Changing Up My Nightly Face-Washing Routine
Despite my previously discussed pre-rinsing compulsion, conserving water is actually one of my favorite things to do for the environment. Water conservation changes are nice, immediate-feedback kind of changes. They're easy to calculate, requiring just buckets and measuring cups. And I love that I can visually see what I'm saving, rather than just talk about invisible kilowatts or therms.
So whenever I find an opportunity to make a little water change, I jump on it. In fact, I started instituting this face-washing change several months ago, but didn't have it tweaked to where it was a convenient enough that I was sure it would stick. Until now.
Let's say it's time for bed. What do I need to do? Well, I need to wash my face, put on astringent and my rosacea cream, then brush my teeth before hitting the sack. Now I already managed to save 76 ounces each day with my new tooth brushing routine, and I needed to cut down on the face-washing water waste as well.
The biggest problem I had was waiting for the water to warm up. For some reason, it takes a good 30 seconds or so before the hot water gets up to our bathroom sink. In the meantime, all this perfectly clean water is being lost down the drain. What a waste. Then, even when the water is warm enough, it's still running down the drain while I wet my face, lather up and rinse off. All told, it took 18 cups of water to wash my face. And I was repeating this process every. single. night.
So here are the issues I've been facing (pun intended) while trying to tweak my routine:
1. Washing my face with freezing cold water at bedtime? Not so much with the relaxing, getting sleepy feeling.
2. I have to use splashy water on my face. I can't use a washcloth because my lovely rosacea skin will have a nasty reaction to the scrubbing and I'll be the one googling scab terms.
So, bearing those two issues in mind I've come up with a workable solution. It's not perfect, but it's better than it was:
First off, I've mimicked my handwashing rountine so that now I don't turn the faucet on full blast and I shut the tap off while I lather up. That saves six cups.
Secondly, I switched my face-washing routine from bedtime to "get in our jammies" time, which happens at 7:00 pm sharp (I have kids, ergo, I have schedules). So now it doesn't matter if the faucet is spittin' ice cubes. In fact, the cold water actually helps me get through the rest of the evening without dozing off. So not waiting for the warm water saves another six cups.
The downside to all of this is that, being such an Anal OCD Annie, this means that I also have to brush my teeth at 7:00 pm because you can't wash your face and NOT brush your teeth. But, as it turns out, this is also helping me with the NO WASTE challenge, since it means I can't eat anything after this point.So now with my every-so-tweaked face washing routine, I'm saving twelve cups of H2O down the drain - that's a 66% reduction in what I had been using.
From where I was six months ago: twelve cups per night! But, again, I've been working on this and tweaking it for a while now, so the true change from yesterday to today is considerably less. However, I like to accentuate the positive, so I'm going with the 12 cup figure and say that I'm saving nearly 275 gallons of water per year, just by changing my routine a tad.
Difficulty Level: 1 out of 5
Obviously, the difficulty in this change was devising the plan. Now that I've figured it out, it's as simple as can be. Just shows you what perserverance (and the ability to withstand frigid icewater being splashed on your face) can do.