To be frank, I don’t when or how I became more loving towards the environment in general. I’m pretty sure it goes back to my roots somewhere, but I have no vivid recollection of it. My parents’ love for gardening sowed seeds of love towards these leafy friends, star gazing at night with my sister while she tried to figure out constellations by herself made me fall in love with the night sky, feeding stray animals and birds around the house brought in a special affection for them. I remember me and my sister were not huge fans of bursting crackers during Diwali and when our school came up with a program of volunteers for saving the environment, I jumped right in as the first mission was to discourage people from bursting crackers.
Then came a phase in my life where I realised my love for water in all its forms. As I grew up and the world around us started becoming careless towards the very source of our existence, something didn’t seem right. The growing scarcity of water and the fact that our country is very much water-based (in terms of daily chores) didn’t make sense. What made sense was the effort that we could bring in to slightly change our habits, but it’s been years and everything seems to be getting worse. Thankfully, I found a partner who agreed on my thoughts of hating water wastage and had stood up against it in the past, during our school days. Together, we began our own mission of wasting less and less water and utilising so called unusable water – limited to our world of two.
When we were in Nagpur and heard about the drought that had affected Marathwada, we were concerned. Concerned because we were soon moving to Pune and the thought of adding a burden of two more people to the already suffering region, made us feel guilty. Friends and family were concerned how we would manage with limited supply of water and somehow, that was never on our list. It’s been six months since we’ve moved here and the shocking part was to see people waste so much water in this already affected city! It burnt our hearts when we saw people wasting water in Nagpur and it makes us cringe when we see that happening here – a drought declared region. Selfish race, we are.
And then, I decided to share small everyday habits that I and V observe to save as much water as we can from our side. Our two drops, but makes us feel less guilty. Whoever reads this, in whatever city or country, please keep in mind that small steps go a long way in creating a sustainable environment. Whether you have excess water or just the right amount, remember, that someone somewhere is craving for a drop of it.
1) Use buckets for bathing, not showers – Buckets ensure a limited amount of water usage while showers are supposed to be indulgent.
2) Store water in buckets and use that throughout the day in toilets. Don’t flush for peeing. One flush wastes a whole lot of water than is required.
3) Water used for washing vegetables, or used just to clean utensils without soap – collect and save it through the day. Reuse this water for plants in your own garden and for trees around the house/building.
4) Collect water required to be let go from RO water purifiers. Use it in washing machines, to clean utensils or store them in buckets to use in bathrooms.
5) Wash balconies (only if the need be), bathrooms or toilets with water collected from washing machines (collect this water through each cycle) or if you have a maid for washing clothes, save that water in a bucket. It already has soap and can serve the purpose. You can use this water throughout the day in toilets as well.
6) Don’t throw away drinking water remaining in bottles, collect this as well for usage in bathrooms or for plants.
7) Wipe your cars, two-wheelers or cycles with a wet cloth daily. Resort to washing only if the need be and in less frequency – once in two weeks may be.
8) Please don’t leave taps open while brushing or washing hands. Fix leakages on priority.
9) If using washing machine, use it once a week for washing all clothes together. Clothes can’t be that dirty. Please think twice before using the machine since it requires a whole lot of water; and do try to reuse that water.
10) If taking a shower two times a day is a habit, do let that go.
I really hope these small steps are helping in some way or the other. If you have any more suggestions, I would love to know. Anything to help save water!