26 April 2011

6 Extreme water conservation tips when you're unexpectedly high, dry and desperate

You may think that you're oh soooo green with your french fry oil rigged Volvo and your subscription to Mother Earth News, but what if the shiznizzle really hit the fan and you were forced to cut back (or completely outsource) the free flowing H20 that you know and love so well? This is no time to roll your eyes -- I know that we're all blessed to live in sophisticated, highly modernized societies -- but things...happen.

Say for example that your household was on a well system and -- completely out of the blue with no forewarning whatsoever -- that well decided to choke out its last drop...precisely like what happened to me just 5 crystal clear years ago. As a Colorado mountain resident, I was always well aware of the persistent drought issues gripping my region but I naively presumed that my magical source of well water would continue to runneth over...until the stuff flowing from the tap in my kitchen sink began sporadically coughing, gagging and moaning before finally vaporizing into thin air.

I recall eeeking out loud, immediately entering a state of panic and running throughout the house, fumbling with every conceivable faucet and shower head just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. Good GOD, there was no relief in sight!! That's when reality hit me like a ton of bricks -- there was no way ON EARTH that I'd be able to do the laundry. That laughable worst case scenario paled in comparison to what would end up being a 6 day, uber grungy, water-free reality -- one of the darkest periods in my young adult life.

So sad but so true -- I was ill-equipped to handle the trials and tribulations that accompanied a liquid free existence. I instantly recognized that the simple act of showering was my most treasured memory, one that I would regard almost as highly as chugging my minimum 8 glasses a day. Of course, one of the positive things to come out of my silly little hardship was an adrenaline-enhanced ability to sniff out all sources of liquid within a 25 mile radius without ever having to leave the house.

Perhaps you too will be inspired enough by my tap-free plight to incorporate a few of the following do or die lessons into your own water conservation plan:


Mmmmm, drinky-winky! When you're desperate enough, the salt-laden liquid that massages peas and string beans within their 15 ounce stainless steel womb tastes divine (despite the bisphenol A contamination) and conveniently provides you with about 5 of your 64 ounce daily water requirements! This is also a very good time to go on a soup diet -- the more cans of dump and eat soup that you have on hand, the better.


Trust me, there's nothing sexxxy about the adrenaline stench of a future devoid of water. If you're ever in the same situation, you'll be in survival mode and be unbelievably thankful that your significant other didn't thoughtlessly waste whatever ice cubes you might have in the house on last month's romantic interlude. (How sad is that?)


Crispy, crunchy and blissfully FULL of water, the top contenders to have on hand are cucumbers, celery, iceberg lettuce, watermelon, and well, pretty much any type of produce is good to lean on in a water-deprived pinch. If you've got 'em, just eat 'em. Better yet, steam the veggies in your microwave and lap up the condensation on the plate!


Who created the rule that you need to run the tap full force (or even just a wee bit) in order to clean your teeth effectively? That's what spit is for. Just apply your toothpaste directly onto your brush, insert it into your mouth and scrub-a-dub away -- your natural salivation will take care of the rest. When you're ready to rinse, just add a swig of mouthwash into the mix and completely torch any remnants of your odiferous cotton mouth in one fell swoop.


Harboring flushable wipes within the vicinity of a confirmed greenie's abode is admittedly eco-sacrilegious, but such revoltingly tangible scraps of dead tree can become one's sole reason to continue persevering. They are, in a word, swell. If you are a particularly clever apocalyptic greenie, anticipate eventual disaster by pre-soaking your own ratty organic cotton t-shirt scraps in a mild baking soda/white vinegar/water solution and storing them for future use in screw top large glass jars.


For years, I had oddball bottles of candy sweet $4.99 port, funky gin, nosehair-torching tequilla and lolipop flavored schnapps cluttering my counter space. Those dinner party donated duds would have wasted away in perpetuity were it not for my burning desire to rehydrate my tongue and major organs. Since my body was already operating at a major H20 deficit, what might have been 6 longggg miserable water free days ended up morphing into a blackout of spectacular proportions. And you know what? I was too inebriated to even realize just how dry I was.

Do you think that you could rise to the challenge of voluntarily swearing off free flowing sources of water for just one day? Would you do it to prove to yourself just how green you really can be?

Elizah Leigh | @elizahleigh
Elizah Leigh's master's degree in education combined with her passion for the written word and deep-seated interest in environmental issues has proven to be the ideal trifecta for her present status as a green journalist. Currently commissioned to write a reference book on vegetarianism, Elizah hopes to inspire people through her words. Follow Elizah on Facebook.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/29198100@N00