Monday, June 09, 2008

Having a quickie

My online friend Amy is having a five-minute shower challenge which I've joined. You would think that water in New Zealand was not a resource we have to be concerned about when it seems like most of winter is a constant rain shower - at least here in Auckland anyway.

But anyone visiting the dams up in the Waitakere ranges can see that they are not full to the brim. Anyone living in the Waikato this past summer, or the South Island can say that water is something that is not a resource we can afford to squander.

According to The Big CleanUp Newsletter (my enbolding):
Last year, our daily water use in Auckland region was 303 litres gross per capita. Since 2003 we have increased the amount of water we use by 6 litres per person/perday. Individuals typically use between 130-230 litres per person per day. We only use 3% of this water for drinking or cooking even though it is treated to a drinkable standard. Other water use includes flushing our toilets, washing clothes, dishes and watering the garden.
I know that our water consumption has increased from last year - it's on our water bill. I think it's because we've got another child, and I wash my cloth nappies. It may go down a bit once DD is out of naps. In the meantime, I'm trying to cut down some of our water use by doing this challenge.

Other ways to save water can be found at New Zealand Water and Wastes Association or One way could be to install a tank to catch rain water. Some local councils (e.g. Waitakere City Council) will give you a rebate on your water bill if you do this. Another way is to not over fill pots or kettles; only use as much water as you need. Use the microwave to steam your veges instead of the stove - not only do you use less water, but there is less nutrient loss in this form of cooking.

I will point out that Amy is in the other hemisphere so while the challenge is a "summer" challenge I am doing it in the winter. I just thought I would point that out. Because you know it's kind of cold here right now. So I'm not having nice hot, long showers anymore because of this challenge. Just so you know okay?

Actually, my normal "clean-only" shower is about 3 minutes. If I'm washing my hair it takes about 6 minutes so I need to work out how to cut that down. Turning off the water to do the lathering is not attractive, not to mention how much water it wastes because my shower takes a while to come back to the right temperature.

And it's winter you know.

Which makes it pointy-nipple cold if I turn off the water.

I think leave-in conditioner might be the answer.


  1. I find it SO hard to have 5-min showers. It just takes so long to wash my hair, shave my legs (although I do turn the water off for this part). Leave-in conditioner could be a plan!

  2. Anonymous3:55 pm

    if I don't wash my hair then I can do 5mins - at a push!! But we are making an effort to save power in the eveings.

  3. go you on the quickie shower. I must admit I am a quick shower person. Now this may sound odd but I dont condition my hair every hair wash. I got three days then wash hair and another three days and hair wash and condition. so on the days I dont wash and condition my showers are very very quick. Good challenge though.

  4. A little gross to talk about but from my summer camp days "if's it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down." A bit yucky to think about but helps conserve water from flushing the toilet! and I already am impressed with your quick showers, 6 mins with washing hair that's good!

  5. hee hee having a quickie in the shower aye!! :-) Go you!!! I know what you mean though about trying to get your shower under 5 mins when you wash your hair. I can't do it ... takes me 7 minutes, longer if the shower has a pathetic dribble of spray cause I can't get the suds out!

  6. Oh now you should get extra points for taking on this challenge in the winter...My screaming 9 month old and impatient 3 year old help me make the 5 minute goal most days - hee hee.