Thursday, December 6, 2012

Water Conservation . . . is Relative

Back in America I practiced water conservation.  With nine of us living in the house, adding 1.0GPM faucet aerators to the sinks reaped immediate and large benefits.

Now that we have come to Africa, our water conservation has gone to the next level.  For example, when doing laundry we don’t just flush the water from the washing machine down the drain.  We pipe the water from the wash cycle into a barrel outside so it can be used to water plants in the yard.  The water from the rinse cycle we collect into buckets and then pour back into the washing machine when we start the next load’s wash cycle.

There are other practices here at RVA to help reduce water usage – such as the bathroom rule of “If its yellow, let it mellow; if its brown, flush it down.”  But all of these efforts pale in comparison to the water conservation of the nationals around us who have to walk a mile or two into the forest to collect water and then carry it back to their homes.  I will probably never fully grasp how much water I consume in a day because I will probably never have to carry water to my home, but living in a land where water is a precious limited resource has made me more mindful of the water that I use.

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