Yes, Wild Man Jesse, the author of such groundbreaking blogs as "T. Boone Pickens Ain't Who I'm Pickin'" and "Behold Wild Man Jesse's Wild Diet, is himself an environmental abomination, a plague to the human race, because you see, Wild Man Jesse washes his hands AT LEAST FIFTEEN TIMES A DAY! The humanity. The wasted oceans, ravines, and watersheds. Whole submarine ecosystems wiped off the planet by the wiping of my hands.
OK, maybe I'm being a little melodramatic, but I do tend to use a lot of water on a daily basis, and I'm at about the halfway point between necessary hand-washings and OCD disorder. I must be stopped.
Here's a rundown of my water usage from 1 pm Sunday, October 11 to 1 pm Monday, October 12:
WARNING: THE GRATUITOUS USE OF WATER IN THE FOLLOWING BLOG MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL AUDIENCES. READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
I awoke late Sunday morning, as the result of an unusually hard night of work on the previous eve. I made my customary trip to the restroom upon rising from bed, which involved a flushing of the latrine - 1.6 gallons of water - and a standard hand-washing - 1 cup.
Total water = 1.66 gallons
I proceeded to make myself breakfast, which included a class of water - 1.5 cups.
Total water = .09 gallons
I drank that water and refilled another glass with another 1.5 cups.
Total water = .09 gallons
Later I again used the rest room - 1.6 gallons - and washed my hands - 1 cup. I then used the shower which by my measurements uses 2.4 gallons.
Total water = 4.06 gallons
How did I arrive at that gallons per shower? First, I set a bucket in the shower and then turned the water on. I kept track of the time; usually it takes me about 5-6 minutes to take a shower. I'm at least saving water that way! I think that's a relatively short shower. Anyway, after about 6 minutes had elapsed, I took a measuring cup and found that the water was about 4 cups long, 3 cups wide, and 3 cups deep, therefore, there were 36 cups of water in the bucket. However, I usually have the water on at full power, and I noticed that the bucket did not capture all of the water, no matter how I positioned it. Therefore I divided that 36 cups by .85, which I thought accounted for the uncaught water. The resulting number I divided by 16, as there are 16 cups in a gallon: something I learned in elementary school!
Next I made my other preparations for work. I made a large cup of coffee - 1.5 cups -for the ride out to the airport and reused a bottled water bottle - 8 cups. Cleaning out the bottle ended up using a lot of water.
Total water = .59 gallons
While at work, I used the bathroom twice - 3.26 gallons, washed my hands about 4 times other than when I was using the men's room - 4 cups, and drank a Starbuck's Frappucinno - .5 cup, and a 1.5 cups can of iced tea/lemonade.
Total water = 3.64 gallons
Upon returning home, I washed my hands - 1 cup, and took another shower - 2.4 gallons.
Total water = 2.46 gallons
I then made some food, washing my hands again - 1 cup, and I had 1.5 cups of water with my meal.
Total water = .16 gallons
I brushed my teeth - 1.5 cups - and washed my hands - 1 cup - before going to bed.
Total water = .16 gallons
The next day I woke up at 8:30 am and went to the commode, which involved a toilet flush - 1.6 gallons, a hand washing - 1 cup, washing of my hair - .5 cup, and the brushing of my teeth - 1.5 cups. I also poured myself a cup of water - 1.5 cups.
Total water = 1.88 gallons
It was time to go tutor at Edison Community College. While there I used the rest room, with another toilet flushing - 1.6 gallons, a hand washing - 1 cup, and a bottle of soda - 2.5 cups.
Total water = 1.82 gallons
This was all the water usage I had for that particular 24 hour period, but I will include numbers for the dishwasher, laundry machine, and for shaving, for the sake of argument.
Dishwasher - 7.8 gallons for a normal load.
Laundry machine - 45 gallons
Shaving - .16 gallons
Day without additions - 16.61
Day with additions - 69.57 gallons
Clearly there is a large difference in the day without additions and the day with additions, mostly due to the laundry machine. My house has a top loading laundry machine, which I read at the Whirlpool website - http://www.whirlpool.com/catalog/buying_guide.jsp?sectionId=292 - uses significantly more water than a front loading machine. I will admit that the machine is in use a lot in my house and efforts should be made to curb that.
All and all, I don't use too great of an amount of water, IF I don't do laundry or dishes. In all it amounted to a third of one load of laundry. Of course, with everything else included, there is a problem! I also think I wash my hands too much, perhaps I should invest in hand sanitizer again. Ever since I was a kid, I've had a slight phobia of germs, nothing too crazy, but I like to feel clean. Furthermore, I will see if my folks are willing to purchase a front loading washing machine.
One final note, I am confused about what to do with water bottles, my parents keep buying them, and I'd like to recycle them, but at the same time, whenever I reuse a bottle, I end up using a lot of water to wash it. I guess I need to buy a bunch of washable, durable water bottles and tell my parents to ease up on the throw-away bottles.
I am much more aware of my water usage after this exercise!
Monday, October 12, 2009
Water Usage - The World's Water is Slipping Through My Fingers!
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