Energy Diet

Watered Down

Water, probably the most precious resource known to man and something we cannot live without for many days, yet one of the most wasted.


My attempt to reduce the amount of water used for irrigation

Xeriscaping, according to Wikipedia, refers to landscaping and gardening in ways that reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental water from irrigation. I never knew that word existed until I found out about the 360º Energy Diet, yet I had already implemented this in my garden. Two of the biggest reasons for doing so was to eliminate the need to cut the grass, and secondly to save water. Almost half of my garden is now water-friendly, and I plan to introduce more xeriscaping in the back area.

Drinking water in South Africa is amongst the best-rated in the world, at least the water that comes out of my taps at home, which is supplied by Rand Water. Even though it is safe to drink I’ve had a water filter installed which helps to remove the lime scale build-up in appliances, i.e. kettle, fridge dispenser, coffee machine, iron, etc. and it definitely tastes better. The only time I buy bottled water is when I’m going to rural areas where the local source could be questionable, or it I forget to fill a few 5L bottles from home.

With the COP17 climate change summit starting in Durban this week, a lot has been said of the things we do that affects our climate. Ironically, there was flooding in Durban with many residents in the poorer areas being affected, and some delegates complaining that their air conditioners weren’t working in their temporary homes. Durban has a sub-tropical climate, similar to India, and can get very warm and humid despite the temperature staying below 30º C (86º F)

Installation of rain water tanks are becoming popular in South Africa, especially in the inland areas that experience dry winters, and late summer rains. One of the problems with retro fitting a tank is finding space close to the house to maximize collection through the gutters.

During construction on our home, we had dual flush toilets installed, giving us the option of a half-flush and a full flush, and the half-flush works more often than not. We didn’t have low-flow shower heads installed, but there is an adapter that fits in between the shower head and pipe which restricts water flow to 9L/minute. I must say that I am occasionally guilty of letting the water run while brushing my teeth, and I do enjoy my time in the shower. By the end of this diet, I will be have improved on both these aspects. At the start of the diet, I had only ticked off 3 of the 7 activities, and it will be doubled to 6 items ticked shortly after submitting this post.