If you think using your shower water to flush the toilet is a bit extreme when it comes to trying to save water, you have seen nothing yet. In its panic to save even more water. The City of Cape Town has encouraged its residents to save in every possible way – even when that means no more showers!
“Well,” you might ask, “how are they going to flush their toilet with no shower water”. Well, Cape Town won’t. They will simply wipe and throw the toilet paper in a bag with some baking soda to keep the smells at bay (I’m not too sure what goes into the loo to make it smell better).
For body odour, they suggest powders and apple cider vinegar (an odd choice since the smell of vinegar is just as potent as a sweaty man that hasn’t showered for the second week in a row).
While we, sitting in the water-wealthy provinces, can cringe at these weird and possibly unhygienic suggestions, Capetonians don’t have much of a choice – their water is set to run out in the middle of April.
Let this be a lesson to the South Africans that still water their plants at 12 in the afternoon, spray their driveways with a hose and shower for an hour – this could be you soon! Rather than wasting water, let’s try and help Cape Town in any way we can – even if it means NOT spending Easter in the Mother City.
For the Capetonians reading this, good luck! May the force be with you. May Grace guide you and rain find you. If you’ve not yet reached a #NoMoreShower and #NoWater lifestyle, here are a few tips for you as offered by the City of Cape Town.
Day zero preparation/suggestions:
- Have a sponge bath with a small bucket and sponge.
- Keep bottled water for drinking.
- Get a large stock pot for boiling water. It’s easier to boil large quantities of water for washing at once than refilling the kettle multiple times.
- Have some easy freezer meals on hand.
- Use hand sanitiser with added tea tree oil (antibacterial properties).
- Use paper plates, paper cups, disposable (biodegradable) cutlery.
- Get a fire extinguisher for obvious reasons.
- Dry shampoo for greasy hair (or baking soda or baby powder).
- Stock up on extra underwear (and cheap sleeping shirts).
- Reuse clothing multiple, multiple times before hand washing.
- If using the toilet for just peeing, throw toilet paper away and not in toilet (in a separate lined bin that’s cleaned daily). This will cut down on backing up of toilet paper in the toilet allowing you to extend time between flushes with grey water.
- Baking soda can control toilet paper odours if throwing toilet paper away.
- Fill the toilet cistern with water rather than pouring it into the toilet, you’ll need less water. Only do this with fresh water to avoid potential contamination of the municipal water supply from grey water.
Cape Town encourages residents to save with this letter than came with the water bill
- Clean with microfibre cloths or rags as sponges become unsanitary. It’s easier to clean cloths and hanging up immediately can delay them smelling. You can also throw rags away.
- Stock up on bath wipes to go without showering.
- Eat straight from the braai! No pots or pans to wash.
- Line plates with plastic so you can peel off the plastic and have clean plates.
- Use apple cider vinegar to naturally deodorise your armpits and go without showering.
- Wear breathable fabrics like cotton to avoid odours developing from sweat and bacteria.
- Ladies, extend underwear life by wearing panty liners.
- Use body powders to absorb oil and grease on the body to avoid showering.
- Change underwear instead of showering.
- An all-natural body spray will freshen you up.
- Buy a cleansing body lotion.
- If you do have to wash plates, pans, cutlery, wipe mess and dirt off with paper towel, to make water less dirty.
- Instead of pouring water into the sink, pour it into a plastic tub to reuse in the toilet.
- Clean counters with disposable wipes.
- Vinegar can also be used for wiping and cleaning, with paper towels, without having to rinse down counters.
- Help and look after each other! We’re all in this together.
*Where possible, use organic or biodegradable materials to minimise environmental waste. Please also be mindful of your plastic usage.
See what Musi Maimane has to say on the #DefeatyDayZero website.