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Maureen Dent
 
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You are a water thief. Yes you!

27 November 2012, 17:27

One day our offspring are going to be fighting wars over water, and if you are honest with yourself, you will know that your greed is to blame.

They will look back and say things like, “If only granny and grandpa hadn’t insisted on eating so much meat”; or “if only they faced up to the implications of showering every day”; and,  “if only they hadn’t been so brainwashed by roses and hydrangeas”.

Boo hoo, too late, friend! The time for action is now. 

Here is a truth: the old-fashioned Septic Tank is the heart of our home. I say this with pride because in our house we treat effluent waste (thats poo to you!) as a valuable resource. Septic tanks are beautiful things, and when combined with a worm-farm give your veggies a super-sonic growth spurt second to none. Every three months we pump our tank and mix it in with our vegetable peelings. Composting earthworms mulch this into the most amazing soil for growing fruit and vegetables.

There is no greater thrill than pulling carrots and lettuce from this soil and turning them into a salad for our guests. Our friends also know that we encourage them to use our toilet as much as possible, especially if they need a number two. Binky and I are even known to leave town or a party early if one of us feels nature calling. Why waste a precious growth medium?

The thing is that when you CONSCIOUSLY decide to watch your water intake it becomes like a kind of game. We trap rain water from our roof, and after an average rainfall we can collect 1200 litres. Obviously we have to supplement this now and again from the grid, but we are always MINDFUL of what we use. Our record in winter is two and half litres in a day (between us). We generally cook food in one pot and eat with our hands in the Indian and African styles. We flush the loo only when necessary (If its yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down L.O.L.). 

A shower is not always necessary, especially in winter. Nothing wrong with a top and tail wash. 

We DO NOT drive gas guzzling 4 x 4’s and share a Daihatsu which Binky refers to as his SUV! We are lucky in that because we live on a golf estate Binky does not have to drive anywhere to play, and both of us cycle if possible.

Is such a life doable? Of course it is, you just need to make an effort. Start by cutting out meat twice a week and you will be making a difference. (Animal farming creates more greenhouse gases than all transport modes combined-- this is not fair on the rest of us).

And try to lose that 4 x 4. There is nothing quite so ridiculous as a South African driving a 4 x 4 that never sees the great outdoors. I see you types everyday, hogging the roads and ruining our atmosphere--like selfish smokers in a restaurant. 

I have been called judgmental. Damn right I am! Please keep your water-wasting, gas-guzzling dirty habits away from the rest of us.

I have always called a spade a spade. 

In the words of Joseph Conrad - "Let them think what they liked, but I didn't mean to drown myself. I meant to swim till I sank -- but that's not the same thing."

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