It’s December already and Christmas is just around the corner. If anyone asks me what I want for Christmas, I will reply ‘I would like a bath please’. Obviously one that isn’t run using potable water. Seriously though, in these dark and cold months I am missing the luxury for sinking into 60-100 litres of perfectly heated water and letting all my worries drift away. Instead I get to have a 3 mins shower, and that is when I am feeling generous, normally it’s just 2mins. Other than my struggles with wanting a bath, I have also found it really tricky doing my laundry. The first two months were ok, the novelty of doing my washing by hand was keeping my positivity and energy up, as I spent 2/3 hours on a Sunday bent over my trugg, wringing out jeans, socks, shirts and pants by hand, with the soap making my hands feel strange and dry the next day. But it did feel like I was using some new muscle groups, mainly in my back. Last month, I couldn’t face the pile of laundry that had mounted up over the last few weeks, I knew looking at it, this was going to be my first real test. I spent a long time battling myself, before I gave in and went and had a look in the washing machines handbook, to see if there was any info about water usage. Manual’s for electrical goods are horrible. After getting brain ache from reading about all the different ways you can wash your clothes, spins cycles etc…I found a break down of how much water a half load cotton cycle at 40c would use ! Jack pot. A grand total of 63 litres. Shot that is a lot. But I could use whatever water I had left over from that week...I had 75 litres spare. I could do a load of laundry, woo ! This, my friends was great news.
This one load of laundry has made huge difference to my life, that sounds drastic, but it’s true nearly 4 weeks on and I am only just now needing to think about doing another load. I do feel a bit funny about using a washing machine, it feels a bit like cheating. Someone did say to me, ‘They don’t have washing machine’s in third world countries’ which yeah of course. ‘But I am not doing this as some first world attempt to ‘live like someone in the third world’ that to me seems a little patronising. I am trying to take responsibility for my wasteful and uninformed behaviour around my own water usage, as a person living in the UK, a ‘first world’ country. I hope that by doing this I can demonstrate to people that it is possible to live on less, that it is not a massive sacrific.
It’s conversations and challenging questions like these that makes this project/challenge worth it. So thanks friend.