water rates can be quite high, and if you are on a water meter, this is a good way to save it.  You can also use bathwater to water the garden, and I've also used it to soak garments in before they go in the washing machine.

Always run your washing machine (and dishwasher if you have one) with a full load - it wastes water to run it only half full.  Dishwashers do save water if you have a large family, as you are only "washing up" once a day, instead of 3 or more times, but for a family our size (4) it isn't so economical.  We don't have a dishwasher.  But I do use a washing up bowl - using running water to wash up with is very wasteful. 

Also don't leave the tap running when you brush your teeth - the water is just going straight down the plug hole.  Turn off the tap and only put it back on again when you need to rinse.

Some people have a special block or brick that they can place in the cistern of their toilet to reduce the amount of water that is used with each flush.  We haven't tried this but if you have a water meter fitted this might also be an easy way to save water.

Filling your kettle totally full each time you boil it for a hot drink is wasting not only water, but also electricity!  But it is surprising how many people do this.  Just boil the amount you need - and consider getting a smaller kettle too, to save fuel.

We take our water for granted - all we have to do is turn a tap and it is there for us, in abundance.  But for many people in the world it is a precious commodity that they don't always have easy access to.  I thank God that we are lucky enough to have as much water as we need, whenever we want it - and try always to make sure that what we use, we use sensibly.