Energy Diet

When we talk about water, we talk about life. We all know that two-thirds of the earth is water, and so is the human body. Water is essential for our cells, and our survival. Let’s all be thankful for this blessing and never waste it.

I spent my early years at a boarding school in Egypt, so I was raised to wear my clothing once, and then wash it immediately. That habit stuck with me for years and I even applied it with my kids. Recently I noticed that the more I wash clothes, the more quickly they wear out. That was my main concern before, but now I have concerns about waste water and chemicals.

Imagine the number of clothes and towels that are unnecessarily washed each day, In our country, it’s hard for most people to re-wear clothes because of our weather, but can be sure to run my washing machine only when it is full and do the same for the dishwasher as well.

I have noticed water leaks at home in the last few weeks and taken action immediately, as I was not only wasting water but also electricity, because the water pump was working when I had leaks. So we have to check for leaks, both indoors and outdoors, and fix them.

A new water-saving technology for me was installing a sensor-activated tap for the bathroom. My kids calls it magic. The other day Ali’s teacher told me she was so pleased with him when he showed her the magical things around the house – those things being the tap and our solar lanterns.

After much difficulty, I was able to find a low-flow shower head to install. I was very happy to find it, but wanted to make sure that it was really working, so I found a simple device that tells you how much water you are using for the shower by calculating water consumption. It will stop when it reaches the recommended level of 35 liters. I always took my time in the shower without looking at how much I was consuming, and was surprised to know that I consumed 11 liters (3 gallons) within 5 minutes shower. The second time, I extended my shower timing to 9 minutes and still ended up with a good result of 18 liters (4.7 gallons).

I noticed that we have a pipe coming down from the roof, so whenever I wash the roof, I can collect the water and use it for watering plants. Also, I collect the water I use for rinsing fruits and vegetables and for cleaning out fish tanks, which provides nutrient-rich water to my plants.

When the kids want to cool off, they like to go swimming. I brought like three kinds of swimming pools — the first two were consuming a lot of water, but I am more pleased with the last one, because it consumes less, and now I know where to put the remaining water: in an area where my lawn needs it the most.


  1. ACEEE
    March 22, 2011, 10:32 am

    Very happy to read that you are considering not only the water waste, but also the energy wasted from using inefficient water fixtures. In the U.S., water heating is typically the 2nd largest end use in residential buildings in terms of energy consumption (after space conditioning). In homes with very efficient heating and cooling systems, water heating can be the most consumptive end use. Installing efficient fixtures such as low-flow shower heads is a great way to help cut this energy waste.