Showing posts with label wee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wee. Show all posts

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Fru-tilities, flushings and flasks.

Today I thought that I would let you know about some of my water and electricity money saving efforts.

Firstly, water. We are on a water meter....which has made a big difference to how we use it.
For instance there's that problem with what to do with the cold water that comes through while you're waiting for the water to get hot.
Well, in the winter we fill the kettle with the cold water, and if it's still cold, fill up something else, like a jug. This then gets used later to fill the kettle.
In the summer I have a large bucket by the sink and the cold water goes into that and I use it for watering the garden.
We rarely have baths. I seem to be the only woman who hates a bath. If media portrayals are to be believed most women seem to love languishing in the bath for hours, reading, sipping wine, eating chocolate, lighting candles and generally looking like they've had their drink spiked.
There's been a big rise in 'pampering' type activities in the last few years. I don't think we had 'pampering' in the Seventies, although there was that family employed by Imperial Leather, who all took a big, foamy, bath together while on board a luxury spaceship or something.
Anyway,  I hate baths and always have done. Once I'm in I can't wait to get out and they leave me cold, wet and strangely itchy.
Can I get out now?
 The only time that our bath is used is when it's time for the dogs to be bathed. Having said this Dave has recently been running a pilot to trial a new way of dog washing. This involves both he and a dog (one dog at a time), getting in the shower instead. He says that it's easier on his back that way and the dog has less opportunity to escape and run amok. Not sure about the scratches on the shower tray or the legality of being found naked in the shower with a greyhound though...

But what I think is the very best way to save water is to stop flushing the toilet after just a wee. In this house, several wee's are done before we flush. I think that it's so wasteful to do a wee of a few hundred millilitres and then use around 9 litres of clean water to get rid of it.
Build up gently if you find the idea distasteful. Perhaps just flush after every other wee...?
You will know when the toilet needs flushing. In our case the dogs start to show an unhealthy desire to get into the bathroom, and when they do, they stare into the bowl, as if expecting something to leap out at them. It's quite unnerving actually. 

If you don't like the yellow hue, those toilet block things make the water stay green or blue longer. I will be popping one of those in the cistern when Daves' parents arrive this weekend, just to be polite.
Where the magic happens.

One step too far with water saving is to reuse your hot water bottle water for making a drink. Don't. In retrospect I should have known that it wouldn't taste very nice, and that's a perfectly good teabag wasted.

Currently our water bill is about £240 a year so there is definitely room for improvement, but I'm working on that.

Regarding electricity, my habits have changed a lot over the years, due to the price increases. I love fairy lights, and used to have loads on in the house in the '90's. Now I turn them off when a room isn't occupied, which is more sensible and far less of a fire hazard, but not as pretty.
Also everything that possibly can be turned off at the wall, is, and as I've mentioned previously, I don't like turning the oven on unless it is full.

One thing that has made a big difference to the electricity bill is the 'Two Flask Method'.
The kettle is usually full (due to saving the cold water whilst waiting for it to get hot ), so when it's boiled the excess boiling water is poured into the flasks for later use. I know that it is recommended that you only boil what you need, but we never seemed to be able to perfect that skill and this alternative works well for us.
Obviously, they are from charity shops. I think they've seen a fair bit of rambling action.
We have been paying £40 a month for electricity and sometimes used over that amount, and so been in 'debit'. When the most recent statement came a couple of weeks ago we were £27 in credit. I think that this is partly due to the Two Flask System, even taking into account that it was the  bill for the summer period, so we didn't have the lights on as much..
However, despite being in credit they still saw fit to increase the monthly payment to £42!

We don't have mains gas so other than the water and electricity the only other utility is oil. As the tank has just been filled up we won't have to think about that for a while... 

Just wanted to say that despite my zeal for saving money, I just cannot get on with energy saving light bulbs. I find the light they give off is dingy, gloomy and depressing.  Unless anyone can recommend a good one I shall steer clear of those for as long as possible....hang the expense!