October 10-19, 2012
Life on a Boat: Tips on Conserving Water ~ by Justine
“When you do the dishes don’t forget to use the saltwater pump!” Ever heard your mother say that? Unless you live on a sailboat you probably haven’t. Because of the limited amount of water on my family’s boat, using saltwater to do the dishes is one of the many things I have to remember. Luckily, I’m getting the hang of conserving water. The thing is, do you? Even if you don’t live on a boat conserving water is a good thing. For boaters it means having water longer and for other people it means saving money. It is also better for the environment to conserve water. Why don’t you try to conserve water too?
The number one rule in water conservation is “Do not leave the water running!” An example of doing this when washing your hands is to rinse them and then turn the water off to soap them. Complete the process by turning the water back on to rinse the soap off and you’re done. Simple right? You would be surprised on how much water you could save just by turning the water off when you soap your hands.
When you brush your teeth, you could take water conservation a step further. First, fill a cup up with water. Next, dip your toothbrush in the cup. If you do that it is impossible to lose any water. Then, once you’ve brushed your teeth, use the faucet to rinse off the toothbrush and use the water in the cup to rinse out your mouth. If you were to use that process (if you didn’t leave the faucet on) you would only have to turn the water on to fill up the cup and rinse off the toothbrush. Again, this is a simple way to save money, water, and the environment.
Doing the dishes is a little more complicated. All of the following steps can only be used if you live on a sailboat, because in order to save water while doing the dishes on a boat requires the use of a saltwater pump. Using a foot pedal, you use the saltwater pump to…well… pump saltwater into the sink. The first step in doing the dishes is to let the dishes soak in saltwater in the sink. Next, you take a sponge or rag and soap them. Then you rinse them in saltwater. Finally, before you let the dishes dry, you rinse them in freshwater. It takes a lot more water to rinse the soap off the dishes than it does to rinse saltwater off them, so that’s why you use saltwater to get the soap off and freshwater to get the saltwater off. In the end little freshwater should have been used.
Did you know that if every time you were to take a shower you turned the water off when it was time to use shampoo, conditioner, and soap you could save $150 (if you have to pay water bills) and 3,200 gallons of water a year? Boaters need those extra gallons and some regular home owners could use that excess cash. The first step in doing this is, when you get in the shower, to turn the water on and get your body wet. Then, turn the water back off and shampoo your hair. After that, turn the water on again and rinse the shampoo out. Do the same thing with conditioner, though it’s best not to use it at all. If you live on a boat, rinsing the conditioner out takes too much extra water to use all the time. The next step is to turn the water off once again and soap your body. Lastly, you finish by rinsing the soap off, but you probably already know that. Keep following these steps and you could save 3,200 gallons of water a year.
Water is essential for people to survive. We need it to bath, drink, cook, and do so many other things. The problem is boat owners have a limited supply of it and it can be costly to use for some home owners who have to pay their water bills. By following these simple steps you could save so much water, money, and the environment. Think green!
Note from Mom: With these water conservation methods, 200 gallons of water lasts our family for 24 days. That’s just over 2 gallons/person per day. Quite impressive!