My mom was in the bathroom when I heard a gasp. Crap, I thought, maybe she saw a roach or even worse a mouse! "What's wrong?" I asked. "Your sink, it's not finished." Oh, was that it? "Yeah." "Well, is it going to get finished any time soon?" "No...we use the gray water from it." "Oh" she said, sounding less than pleased.
Yes, the water from the sink in my bathroom goes straight into a bucket underneath. Once the level in the bucket reaches a certain height the water is used to flush the toilet. That means we don't flush every time we use the facilities. That might be gross to some, but I had some practice at Gabe's house this summer and at Polestar. We are also encouraged to use less water while showering. This could take the form of bucket washing, where you fill a bucket of water up and use a little cup to wet yourself and rinse (I have not made it to this level yet). In the third floor shower (the shower I use) we turn the water off while soaping up and then back on for the final rise. Not sure if I will be able to pull this off in winter, I have a fear of freezing in place. There used to be a bucket in the shower that would capture water while we were waiting for it to get warm, but the bucket has since disappeared and I haven't gone looking for it yet.
There are laundry lines outside of the house in the backyard and also zig-zagging across the front sitting room. These are used to dry clothes after washing (obviously). There is a dryer here at the house, but it is more energy efficient to use the lines. I think drying my clothes outside is actually faster than in the machine. I haven't officially timed it yet so don't quote me, I don't want to be held liable. It certainly makes my clothes crispy though. There should be a campaign to put softener in the air so that my clothes are softer when they dry outside, thus undoing the environmental benefits of air drying my clothes!
What else do we do different (from the average house hold)? We compost our vegetation scraps (and egg shells and the nectar of the gods, coffee). Our composter is a deep freeze, not my first choice but I guess it works. Dealing with the composter is not my chore and I have no motivation (as of right now) to rally everyone to change the composting device. Our produce comes from the local farmers market (I was informed two weeks ago that most of the produce is not organic, sigh) and our dairy (well not the yogurt) is also local. Ah yes, we drink raw milk (sorry parents). So far it hasn't killed me, but if that's what does me in I'll make sure you all know. I did promise my mom as she was leaving after Labor Day Weekend that, "cross my heart I would not die, I would fight for life." That was mainly in reference to the seedy company that sits outside our front steps most of the day drinking and doing drugs. Back to the food, we hardly have any packaged food (mostly the sauces and condiments and the yogurt) and we make our own tortillas. Oh, there's no air conditioning, which is no longer an issue, but there is heat (praise God). We take our shoes off at the door to cut down on dirt in the house. So not a bad way of living really. The only thing I would do different is save less stuff, there is a lot of miscellaneous items around the place that I am sure could find a better home.
On a side note, I am missing Nashville like crazy. I miss my friends, church, places I would go. I don't regret moving here or choosing to go to school, I just wish I could have both. In the end I know moving here is right and a good change for me. I just haven't had the need to feel homesick and so of course it's a shock to my system. As always I also struggle with the fact that I have no money. My biggest complaint that I dealt with this summer and continue now is why does it cost money to be friends with people? I was thinking about it this morning some more. In your adult life entertainment focuses around things that cost money - let's go out to eat, how about a movie, what about that show tonight? When I was a child you just played in the back yard, watched a movie at home or played a board game. Why can't we as adults do that now? Suggest something like that and eventually you are labeled as boring. It's not that I don't want to go out and do things (I love to! Let's have another cup of coffee), it's just that I can't, especially not three times a week (at a minimum). I am kina excited that Lori now lives over in Philly and has no job. So now I have someone I can be cheap with. I have to figure out how to ride my bike across to the other side. That is my near future goal.
PS: Read this article it made me sad...http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/world/asia/21gender.html.