Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bathing Beauty...

Water costs.

Here in Australia, water has a financial cost. But of course there's an environmental cost too.

When I was a child in the 60s and 70s, my siblings and I shared the same bathwater. I'd go first, being the oldest and presumably not being grubby from playing outside, then my two sisters toe to toe at either end of the tub, followed by my three brothers closest in age all in together, and last, my Mum and 'the baby' as we called my youngest brother for years.

These days, most kids would just about gag at having to share bathwater. Why? Is someone elses dirt dirtier than yours? Especially within the confines of the family? Is dirty bathwater 'germy'? I think not. I was surprised to learn recently that many new homes do not even have a bath due to modern day water restrictions...hells bells! A good soak in a deep bath is one of the great pleasures of life! Not only that, but the bathwater would then be used to water Mums geraniums and tomatoes.

Whe I was growing up, we also had first a wringer washer, then a twin tub that you had to fill with the hose in order to use. Well, no-one would bother filling and emptying the machine more than once. So the whites would go in first, followed by the 'cleanish' coloureds, then the 'dirtier' coloureds, and finally sheets and towels. Frankly the washing came out just as clean with the continuing addition of a little extra suds in every second load, and we saved heaps on water useage AND soapowder.

What's gone wrong? Why are we cleaning ourselves into a frenzy? Why do we allow water from our four minute showers and thirty-five minute 'fast' washes, drain away where it serves no useful purpose.

Furthermore, since when was exposure to some forms of dirt and grime and germs, NOT a good thing? That is after all, how the human race came to form any sort of immunity to bugs and illnesses...through continued, measured exposure to the 'germs' with which we share our environment.

Four minute showers my foot...as Mum used to say. I can't wash my hair and pomade myself in four minutes worth of water. I'd rather share the bathwater with my daughter. She first, then me...or maybe hubby and me....nicer still!

It's time to look at the way we go about things and realise that bigger and/or automated is not necessarily better and four minute showers for a family of four or six is not the only solution to the issue of water conservation. That's 16-24 minutes of constant water useage, down the drain, literally. A similar amount of water, used to fill the bathtub, then recycled on to the garden, makes a lot more sense. We each fill a large watering can from the tub at the end of our bath, and either water the pot plants or use it to bath the dog when he needs it.

Let's get clever about the way we use our water and cleanse ourselves and our belongings.

Sharing and recycling bathwater makes sense. Really it does.


  1. This post could just ruin our wonderful friendship hahaha! I loathed sharing a bath and for that matter bath water with my numerous siblings as a child. I craved some privacy and for that matter fresh water. I often wonder if that is why I am not a bathing gal now and prefer a shower. Whilst I don't mind sharing a spa whilst away with Heartpoet or a shower from time to time, taking a daily bath with him or all of us using the same bath water makes me feel slightly ill. Not that other members of my lil family are grotty in any way shape or form, just makes me feel very ick at the thought. Heartpoet on the other would likely drink my bath water lol and would take no issue with it whatsoever I am certain. I save rain water for my herbs and edible plants not wanting to use bath water because of the shampoo/conditioner/body wash etc and as for our pooch she gets the laundry tub filled with fresh tap water for her bath. Whilst I embrace the days of old in many ways I love that I can choose to have my own fresh tub of water and if that means a slightly higher gas bill/water bill so be it. I save in other areas ;]

  2. Lol Kimmie...I guess there's a few disclaimers that should be in there. We are a small family of three and have an enormous garden of which we are very proud, including up to fifty pot plants. So bathing in second hand water is not too scary, and watering the plants with recycled water is a must-do. Either that or we get rid of the pot plants and I can't have that! So it's a compromise we make, and we don't do it every night. Maybe three times a week, just when the plants need watering :) Just trying to give food for thought.

  3. Darl there are only three of us here also (as you know lol) and an enormous garden etc. but still so not for me lol. Doesn't make you or for that matter myself wrong in our thinking. We just differ is all. Be a boring ole world if we were all the same. After I left the prior comment I went up to the shops with Heartpoet and discussed this very issue in the car and like I thought he would he leans more towards your way of thinking and said "Great idea lets implement this starting tonight, my rubber ducky and I are all set to go!! I told the cheeky bugger that there will be no changes to our bath time ablutions in this home and instead will be sending him to your place - rubber duck, soap, scrubbing brush, towel and all :-)

  4. ROFL Kimmie...not blinkin' likely! Bathing with a friend does not extend beyond the confines of the family here ;-P Isn't it funny how our childhoods impact on our adult thinking? I love your thoughts on this topic.


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx