Father Sez

From and to parents - parental advice to our children on personal financial management and life.
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Posts Tagged ‘conserving water’

Conserving water in the household – it’s all a matter of attitude

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

The Simple Dollar wrote a nice post titled “5 simple water conservation methods – Do they save real money”. 

Of all our utility bills, our water bill is the cheapest. So even a 50% reduction in water usage would probably not result in a big deal in terms of real savings. Still, I feel that the thought process that goes into conserving water is a very strong and fundamental part of overall frugality.  

I was born into a household that had no tap water. We were lucky. My mother(and us once we were old enough to carry a pot ourselves) had to walk only about 300 yards to bring back water for cooking and drinking from the village drinking well. Occasionally we had to tag along to carry a pot or two ourselves. (My mother could balance one on her head and carry two more. It was usually about 2 – 3 trips a day. So conserving water was an issue drilled deep into our minds from very young. 

A tap in full flow. It would do its work just as well at half or less the flow. 

Not so for my children. They are used to the house with taps all over the place and gushing clean water coming out each and every time the tap was turned on. So my children do not have the same attitudes with water. 

The Simple Dollar has pointed out 5 simple ways to conserve water, one of which is to install a low flow shower head. I prefer to use low flow all the time we turn on the tap, when washing our hands, washing vegetables or anything. Turning the tap on full blast and washing just wastes lots and lots of water. If the tap were to be on low flow (i.e. turned on low), then the task might take a wee bit longer but save a ton of water. 

Muslims have to pray 5 times a day and each time they have to take ablution to cleanse themselves. And this process often results in tremendous waste of water. Just imagine the waste in a household such as ours with 5 children plus the 2 adults. In Ghana and Sudan, it’s the norm to use just a little bottle of water for one’s ablution. I think the Ghanaians and Sudanese and others from the dry Middle East regions probably think that Malaysians are amongst the most wasteful characters on earth.  

I yell at my kids every time I see them running the tap full blast. Imagine washing a spoon with the tap water running full blast. It’s enough to make a strong man cry!  

3 months of water gathering this way should be enough to instill good water conserving habits, don’t you think?

As I said earlier, saving water is not going to add big bucks to our savings, but it drives home the point of generally not being a wastrel. This attitude will play a very pivotal role in shaping our future lives.  

Picture Credits: Google 

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