Posted by: alinasiegfried | March 6, 2010

Laundry, Pigeons and Members of Parliament

Laundry Day!

Okay, it’s day six and I’ve amassed a moderate sized pile of laundry.  I have managed to bank 33 litres of water of the past 5 days, so I think that will come in handy today. Not that I will be wasteful and blow the lot, but it’s nice to know it’s there if I need it.

I boiled a soup pot full of water on the stove this morning, and have mixed it with some cold in a big storage tote. With the lid on, I’ve found you can slosh it around and mimic the effects of a washing machine quite easily. I’m leaving it to soak for another hour or so and will then begin my ‘rinse cycle’ Watch for videos in coming days.

Kevin warned me before I began that the biggest challenge I would face is time. But I wasn’t prepared for just how much time everything takes! When you have to heat all your hot water in a kettle and on the stove, because you can’t afford to run the tap, it adds a lot of time onto everyday activities. I live in a three-storey house. I’m getting better at taking my water bottle with me all over the house – it’s rather annoying to use the bathroom on the third floor only to find that my hand-washing bottle is on the main floor! But hey… at least I don’t have to walk ten kilometres a day to gather water from a contaminated well to bring back to my village for my family, as is the reality for many women in developing nations.

Now I’ve been carrying around a pledge form in my pocket to get friends on board at any given moment and last night I got to use it to garner some high profile pledges! I was having a drink in a bar with some friends when I noticed Saskatoon city councillor Darren Hill at a nearby table. I explained my water challenge and asked for him to pledge some water which he willingly did – before introducing me to MP Scott Brison from Nova Scotia who also pledged to save 25 litres of water per day for a month!

Along with these successes and high points, there have been a couple of low points. I’ve had a couple of unexpected water uses crop up – the most notable one being a little incident on Thursday morning. Somehow a pigeon got into my house during the night (I think down the chimney) and my cat evidently spent the night chasing it around the house. It was very strange to find a stunned pigeon under my bed when I woke up! Unfortunately my cats antics resulted in feathers everywhere and dried pigeon blood on the walls, floor and even ceiling. Given that pigeons carry many diseases, I’ve had to use a good amount of hot water to clean up after this little fiasco. I am happy to report that after some recovery time outside (its been pretty mild here recently) the pigeon flew off to the south, hope he/she was okay…

So the challenge continues, stay tuned for the next instalment!




  1. hang in there sweetheart, you’re doing great! cant imagine how hard it would be to get anything done for me if i had to self-heat all my water – or go and get it from anywhere else! – andthe fact that you’re managing to save some despite things like the pidgeon incident is awesome. cant believe you have MP’s in on it as well!
    go you 🙂
    good luck with the laundry xx

  2. Excellent!!!! I really feel like if people only realized how the most subtle changes in our lifestyles can have such major impact on the world!!!!

    Thanks for your CONSERVATION…

    Keith Fetz

  3. Go Alina!!! You are actually contributing to life in a meaningful way right at this very moment! Something most people (including me) sit on the couch and just think about! Good Luck, you are amazing!!!!!!

    Yours Sincerely

    Sera Officer

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