Happy New Year! (And save water)

I hope you have successfully rung in 2016 in your own indomitable style.  Methinks this is going to be a fine year!

Along with a change in calendar this year, residents of the Western Cape also welcomed in Stage 2 water restrictions at the stroke of 12. Not quite the celebration we all expected, eh?

Anyway, like it or not, South Africa is in a drought and saving water in general is a good idea.

Over at the greenest little video house in town AKA Substance Films, we’ve been stressing about this mainly because our home veggie garden is a really important source of stress release (and salad) and we have a toddler who loves water (ahem, arrest me now, City of Cape Town, its all our fault!).

So, I’ve worked out some little things to do at home to save a bit of water and get more grey water into the garden without a “proper” system.  Our water use at the office is minimal so we started at home.

Kitchen sink:

We inserted a very high tech rectangular bucket in one sink.  All of that random water usage (rinsing veg, washing hands, general sluicing) goes into that sink and is caught by the bucket.  This generates about four buckets of grey water for the garden a day.  Luckily for us its not far, because lugging the bucket is a bit of a pain.  Especially because after you’ve saved all that precious water, you are slightly obsessive about not spilling a drop.


We use earth friendly detergents so even if there is a bit of dishwashing liquid in there, its no worries.

Bathroom basin:

Another rectangular bucket affair. Same story but I deposit this into the garden out of the bedroom window usually…too far to walk.



Largest rectangular bucket, also known by the toddler as the “tiny barf”. With this, we catch the “red water” that flows as the shower is warming up.  I also keep it in the shower while I’m showering and try to catch any excess.  I’m trying to have super quick showers so often the toddler reckons bath time just wasn’t long enough and then its over to the “tiny barf”.  She splashes and plays in there for ages. This leaves me with a large bucket of water in the shower, which I use to flush the toilet throughout the day – and negates any parental worry about the child not being visibly clean. Works a charm and guilt levels descending.


As I continue with my earth-saving endeavours, I’ll post more embarrassing phone pics and lecture you further. In the meantime, you can read all the ins and outs of the water restrictions here.

Happy New Year, folks!