Right now it is about 36 degrees Celsius in some places in the Netherlands. When I was younger I used to look forward to that one heatwave we had every couple of years. I would be playing in the water parks or we would have a little pool in the garden. I used to be very tanned from all the hours I spend outside plying in the heat. The heat is unfortunately becoming a more common thing which I do not look forward to any more. According to the Dutch weather institute, KNMI, heatwaves used to be an occasion which happened every few years. In my youth we would have one approximately every year but the highest temperature would be bearable. Since 2018 we seem to have two heatwaves a year with record temperatures reaching to 37.5 degrees Celsius in 2019. Alongside the heat we are now dealing with droughts since the rain cannot keep up with the sun and a lot of gardens have tiles which makes it hard for the water to actually get into the ground. In this blog I would like to explore what you can do in order to spare some water in these trying times and give nature a break.
My idea to write this post came from the fact that we were filling up our small swimming pool (which we use all summer with the whole family). We don’t use AC so this is the way for us to cool down a bit. When I was filling up the pool I noticed that the water was brownish, in my part of the country this means that the ground water is running low. I felt really bad for filling up the pool and we made sure to install a pump and a filter to make sure we do not have to change the water the rest of summer. When we don’t use it, we use a cover so the water can’t vaporise. After feeling really bad for filling the pool I was walking the dog in the neighbourhood only to see sprinklers, loads of sprinklers. It made me super mad to see that people waste about a thousand litres of water per hour to keep their huge gardens pretty. It’s actually better to water your plants once a week instead of every day, this makes them stronger. The worst about the sprinklers is that often times half of the water ends up on the street instead of on the plants. I agree that plants are important, but if water is sparse we need to be mindful. The plants in your garden will survive with less water although their exterior might decline a bit. The wild plants need the ground water however and they will die without it. Another story which shocked me was a friend of mine who does not like sweating. Sure, sweat makes us all feel a bit icky. My solution is good deodorant or using a wash cloth to clean myself during the day. My friends solution is to shower twice a day. To be honest showering twice a day is not good for the environment and not for your skin. When I learned what I am going to say next in biology I thought it was gross, now I am a firm follower. Your body smells less when you don’t shower every day. What!? Jup. When you shower you clean oils and bacteria from your skin basically activating your skin to create more. Hence more smell and the spiral continues. Your body only needs two showers a week (I do shower more than that), so certainly not every day or twice a day. In the end washing the dirty areas with a wash cloth saves water and prevents a lot of skin issues. In the list I am going to give you next are a few easy tips to save water, especially in summer time. Hope it helps!
1 – Catch The Water
If you have difficulties using less water, the first step is to use what you would throw away. When you shower you can easily waste 5 to 10 litres of water when waiting for the water to heat up. I always have a bucket in the shower to catch residual water. This is the water I use for the plants on my balcony. When the bucket is full I simply use it to fill up a bucket on my balcony from which I draw the water when needed. It also functions as bird bath and watering hole for birds and insects. There are many pretty looking buckets out there so why not give it a try?
2 – Save Water
Another option to use less water without having to think much about it is too install water saving shower heads and taps. There are even small pads you can place in your existing equipment which basically reduce the volume flow by half which you usually don’t even notice. This is a quick fix and a no brainier. You can also use eco-friendly sprinkler systems for your garden to achieve the same effect.
3 – Reduce Water Usage
Shower less often or at least shorter. If you like to run a bath, try to skip it it every now and then. When it comes to your clothes, do you really need to change them every day? Of course undies is a different issue, but pants usually can last longer than you think. Last but not least try to give your garden water once a weak instead of every day. It makes your plants stronger and it saves water. Also be sure to not keep the tap running when you wash your hands or brush your teeth, this saves a lot of water as well.
Thanks for reading again! I really appreciate all your support and I wish you all happy summer days 🙂