Energy Diet

Educated by Droughts

As stated in my earlier post, our water consumption is mainly showers, dishwasher and laundry. The basics. Now that we are family of five, we obviously use a lot more in each of these categories. We have started washing our clothes in non-peak times but with three kids, we seem to have lots of dirty laundry. Especially from our little guy.

There are some things we have to do that are probably not the most water-conscious. One of our daughters has eczema so we have to let her soak in a bath almost every night. We usually let her do this alone as the soap that is used on the others is an irritant to her skin.

We have converted our oldest daughter to showers now and encourage her to not play in the shower for too long because it wastes water. I was talking to someone this week about this program and the fact that we are educating our kids on how to conserve. He told me a story about his kids and how they are not aware of much of what we are teaching our kids. The example he gave was that his daughter will take 20-minute showers. Hopefully this process will stick with them.

When it comes to watering our yard, which is about the size of a small putting green, we have a sprinkler system that is on a timer. We were told when we moved here that it is best to run it early in the a.m. or later in the afternoon. So this is the cadence that we do it with. One thing I will do this summer is put a water-catch out. Even though we do not get much rain, we will save what comes.

Car-washing is much more frequent in the winter because of the stuff they use on the roads to get rid of the snow. We take it to a local car wash, which claims to reuse their water, and probably average 2-3 washes per month, which includes both cars. In summer it is usually less. Overall I think we are quite aware in this area. It may have something to do with growing up and having been through several droughts. During these times, I can remember getting in trouble with my dad because my brothers and I would be making mud pits to jump in. Who knew this would be a life lesson.


  1. clipton
    March 9, 2011, 11:38 am

    Great photo! Of all the things you mentioned, you will probably use the most water with your lawn. Your strategy is a good one. In case you need some new tips:

    For the shower, consider installing a low flow showerhead. Standard showerheads provide 2.5 gallons per minute. Low flow units use 1.75 or 1.5 gallons per minute. Generally, the water pressure is the same or more. It’s only the total amount of water that is reduced.