Thursday, July 05, 2007

Wasting away

John and Fiona spent yesterday in the basement, staying cool. John also tackled an experiment. He decided to see how much water a load of laundry uses.

He recently picked up some fifteen-gallon drums from work, so he brought some down to the basement and placed the outlet hose inside one. When it got full, he moved it to a second drum, which fortunately, was just big enough. A full load of laundry takes about thirty gallons of water to wash and rinse.

Thirty gallons.

A camel will go four months without water and then drink thirty gallons without stopping. It may go another four months without needing to drink again.

According to Missippi State, a productive, full-grown apple tree needs about 30 gallons a day to live and make apples.

According to the Afghanistan Human Develpment Report, 20 liters of water a day is a basic human right. One load of laundry = water for about 5 people for one day.

Thirty gallons, so I can smell good.

1 comment:

Kt said...

I wonder what it would amount to if you did your laundry the old way, with a wash basin and board. I'm trying to picture in my head, but it seems the times I've washed clothes like this took about the same - 30 gallons (maybe even more). You could do what they do in a lot of 3rd world countries and wash in the river, but you'd have to be careful with soap.

We're so lucky to live in a place that has almost no fear of water shortage, and it's a shame we can't directly aid thirsty countries with our excess. I wouldn't feel too badly about your laundry, though. In Denver, farmers are shutting down left and right so people in the city can have their nice green squares of grass. It's that kind of waste that needs more attention.

We gotta fight the good fight, but hygiene is important too!