June 2010: Tips for dealing with water woes

At the time this was written, Lander, Wyo. was experiencing flooding.

 With the flooding situation being foremost in everyone’s mind here in Lander, matters aren’t improved by the current water restrictions in our homes. There’s so much to worry about, it’s easy to just throw up one’s hands and say, “Is there really a reason I can’t fill my above ground pool right now? I can always save water later!”

The need to watch our water usage has never been greater; the last thing Lander citizens need to face is water-water-everywhere-and-not-a-drop-to-drink. To help over-worried minds find new ways to save on in-home water usage, gathered here are some tips that can be used on a daily basis. Follow these easy ideas, and the water crisis will pass before you know it.

• Laundry. Stretching out everyday use of clothing between laundry loads is a must. Wearing an article of clothing once rarely makes it dirty enough to prevent it from being worn again. In fact, the same shirt can be worn for months by simply spraying it down with Febreeze and tossing it in the dryer. You’ll find that almost all your clothing can be kept in wearable condition this way.

For those without a dryer in their home, keeping clothing clean is as simple as piling it high in a corner. The weight of the clothes on top will force the dirt out of the clothes on the bottom, making them wearable once more.  This is a trick used by many college kids over the years. An added bonus: if you have enough clothing, the heat and pressure may just turn the clothes on the bottom of the pile to oil, giving you an unexpected financial boon.

• Showering. Rarely does anyone need to shower every day. Or even every other day. Try these tips to stretch your time between showers to weeks or longer. To start, purchase an after-shower spray cleaner, the kind that hangs on the wall in your shower. Step in to your shower, hit the cleaner button, and just turn in place as the spray washes you clean. Simple and easy. Sure, the bottle of cleaner warns that it’s not a body wash, but Q-tips warn never to insert into the ear, either, and how many people listen to that warning?

You can also make use of the morning collection of dew in your yard for a quick, refreshing cleanse. As the early morning sun casts its light across your lawn, squirm around naked in all that dewy grass. It’s all-natural (and au naturel!) and I’ve found my neighbors to be very understanding once I’ve explained the situation to them, as well as the police when they arrive.

When you find that you finally really do need a shower, skip the towel and run straight to your yard when you’re done.  Do a few jumping jacks or take a jog around the perimeter, until all the water has dripped off your body. You’ll be drying off and watering your lawn at the same time. Again, once you explain to them how you’re doing your part to save water, you’ll find your neighbors will be very understanding, even admirable of your resourcefulness. The police, too. Usually. For a few warnings, at least.

• Dishwashing. There are only so many paper plates you can use before your washable dishes pile up. There are a number of ways you can tackle this cleaning job while reducing your water usage. Got a dog? Rover will be more than happy to help out with the cleaning chores. Place your dirty dishes on the floor, and teach your pooch the command “Do the dishes!” Fido will quickly learn to do his part, licking the dishes clean. A quick spritz of some window cleaner and a wipe, and you’re ready for your next meal.

Don’t fret if your house is petless. Wash your dishes clean with a pot of hot water and a little vinegar and salt. Not only will your dishes come clean, but add some potatoes and a little meat, and you now have a kettle of soup ready for dinner.

I and all the staff at the Journal hope you’ll find these tips useful and easy to follow. If you have any tips of your own to add, feel free to stop by the office. We’re the one on Main Street with all the windows open to let out the fumes, and the policemen lined up to “ask a few questions.”

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