The Tea on Sustainable Living

#12 | Spilling the tea on (wasting) water

May 17, 2022 Brandee and Hannah
The Tea on Sustainable Living
#12 | Spilling the tea on (wasting) water
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Show Notes Transcript

Because even though it doesn’t always feel like it, water is a limited resource.

In today’s episode, we are taking a deep dive into (wasting) water and how we can start treating it more like the limited resource that it is. We chat about Brandee’s love of long hot showers (and what’s even considered long), the proper way to wash dishes, and some of our more intimate bathroom secrets (like how often we flush and whether we brush our teeth in the shower).

We’re also taking a look at what counts as “clean” and whether modern standards of cleanliness (gleaming white) encourage unsustainable practices.

So, whether you're an “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” or a “wash your bathroom daily” type, grab some tea, get comfy, and hit that play button.

Links and resources:

#8 | Life isn't Fair, but your purchases can be
#10 | The sustainability of motherhood with mom of two Kelly Pucillo (Part 2)
What Is Oolong Tea?
In China, agroforestry serves up tea with a spoonful of sustainability
Supporting Chinese farmers and the environment to thrive
Promoting sustainable, diversified livelihoods among tea farmers in Yunnan
Farming methods impact on soil and water conservation efficiency under tea [Camellia sinensis (L.)] plantation in Nilgiris of South India
Pesticide Usage in the United States: History, Benefits, Risks, and Trends
A Look at Fertilizer and Pesticide Use in the US
REVEALED: What Brits are really getting up to in the bathroom
People's showering habits revealed in survey
How Often People in Various Countries Shower
Showering Habits Around the World
Showering daily -- is it necessary?
The 6 Best Water-Saving Shower HeadsThe 9 Best Low-Flow Shower Heads of 2022
All-One Toothpaste – Dr. Bronner's US
Zero-Waste Chef
Greed Flushes the Earth’s Lungs Down the Toilet
Charity: Water
Start Saving

Support the show

-Brandee and Hannah

Note: This transcript is mostly unedited.

Brandee   0:04  

Hello and welcome to The Tea on Sustainable Living Podcast where your hosts, Hannah and Brandee, try to help each other navigate the big messy gray area of giving a shit about the planet and hopefully helping you along the way.

Hannah  0:16  

Each episode we have honest chats about our sustainability fails, sometimes amongst ourselves and sometimes with guests, while also leaving you with a little sprinkle of hope and inspiration to keep on giving a shit.

Brandee   0:28  

So go make yourself a cup of tea get comfy, and let's dive into the episode. Hello, Give-a-Shitters. This is Brandee. And this is Hannah. And you're listening to episode number 12 of The Tea on Sustainable Living Podcast.

Hannah  0:41  

Whoo. A dozen episodes.

Brandee   0:44  

Oh, yeah, a dozen. 

Hannah  0:46  

Seems like a lot. 

Brandee   0:49  

And today we are spilling the tea on water well I'm spilling the tea on myself on water because... what?

Hannah  0:55  

I was gonna be like and yeah, there's like a surprising amount of water out today.

Brandee   1:02  

Oh, yeah. Raining rainy day. Very appropriate. All the water today.

Hannah  1:06  

Very rainy. April. Sucks.

Brandee   1:09  

It's been hot to

Hannah  1:11  

you has been weird. It's been like a week of like, really hot weather and then a week of rain and then a week of like, Yeah, it's weird. It is weird.

Brandee   1:20  

Like, I'm all for the rain. But like, I prefer a gradual, like change of that. Like, slowly get warmer or slowly get cool. I don't like the extreme so close together. Because like, I don't know how to like dress and I don't want to have to like, stop and look at the weather and like, that's just the whole thing.

Hannah  1:37  

Yeah, I feel like March was pretty warm as well. Yes. So it's been like going back. And that's okay, that's fine.

Brandee   1:45  

Anyway, I still feel listened to our last episode. Number 11. Neither of us had tea. Hannah had hot chocolate. We're batch recording. So I think she still has a hot chocolate. I still do not have tea. But the tea I want to talk about today. Water just water. Okay. The tea I wanted to talk about today is oolong tea. Am I saying that right? I've never actually known the correct way to say

Hannah  2:09  

Eu long. Yeah, I think yeah. So I mean, I don't know. That is an English person's interpretation. I think the speaker's interpretation

Brandee   2:18  

and when looking this tee up, I clarified a bit of my confusion from the the fairtrade episode, I forget the number but I'll link it in the show notes about like the, the product had talked about in that episode, and it was about green leaf tea and I was really confused. Well, what does that have to do is that green tea is that like, I didn't quite understand it. But I discovered that oolong tea, well, not only is it a traditional Chinese tea made from the leaves of the for Camillia sinensis plant, which is the same plant used to make green tea and black tea. The difference is in how the tea is processed. Okay, so interesting. I think it's a similar plant to that episode, but it's just launched. It's just the processing makes the T the T. Something do with oxidation, and I don't know, I'll leave a link won't get too much into that. So oolong tea, lead meat since as it's a traditional Chinese tea. I was trying to find a project in China, but I just I came across just all of these articles about just general, like sustainable tea farming practices and China. And I mean, I'll link I think I had three I was going to deciding between, like demand, but then. So I just picked the first one, because I liked the title. And China agroforestry serves up tea with a spoonful of sustainability. I thought that was a nice title. And what I liked about this title, they are this articles that they focusing on. I'm gonna just read this, like other tea farmers in on Jing Mei. The Osmonds, who are featured in this article will use traditional agroforestry principles to tend to their ancient and natural tea gardens, growing other types of native trees alongside their tea trees. The result is a thriving ecosystem rich with rare and endemic flora, insects, etc. That reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which are really like their shade trees and actually loose leaves over time, which then adds to the organic matter in the soil. Because we know soil is very important. And yeah, don't use pesticides because they're protected by the ecosystem they've created. Now relying on their natural predators like spiders to help prevent pest outbreaks and yeah, I thought that was really interesting and it's pretty in depth article and then that goes on later down. It was like they don't do this because of like sustainability practices. Really, even though I think the guy featured in this article like studied it, it was a government thing like they were forced to. So just goes to show that it's a two pronged approach, individual change when you can but also, government change, like you can do so much within where you live, depending on your government, because you do What you have to do to like get by you have to make money. Like farmers in the states don't have an easy time. And you're kind of forced to, to use things like pesticides to just to get through the season to put food on your table. So interesting article, I'll leave it in the show notes. So, yeah, and I will next time I'm actually gonna have room in my little tea shelf, I will buy oolong tea. Yeah,

Hannah  5:23  

I was gonna I was just thinking, have I ever had oolong tea? I don't know what it is. I mean, I don't didn't know what it was. But I'd like heard of the name. Yeah, same. You know, it was like, oh, like it's not an unfamiliar tea by ear. If I don't know if I know what it was the taste. So yeah, maybe I'll branch out get some Oolong. If anyone knows how that's actually pronounced. If that's the correct pronunciation. Send us a voice note.

Brandee   5:52  

There you go. Send us a voice note at

Hannah  5:59  

Let us know. So Brandee. Tell me about your pension penchant. penchant for long, hot showers.

Brandee   6:09  

Oh, yeah. That was the the idea that issue that sparked the idea for this episode. I love long hot showers. No, no, it's not most sustainable thing. And

Hannah  6:22  

I would Okay, what do you mean my long? That's a

Brandee   6:26  

good question. Because I was just thinking about this before we recorded that. It's actually not like I am limited where I live because I have a small water heater and I have to turn it on, set the temperature and wait till it's hot. And then I use the water till it runs out. So to me that has felt indulgent because I'm using all the hot water. But I was thinking earlier, it's really not that much like you've been in my apartment. It's it's no more it doesn't last more than like 10 minutes. Which, yeah, I used to take like 20 minute, leisurely long hot showers because it's just for me. It's just a nice relaxing thing. And especially if I've had a hard day especially when I was a nurse. I need my 20 minute long hot shower. I've only lived in one place with a bathtub. And even then I hardly used it.

Hannah  7:13  

No, I was gonna say I've just moved in somewhere where I have an ensuite with a full bath tub. And I have to admit, I have been using it. And I've also been like, oh wait, suddenly I feel like this is maybe not that sustainable. I'm like suddenly from you know, I'm quite a quick shower. I would say I'm a very like it's gonna ask pretty like practical shower most of the time you know, it's sort of like wash my hair clean clean the clean the clean the parts that need cleaning clean my body. And like I'm done like, you know, in the morning, I would say it's it's hard to estimate I was like gonna be like five minutes but it probably is more than that. Realistically. Maybe I'll do that maybe we should do that as like a challenge. We should time how long we're actually taking a shower. Yeah,

Brandee   8:02  

I think I did it. No, no, I timed it by songs like sometimes I don't always put on music and there'll be like two maybe two and a half songs. But something I also remember that I do it's become a habit now I forgot about it is that in order to have like that enjoyable time where I'm not like actually washing my hair or anything. I'm just like standing under the hot water because it feels nice is I kind of do I think it's like a navy style shower like you like turn the water on get wet turn the water off, use your soap. I use the same bar soap for my hair body and then turn the water back on to rinse. So I do that so that I have the time towards the end to enjoy the hot water before it runs out. So maybe that is like a way I've made it more sustainable without even really

Hannah  8:46  

Yeah, but it's interesting because I definitely never turned the water off while I'm like in the shower. You know even if I'm kind of out of the shower to like you know so Bob but um shampoo whatever ya know, I'm always having the I always have the water running

Brandee   9:08  

now that you have a garden you can well this applies more to like when you're letting the water warm up I know I've seen some popular tip is to fill it with a put a bucket in the shower where the water is heating up. And then you can use it for your plants. Yeah, so that's another that's an idea but I think maybe I've been too hard on myself because I think I am if I had like a tankless water heater, I would be taking a lot longer showers than 10 minutes

Hannah  9:34  

Yeah, it's gonna I feel like 10 minutes I'm gonna Google this but like, what is the average shower live? Feel like that for most people? 10 minutes is like you saying 10 minutes to me. I'm like, oh, that doesn't seem like a long shower. Yeah, I think I see like a pretty standard shower, shower and

Brandee   9:51  

I started thinking about dishes. I think it's similar like I think like I think it's easy to think oh baths, take more water. But yeah, I think depending on the length of your shower are just like dishwashers people think they're wasteful. But actually, I think hand washing dishes can be more wasteful. Because if you just leave the water running, like because by using a bathtub, a dishwasher, etc, you're you're limited. You're not just like you only have so much before you.

Hannah  10:17  

So Google has just told me, the CDC Center for Disease Control and Prevention, I think in the states is that the average shower is eight minutes long. That's interesting. And then on the CDC, and then this is like a British website is American saying men shall for an average of seven minutes while women share it an average of nine minutes just saying you send these links to me and I'll put them in the show notes. Yeah, an older an older person of say age bracket 50 years and above. Show us for 45 minutes while teenagers can shower for up to 25 minutes. Yeah, that was definitely me interesting. 20 minute showers. revealed what Brits are really getting up to in the bathroom. We unlock the secrets of the UK is love affair with the shower. Interesting This is a showers that like website. I'm just for the listener these I just like just done a Google none of this is fact checked.

Brandee   11:17  

I just take it or leave it. But I just Googled when as a bath more water efficient than a shower. And what's this article? Science How long does the shower have to be to use the same amount of water as a bath. Many believe showering uses less water than filling up a bathtub. But that all depends on your how long a shower for how deep your bath is true a bath filled about a third of the way up, which takes the water level over your belly button when you lie down very specific requires about 75 liters. It also depends how big you are true. An ordinary electrically heated shower puts out four liters per minute. So a 19 minute shower is just more than a bath. If you have a power shower flow rates could be doubled. And you'll need just 10 minutes. Yeah, depends on the water flow to the shower shower.

Hannah  12:02  

I actually came across like a shower I was like looking to how do you make this more sustainable. Because I knew that was like you know the the things you can put on your tap, which like extend, like make it more of like a spray, I think than like a continuous stream which makes them more environmentally friendly because you've got more surface area. And I found like a shower like a showerhead. I'll also put this in the show notes. This is I was like looking for myself, which seemed to be like it made the hole smaller, and then the surface area wider. So it increased the pressure of the shower and the amount of water you were receiving without with actual use by using less water because it was like forcing it through smaller holes. Cool. So it would feel like you were having a more like

Brandee   13:02  

powerful shower.

Hannah  13:05  

After a while you went on today. So I'll see if I can find that as well. And then yeah, then I'm just got this random page of statistics about Brett's Martiny, average of seven to eight minutes as well. Consistent. Wales is number one on the clean League. currently taking the most amount of people have a bath or shower once a day.

Brandee   13:33  

The other thing I don't shower every day. And in summer, I'll do like probably a rinse every day towards the end of the day because it's just so hot. And but I work from home. I am not an athlete, I don't go to the gym, I see no need to shower every day. I think there's a general I don't know cleanliness obsession, or like this need or idea that if you you'd like have to shower every day, and if you don't, it's gross. But I mean, I know we've come a long way since the days of bathing in rivers once a week, but I just don't think most people get dirty enough to take a shower every day. So I think every other day works for me. So I mean, it's another way I offset these long hot showers or what feels long and wasteful in my head.

Hannah  14:20  

Yeah, we do that every day. Everything is really not that much above the average. Yeah, a 10 minute shower.

Brandee   14:27  

What I do struggle with and have fun. It took me a long time to turn off the tap while brushing my teeth. And I don't know why that was such a problem. Major thing because I think I don't remember if it was a thing growing up if I was like told off for wasting water or if nobody cared. I don't remember if it was a thing, a childhood thing, but I know that as an adult I struggled. Either I never listen to my parents or I was never told.

Hannah  14:49  

I feel like that's something I'm pretty good at but actually most of the time if in the like if I'm having a shower, I'll brush my teeth in the shower.

Brandee   14:59  

Hopefully other people that do that. That feels weird to me.

Hannah  15:02  

Yeah. I don't know. That's just like especially normally I'd have a shower in the morning. I'm like a morning shower. And I would Yeah, brush my teeth in the shower. Like the ultimate multitasking. Yeah, I

Brandee   15:19  

don't know about that. Yeah,

Hannah  15:21  

I don't I don't know. Maybe it is weird.

Brandee   15:24  

I I feel like I've heard that before. So if it's weird, it can be that weird because it's not the first time I've heard it. But yeah, I think I finally turn the water off like I do. When I'm when I take a shower. I'd get like rent the brush. I always have to rent it first and on the way and then I put the toothpaste on. Because I stopped using two tabs because the Dr. Bronner's toothpaste is just so much nicer. So I'll just don't use the two tabs now when traveling because it doesn't count as a liquid anyway. not the point. I use the toothbrush, turn off the water, put the toothpaste on and then the water. Tom ready to

Hannah  15:56  

rinse? Yeah, same. So I don't think I'm good there. I'm just looking at this statistic actually, this page of statistics. And it says that 7% of UK adults brush their teeth in the shower. So I'm one of a select few. Even more people 10% of UK adults sing in the shower, apparently. Do you sing in the shower brand new

Brandee   16:18  

when I'm listening to music, certain music that I feel like singing to? I feel like I have actually I think I have a shower like a sing playlist for when I feel like but I know the walls within here and I don't like I have other neighbors who I also like to sing and I find it annoying when it's like all the time occasionally. Oh, it's nice. They're singing. Their voice isn't awful. But I think I'm aware of that too. Like if I lived in like, middle of nowhere. I might do it more. But I don't want to annoy my neighbors too much.

Hannah  16:51  

This is all like not getting about sustainability. But I'm just looking at these dishes. Do you apparently people use their phone in the shower? Do you use your phone in the shower?

Brandee   17:00  

No. If I'm listening to music songs I listen to

Hannah  17:04  

I mean maybe severe listening to music in the shower,

Brandee   17:09  

well I know there are things you can get to like your phone in the shower, there's like waterproof Speaker There's like one source of waterproof tech you can have a shower but I'll leave it like on the shelf right outside the shower and then I might like dry my hand on the towel first and then like turn the volume up or skip to the next song. Yeah. Like the phone's not in the shower.

Hannah  17:30  

Yeah, I mean maybe that's not what they were referring to. That's like the image I had it says it is true though. I've been finding now I've got this bath. I will use my phone when I'm in the bath.

Brandee   17:43  

Just be careful don't drop it in because

Hannah  17:44  

yeah, that's very much not sustainable. Could you get one of those like, like barrier thing like the fancy like wood shelf

Brandee   17:57  

thing? Yeah, wouldn't think that probably a book and a glass of wine that you see? Pinterest Instagram

Hannah  18:02  

Yeah, maybe I'll get that

Brandee   18:06  

maybe something with like, what's the word like ridges or something to prevent it from like slipping off?

Hannah  18:12  

Yeah, I think I'm definitely like playing with fire by just

Brandee   18:21  

have a bath I would. It wasn't like it was I would clean the bathroom. So no, it was clean. But it was like kind of an older teenager like Do you have an older bathroom even when it's clean? It just doesn't feel clean? Yeah. So I would only take a bath when I would maybe once every month tops maybe every other month. I would fill it with hot water and vinegar and let it sit for a while and then drain it and then take a bath in it and the clean tub which sounds wasteful to tub pools but I only didn't do that very often because I couldn't be bothered to clean them Yeah, fair enough to do a deep enough clean that I felt like okay I can take a bath and not think about whether it's feels clean just by just having cleaned it. Anyway

Hannah  19:03  

that's that's an interesting one isn't it? Because I mean that kind of plays in like well maybe it does. Maybe it doesn't I don't know. I was just gonna say like that you know you I mean it was just that the bath didn't look clean right? I mean you knew it was a clean bath. Like why what why was it so off putting you know it looked a bit I mean I don't know what the hell

Brandee   19:27  

it wasn't I could never get it that like bright white like it was just a bit dingy and old and just could never get it to look clean.

Hannah  19:35  

That's it like this is like going off on a tangent but I feel like that's kind of maybe something that was like some environmental stuff or sudden sustainable stuff like my ended up being like an issue right because we've got these like very strong ideas of like what cleanliness like looks like or smells

Brandee   19:56  

like yeah to like back. Like you know the congregation that every other day showers

Hannah  20:01  

right exactly like having a shower every day or like, you know, if there's like a strong bleach smell, you know, that immediately smells kind of clean, or a certain smell like sense. And I guess, I don't know. I mean, you use a lot more like, I think homemade cleaning products that are in water. But like do you find that cleans as well as like a commercial product might?

Brandee   20:25  

Yeah, I think the difference is instead of like that strong chemical smell in your bathroom after cleaning it just focusing on the bathroom. It smells a little bit like pickles twice. I mix of apple cider vinegar and water. So it smells like apple cider vinegar for a little bit. Once the water dries. Once it dries, it doesn't smell like anything. Yeah, but for those like heavy, like chemical heavy products, I think the target audience there is people who want to decontaminate everything water and vinegar is doesn't like I might kill some germs. But that's not the way I'm using it. It's just cleaning the surface making the mirror look clean. It's good at like, the soap I use is like someone who's castile soap taken leave like a film in the vinegar cuts right through that. So it cleans it. It's not a disinfectant. It cleans clean surfaces, and I feel fine about it. My shower does have white grout, I hate white grout. That's I would that is the design thing that I would push for in a new house is black or gray grout. So that such dingy white thing again, like I'm not I don't I'm not going to spend the time to like, scrub and get it to be like bright white grout. I don't care. It's so annoying. It's the cleaning thing I put off to the last because I hate doing it. I don't care. But then it bothers me. Right. So you do not but I don't care. So yeah, so I yeah, that's I you have to admit that I don't care is that I don't I guess I don't care enough to like, put the time and energy to like, make it clean. Right? Because it's it's a chore to like go in and scrub. Like between every tile is the worst. And I have big tiles. So I don't know, am I lazy? I don't know. I just I hate white grout. But anyway, back to the wastewater. One area I do still struggle with is dishes. And since moving to Europe, I've noticed that it's I mean, in America dishwashers, very big, big in like they're in every house. But also Yeah, the size is massive and probably too big. But I did live in a couple places in the states without one. So I've gotten pretty good at I don't have one now. So I've gotten used to washing Yeah, hand washing and but I think I waste too much water. Because something I that was like a weird and new concept to me was like having a plastic tub in the sink to collect water and wash the dishes and like and I still like struggle with like, how does that actually work? Because if you're cleaning dirty dishes in the same type of water, you will then you're you're cleaning with dirty water. Yeah, but is it really that dirty? Does that go back to the idea of like dirt, what's dirty versus rain? I don't know. I just don't understand, like how it like how it works the actual, like, it's just so easy for me to just, I mean, I will sometimes realize I'm wasting water, turn the water off, rinse all the rents the dishes, turn the water off, wash everything, like get it also beat and then turn the water back on to rinse. So I'm trying to be better about that. But I just don't understand the workflow, I guess of like, because I put my dishes in the sink. Sometimes I'll like put the water on to soak. But then how does that work? If you have been a tub and like, I just I just guess I just don't get the workflow because it's unfamiliar to me. And it's probably a silly thing. I'm sure I would figure it out. I'm a smart person. Is it? Yeah,

Hannah  23:47  

I mean, it's interesting, though, because I feel like I now I grew up with, well, I grew up with the bucket in the sink. Maybe this is a British thing. Is it a reddish thing.

Brandee   23:59  

But I feel like a European I don't know, British European. I don't know. But I think like

Hannah  24:05  

filling up the sink, and then you wash the dishes. And then you know, a night you know, I grew up in a big family. So you might have to have like several, you know, the water would get dirty and then you'd have to like you know refill with new water. And then could you just stack the dishes up next to the sink? Yeah, mostly you're next. Yeah. Next to the thing. And then you would wash but I don't know if it's like super clean. And then now I think like as an individual I have like so few plates to wash. I do normally do it that like the taps running clean a dish or the time under the running tap, which is me probably not the best way to do it. But I mean, if you were doing that, you know I grew up like I'm one of four kids, family of six. We did have like a dishwasher for a couple of years but basically we did have a dishwasher. So that's like a lot of dishes.

Brandee   25:03  

Yeah, a lot. And I have very limited counter space. So the idea of just like having the dishes pile up in that little, like small area of like prep space for dishes, while the sink is just they're empty, like,

Hannah  25:19  

that's the ocean I think, though, because I feel like we did also, it depends who doesn't like charge, like my mom would have like a, when my mom's cooking, she'll have like the sink for soapy water in the sink and would like go like kind of washing up as she goes. And like putting plates into the directly into the water on having them sit there until she's gotten into gaming. And then like, maybe when it's coming, you know, and then washing as she goes or like maybe if it's got kind of gross, if she hasn't been washing them then like that out the water and put a new thing of water in. I actually stayed I did work away several years ago, and that was a very interesting slash bizarre, I don't think I could do this, it was like a washing up system. And I think a lot of people felt quite uncomfortable with it. I was okay doing it for just like a couple of weeks, because it wasn't, you know, my house. So this guy was very, it was like Workaway, like, on and like a village in the south of Spain. Working collecting almonds and saying this is really interesting. But I'll the guy who was you know, very concerned with like, very, like quite interesting, like eco friendly methods. But you know, very like home. Nothing like fancy, but quite interesting. For example, this isn't water related. But one thing that he did was, we would like start cooking rice, for example, like the night before. And then once as soon as the water was boiling, we'd take it off the hub, and he had like a plastic tub filled with blankets. And then just putting the pot inside the blankets and covering them up. And then the next day at lunchtime, the rice would be like completely cooked. So as a way of saving energy. And he had this method that he wanted us all to do for washing dishes, which was like really using very little water and I think was like very out of a lot of people's comfort zone. Like it was something that people will kind of like some of the other volunteers were like complaining about because he wanted I'm trying to think of the exact step that was like kind of three steps, I think he wanted us to like use like a tiny amount of water to rinse off the plate. But as in like Open the tab, let like a drop of water onto the plane. And then like use our fingers actually, like there wasn't even a rag to like, clean off the like, the obvious dirt. And then he had like a half full tub, where you could then like dunk once they'd been like the surface had been cleaned off, like a dunk and then rinse inside the bucket. And then like kind of shake it off and then like put it to dry. Or like you know, but there was another step that was like the step with the there was like a set which had the soap and because I think the bucket that like the last rinse bucket was the idea was that it wouldn't get soapy, because then it was easier to reuse. Like to for how do you keep soap out of a

Brandee   28:33  

rinse bucket?

Hannah  28:34  

Yeah, I think it was like, for like, and then there was yeah, like you like rinse the soap off into the because it was like the bucket and there was a space next to it for the you know, it didn't take up the whole thing. That's it, it was minimal and very, like specific and very out of you know, that's the thing. We talked about some time, you know, like, obliging people to do something. I think it was like very much out of including myself, like I wasn't like, you know, I I'm, I think I'm fairly good at conforming to what people want. And I'm not like super. I guess I'm not someone who's like, very, very conscious of like germs. It's not something that I mean, obviously I want things to be clean, but I'm not. You know, there are different levels of how concerned people are for various reasons, which are completely fine. But yeah, that was a very that was very water conscious. But perhaps too far dream. Yeah, very much to the extreme end,

I'm sure Yeah. For her for him that felt normal, but Right, exactly.

It was not for most people. I think that was something that made you know, was definitely a bit of a like a tension area.

Brandee   29:50  

Think it's easy to think this used to this used to be me it's easy to think well water, it's a renewable resource. It's not like oil. So what's the deal? We're just we'll just get more of But but I think with climate change, we're facing more and more droughts that it yes, it's a renewable resource, but it's a bit more nuanced, complicated, right? Because to use water, you have to treat it and have it be safe and clean enough to send back out into your taps. So I'm always fascinated when I watch the like tiny house or off the grid videos on YouTube people living living in kind of homesteads, and tiny houses, or vans or whatever. It was the way they Yeah, the way they capture and reuse water, they have great water they have they collect rainwater, they just all of these systems. Yeah. And then it puts it into perspective. Because one I'm getting to try to like appreciate it a bit more.

Hannah  30:46  

Not when I mean, I think that's like an element as well, isn't it like what he's talking about with the shower and what you just said about like, the design element, like we can design our household, you know, what we use to use less water? You know, like, I remember quite recently, we had a conversation as sound like Le as well. And you were talking about how in the States, the amount of water in the toilet is like so much more. Was that with you? Definitely with Ellie.

Brandee   31:19  

Yeah, friend, LA's a friend I want to bring on because she's always just great, who she is great as a person in general. But she don't know she's done this for sustainability reasons. But she's like, bringing water and like a reuse jar. And yeah. So I think she'd be fun to have on and just chat and see. I don't know, what her general sustainability struggles are. But anyway, I've had this thought, I don't remember if I was part of this conversation.

Hannah  31:43  

Yeah, it was like she was like, this, this is getting a bit like TMI, but she was like saying about how like it took a while to get used to like the fact that Oh, no, it was that he was with someone else, someone else was saying that they thought that they was something really wrong with them, when they moved to like Europe, because they felt like the toilet bowl was never clean. And they were always having to, like, clean it, right. Um, you know, because stuff gets stuck sometimes on the side. And then we ended up realizing and this was like, for me and mind blowing, is like, because the toilet bowls in the states have like, a lot more water in them. Like, it's very rare for something to you know, get stuck on the side of your own image. Whereas I was like, Well, I don't want to like the slaves are the kind of toilets have grown up with, you know, like, you learn how to just you know, there isn't much water in them. Like there's enough I didn't, you know, about and you just have a little toilet brush. And if you need to give it a quick clean after you've used the toilet, then you give it a quick clean.

Brandee   32:46  

Yeah, so I've noticed and thought of there's way more toilet bowl to clean because yeah, the water level is so low. It's, I mean, it's great, what, five extra or 10 extra seconds, but it's like, oh, okay, the thing is not just a quick like, like, quick swipe of the brush around like the top. It's like, oh, no, I have to clean like pretty much the whole.

Hannah  33:06  

So that was like an interesting like design thing. And you know, again, with toilets, you can get the, you got to I mean, even just put like a brick inside the canister at the top or, you know things in them to like reduce the amount of water that's being used to flush because most of the time we don't actually need as much water as we flush with so if we put if you put something in there, then that like reduces the amount of water. Yeah,

Brandee   33:32  

and what I like that about Europe, I've never noticed that in the States. I don't think it's the thing is that there's options for how much water to use based on your toileting needs. There's an option to use less water and option Use more. I'll let you put put it together what's for what? And I like that if you don't need to, like full blast of water. Why? Yeah, when you do, or do you ever need to flush it off? This might be gross or TMI, but I learned from my first roommate in California. She had a kind of a not a rule she's like this is how I do it if you don't want to you don't let if it's yellow let it mellow out. Have you heard that before? Yeah. And yes, so living alone, it's very easy for me to just decide that's that's just how I do it. Yeah, but I like to she didn't like put that on me. But I felt more comfortable. I mean, we shared a bathroom so it was more her letting me know that that's how she did it. And I don't have to but I noticed some I might not so I guess in a way it wasn't Oh man. I got to encounter it. She wasn't mandating like she was saying I had to do it that way but yeah, she was kind of Yeah, I did have to encounter but anyway speaking about something else I do that will probably seem gross because it has gross other people out. There's this um, I think she's have started as a food blogger. whatsoever. I think Zero Waste chef and Marie you something I'll leave a link to She talked about we rags, it some blog posts, or maybe it was on Instagram, I can't remember about when she only has to go. Number one, she has these like old cloths from, I don't know, old T shirts or just old like cloth that she can't use couldn't use for whatever its original purpose was. And she would use that as a toilet paper and wash that with the rest of her towels. And so I started doing that just old. What about old underwear old leggings that didn't fit anymore? And I've cut them all up and yeah, I use them as we rags.

Hannah  35:37  

How? How'd you manage that? Smell wise? Do you just

Brandee   35:41  

does a little container with the contents on the floor behind the trash can get away with smell?

Hannah  35:47  

No. Interesting.

Brandee   35:48  

I've never noticed the smell and it's thrown in with the rest of my bath towels.

Hannah  35:52  

I mean, in a way, you know, like it's true at first you're like, Oh, that's weird. You know, it's again, it goes against what we've

Brandee   35:58  

taught before in a sterile but urine is

Hannah  36:01  

sterile. Yeah. And I mean, like, you know, I use like, period underwear. Yeah. You know, like baby cloth nap is like, you know, for quite a long time with cloth has been a way of cleaning.

Brandee   36:15  

We've gotten so used to like convenience. Because you do have it is a little bit extra of a step to to clean and reuse these things. But nominally, yeah, the cloth diapers that came up in, in my chat with Kelly, which was interesting. And I, it just seems like a lot of work. So I don't fault anyone that does not know that well, because I don't think I would. Anyway, we're getting a bit long on this episode. So final thoughts on water? With the dishes thing? I've tried plugs in the sink, and I can't find one that fits that doesn't like let the water drain through. So that tweet split. Maybe I'll try the plastic bucket thing. But then that's buying a plastic bucket. So maybe, I don't know if there's some maybe there's secondhand shops near your new place. Have plastic buckets I can use and try that probably try that method. I don't know. Give that a go stop feeling so guilty about the showers because I enjoyed them and probably not that long. In comparison, well, to the teenagers. What was it? 20 To 25 minutes? Yeah. Final thoughts about water?

Hannah  37:17  

Really? I mean, it's very easy to use water. Yes. And it's very easy, like you said, to think that it's reusable. I mean, like, just like an endless renewable resource. Yeah. At least in the West. I mean, we have so much easy access to water. I mean, we haven't even touched on that. But there's so many parts of the world where you don't have easy access to clean water. So we just, we have an abundance of clean, fresh water at our fingertips.

Brandee   37:52  

Yeah, my favorite charity is Charity Water. I'll leave a link because I love what they're doing trying to get trying to get clean water access to the world, basically. Yeah, building walls and etc. So yeah, yeah, it's it's very easy to lose perspective about that.

Hannah  38:09  

And I mean, and that's great. I mean, we shouldn't have access to clean. I mean, everyone should have that, right. Yeah, absolutely. And so it's not wrong for us to use it. But it is true that maybe we have to, you know, we've got so used to it being you know, I've never been in a situation where I've never had access to water, or that it's been difficult or it's not being clean. So,

Brandee   38:34  

three, I think we'll leave a bunch of links in the show notes of like, small things you can do in various parts of your home to try to use less of it. But I'll try to leave some resources to help kind of Yeah, just reshape the way you think. reshape your relationship with water to rethink your relationship with water and trying to view it as a more more valuable of a resource than most of us do.

Hannah  38:55  

Yeah. Team shower,

Brandee   38:58  

or team bath. Oh, yeah. Team shower and bath. But um, how long you should always know or

Hannah  39:03  

we should do a poll on him. So yeah.

Brandee   39:07  

Today I'm trying to be a bit more active have started creating a bit more posts based on episodes and see how they're gonna do a poll. How long is your average shower, maybe doing like a quiz tying in stats like what do you think that how many leaders are used for the average? Yeah, good idea. Some other exciting things that I have on my mind. I don't know if I'll make them happen. Thinking about starting an email list for the podcast and like, it would just send out basically the show notes and here's the links all the resources in your inbox. Because when you're listening to the episode, maybe you're not in a place to like, stop to this stuff and look up things so it'll be maybe in your inbox and then I made wallpapers for phone and computer. I'll send you version one round one of them. See what you think exciting. Yes, I think the phone wallpapers I'll just maybe post in like Instagram stories and people can screenshot and then maybe the desktop one So we'll be like, sign up for the email. Listeners, let us know what what would be interesting with you would, if you would like that. Playing around with the designs, having fun with them also thinking about creating some sort of like, guide, I don't know, like how to how to give more of a shit how to be better give a shit or somehow playing on those words of just like better give a shit. Uh, somewhere along those lines, maybe not specific things like take a five minute shower, but maybe just general ways of I don't know I'm playing around with the ideas also other ideas that jot it down and we'll try to come up with something fun for you listener to download and get value out of and then get the show notes and resources in your inbox. So stay tuned for that. 

Hannah  40:43  

Yeah, all right. 

Brandee   40:44  

And yeah. All right. Till next time, tea you later.

Hannah  40:53  

Tea you later. Bye.

Brandee   40:56  

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of The Tea on Sustainable Living Podcast.

Hannah  41:00  

If you made it to the end, we can only assume that you've enjoyed this episode.

Brandee   41:05  

Please consider sharing this with a friend or family member who could use some support on their sustainability journey.

Hannah  41:10  

And find us on Instagram @theteaonsustainableliving and let us know what you liked about the episode.

Brandee   41:16  

Alright, Give-a-Shitters, tea you later. Get it? Tea you later? As in see you later? So punny.

Hannah  41:21  


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