For about 3 weeks now I have been living in a half built house.
I have gone from living in a fully functioning house containing a shower, kitchen, power points, running water and light switches, to a house with none of these things and I must say, I love it! It has really made me realise and understand that we don't need any of those things in order to live comfortably. I felt this would be the perfect experience to write about and share what I have learnt from living in this way. It sure is an adventure!
Humans waste a very large amount of water. I'm sure everyone knows this but only in theory.
We have a water tank about 20 metres away from the house, and this is where we get our water for flushing the toilet (manually filled), face washing, dish washing, teeth brushing and the occasional bucket shower. There is no tap on the tan,k so up we go, lifting the big concrete lid and scooping the water out like it's a well. With water not as instantly accessible it only makes sense to be frugal, but why not be this way all the time?
-It is about 9 Litres of water to flush the toilet once, that's nearly one whole bucket that could be used on other things. We only flush when necessary.
-Only about one cup of water is needed to brush teeth. How many times have you stood at the sink with the water running profusely while you rinse? That is good water running down the drain pipe.
-As there are no animal products in our house we don't need a massive sink full of water to wash our dishes, or a dishwasher for that matter. Although this is the most time consuming task you don't really need that much water to complete it... an estimation of 1 Litre for a few plates, glasses and cutlery, some plant based dish-washing liquid and a scrubber and you are good to go.
The only thing we have plugged in and running all the time is the fridge, everything else is turned off fully or unplugged when not in use, even the lights! It is not necessary to have the T.V and computer on stand by all day every day, sucking the power and thus the dollars. Lights don't need to be blaring in all rooms of the house, having two hand held lights that hang up has proven this. There is no WiFi (something I thought I would sorely miss, but haven't) and phone reception is temperamental. This has shown we spend way too much time on our phones.
There is also no microwave here and there never will be, who would have thought you can live like this without a microwave!
Humans in the western world live in a society based around convenience. We are used to hot and cold water at the turn of a tap, light and power at the flick of a switch and we expect everything to function instantly. We want things done faster and faster so we can put in as little effort as possible. Living in this way has made me realize the importance of slowing down and appreciating all that we have. Appreciating it, but then understanding we don't really need it.
People may turn their noses up when I say this but you really don't need a long hot shower every single day.... Do you know how much water you are wasting!?