When speaking of water conservation, the average person probably thinks about brushing their teeth and taking showers. With a thousand volunteers and thousands of guests per year, we must consider the same ideas. To manage our daily use we employee a variety of tools and tactics.
Hand Wash Stations
Sadhana Forest’s hand wash stations are famous, though the idea predates the oldest volunteer at Sadhana Forest. Simply take any vessel, put a small hole in the bottom of it, and suspend it at hand washing height. Pour as much water as is needed, usually this is on average 150 mL to 300 mL (5 oz to 10 oz). We make these out of metal cups, plastic bottles, and coconut shells. It can be done anywhere that hands are washed, including a modern home.
The hand pump is one of the most valuable tools in our community. It serves as a reliable source of water all year, and throughout all weather conditions. Equally important, it teaches all who use it that water is a resource and that it takes effort to attain it. Since our laundry and showers both use ‘bucket’ systems, volunteers must carry their personal water a short distance and herein lies the lesson. Developing nations all over the world still require people, mostly women, to collect water and firewood. Requiring each of us to carry our own water is an important lesson in empathy.
Combined the hand pump and hand wash stations conserve thousands and thousands of liters of water each year. Kitchen taps vary tremendously in flow volume, from 2-25 litres per minute. http://www.waterwise.org.uk/pages/indoors.html
Protecting Our Water Resources
Our soaps are locally made and plant-based. We aim to only use biodegradable products. This is to protect all those that use the water; be they plant, animal, or human.
A sponge is a Permaculture technique that involves a hole in the ground which is fed large amounts water and organic material into the center of it. On the edge of the hole plants which enjoy this type of environment are grown. Combining our hand washstation with a sponge equals a nearly zero waste washing system.