Thursday, September 13, 2012

Seven Day Challenge - Day 2

So, this morning I took a nice long, hot shower (it had been a few days), and during my shower I thought, "I bet they'll have a water challenge today." I checked my e-mail after I was all nice and clean and sure enough - they did! I didn't mean to cheat, but it sure feels good to be clean! If I had checked my e-mail before my shower I would have been ticked off, but I would have dug out our solar shower and got that set out in the sun to warm up, then set it up in our shower. I still plan to set it up today and give my son a shower with it. I told my husband we'd set it up for him, but he said he was going to wait until tomorrow when it was a different challenge. Spoil sport!

Seven Day Challenge - Day 2

~ Natural Disaster ~
Water Service Interruption

Please note: Today is a NEW emergency, none of the limitations listed yesterday apply. Your country is experiencing a WAR and the water purification facility in your area has been bombed. All water services coming to your home have been halted indefinitely. (If you use well water, your well was destroyed too!) Today you will practice living without running water in your home and experience cooking, sanitation, hygiene, etc. with STORED water.

Goal: Learn what your water needs will truly be in an emergency

Today’s Tasks:
  • Cook all meals (and CLEAN UP) using only stored water
  • Take a shower or bath using stored water (Don’t cheat and skip this one!)
  • Use stored water for flushing toilets
  • Calculate your usage for the day and use that number to determine how much of a water supply you actually have
  • FILL any empty water containers you have been procrastinating on filling
  • Make a plan for how you will collect/purify additional water if/when you run out (use your daily report card to help)
  • SHARING TIME: Post a picture or a description of the task you found most difficult to do using stored water today on Facebook or in the blog comments.

Today’s Limitations:
  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants
  • Do NOT use running water at all. To help you not cheat, you can turn off your main water supply for the day
Advanced Tasks:
  • To conserve water, use a sanitation kit rather than flush stored water down the toilet.
  • Get ambitious and do a load of LAUNDRY with stored water.
  • Go to the nearest source of fresh water and fill up several water containers and purify it.
 So, what we did, because I know I would accidentally turn on a tap or flush the toilet, was to turn off our water. That's right! We went hard core! And for even more realism, I asked my husband to show me how to do it (he works half time and goes to school half time, so he's home today) and he said he wouldn't show me, but would tell me how to do it. I guess that was more realistic. If he wasn't home I could call him at work and he'd tell me over the phone. 

Anyway, I had to overcome my fear of our cellar (cellar = HUGE spiders!!!), and just bite the bullet to bring up 18 2-liters from our water storage and turn off our water. It wasn't so bad, but there was a gigantic spider hanging out on the underside of the cellar door. My goal today is to sweep out those steps and clear out the cobwebs, so it's not so scary.

Then, of all the inconveniences, last night we chose not to do the dishes. This morning I had a stack of dishes to wash with NO RUNNING WATER. That was a joy, let me tell you! But it was definitely a learning experience.

The whole day went rather well. Even my 5-year-old handled the whole situation rather well. Turning off the water was a good idea. It definitely kept us from cheating. By the end of the day, though, I could feel the stress of not having running water. I don't know how well I'd do for a few days or even a week without running water. I'm sure we'd find a system, but dishes were my biggest enemy even with using paper disposables. We had to cook which creates dishes... 

I needed to do laundry today, but don't really have a good way to do it. I'd like to get a laundry plunger.

Successes -
1. We had drinkable, usable water in our storage. Hooray!
2. We used 9 2-liter bottles of water. By that estimation we have enough water for about 3-4 days and that's if we only take sponge baths. 
3. We used our portable toilet that uses enzymes and liquid absorbing pellets. 
4. We had paper plates, plastic cups, and plastic utensils to use, thus cutting down on dishes to wash.

Failures -
1. I wasted 6 1/2 2-liters of water on the boatload of dishes I had to do.
2. Dishes. It was hard to keep the pile of dishes down.
3. Procrastinated pulling out the solar shower and therefore didn't get to use it. 

Need to Buy:
Paper towels (we use cloth normally, but some disposable would be nice), more paper plates, paper bowls, and disposable sippy cups. 

Canvas bucket in case we have to haul water from the two rivers on either side of us (down a steep hill and across some railroad tracks or across our neighbor's property.) I guess we could drive our car down to the river and fill up our empty 2-liters. That sounds much better than hauling water up a steep hill by hand! 

Also, I'd like one of those big wash tubs to use for baths. That way we could use the gray water afterwards.

We need to have a way of storing more water. 2-liters work well and we have lots of room in our cellar to put them, but I'd like to get a couple 55-gallon drums. We'd have to find a way of filling them though. We only get so much water from our well every day. Our hillside is on the dry side.

I also need bleach to use to refill our 2-liters using our well water since it's not treated.

Need to Do:
Come up with a system for doing laundry, washing dishes, and taking baths. 

Need to Learn:
Water conservation techniques

I am hoping tomorrow isn't a challenge not using electricity. I know they've done them before! I don't know if I could cope!

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