Lessons in Water Conservation: From Kitchener to Our Kitchens

Twitter update by City of Kitchener (April 25, 2019)


“You never really know how much you miss something until it’s gone”

This saying has been said so many times that sometimes it feels as though it has lost meaning. However, when the water main broke in downtown Kitchener today, I couldn’t help but realize how important water was and how everyone uses it in their day-to-day lives. The reach of the outage was so widespread as it resulted in a bit of panic among those going to work and schools.

Something as simple as going to wash your hands couldn’t be done because there was no water pressure. It is definitely something you don’t think will ever happen until it does and when that happens life gets disrupted. One can’t imagine even going part of the day without it, let alone possibly a prolonged period of time.

Mistakes like hitting a water main due to construction are uncommon, yet they happen and luckily it is something that the municipality is able to fix right away. But given how climate change is progressing and the lack of readiness to tackle it right now, we have to start thinking about what we can do when we do not have as much water at our disposal.

In a place like Canada, water (and potable or fresh drinking water) is definitely something that we take for granted on a daily basis. There are so many places all over the world where access to water is only available during a few hours of the day. Water can be extremely difficult to come by because its kilometers away or there has been long periods of drought.


In fact, one such place that experiences scarcity of water is in India – especially in the state of Maharashtra (of which Mumbai is the capital). Right now the drought this year is seemingly worse than ever before. Ground water levels are very low, live water storage in reservoirs has dwindled to less than 10% and temperatures have soared (with 40 degrees Celsius being the daily average) with no rainfall relief in sight. I read a very interesting article on this water crisis and how a lot of this is almost man-made. For those of you interested in learning more about how public policies and our actions impact water conservation efforts, check out The Marathwada’s Dry Story.


Yes, I remember being in India when it was middle of the summer and how unbearable the heat was even in those conditions. Having access to water in a part of the world where it is that hot can literally be a life saver. But even today’s experience with water made me realize that soon in Canada we will not just be impacted by water-related events (droughts, flooding or even extreme rainfall) for short periods of time, but the things that we take for granted, like clean drinking water, will be impacted for much longer. This is why it is important to make changes and be conscience of the choices you make now so that there will be more water to use in the future. Doing this we won’t be forced to think about how we could have done things differently and been more careful with water if we had only known better.


Since this was how our day played out today we thought much about water and how important of a resource it is in our daily lives. That is why we wanted to share some interesting tips that we follow when it comes to our own water conservation:

Tweets by the City of Kitchener on how residents can save water by using water efficient shower heads (City of Kitchener, 2019)
  • Be Prepared: Especially when it comes to water, preparedness means having spare bottled water at home incase there is an interruption in the supply or another emergency situation.
  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: The 3R’s are important when it comes to water conservation. Reducing usage by either having shorter showers, reusing extra tea kettle water to water plants (after it has cooled ofcourse!), washing dishes in the sink or brushing your teeth without running the tap can all be good starting points.
  • Household Chores: Always do a full load of laundry (and use cold water if you want to save energy too) – it is most efficient in terms of water use. Water your plants at night time, since evaporation is the lowest then. Figure out other ways that you can conserve your water use by combining chores or making them more efficient.
  • Rethink Your Drinking Habits: Use tap water for drinking (it is pristine and safe here in Canada – that’s a luxury most of the world doesn’t get!), put a jug of water in the fridge if you want cold water in the summers, do not buy bottled water (unless absolutely necessary), carry your own bottle when you travel and use public fountains to fill them up.

Taking a Leap with The Great Green Life


Hey everyone!

Welcome to our first blog post and a community that we would like to call The Great Green Life.

On Earth Day 2019, we start our journey as a couple that hopes to make the transition to a more sustainable and eco-friendly living. We know how sad and depressing it is to live in a world where TVs and social media feeds constantly throw at us the bad news on climate change and how we seem to be failing our planet. As millennials, it doesn’t help to know that our future is heading towards rising sea levels, food insecurity, extreme weather, species extinction and environmental conflict. We know that we have all dreamed of a peaceful and stable life, where we can own homes, raise happy children and have fulfilling careers – just like our parents.

Unfortunately, in this tumultuous world, that stable “boring” lifestyle is not a given anymore. The reason why we chose to start a community on how to make life more sustainable, was this uncertainty in how our futures looked and why we need to do our part by reducing this “climate anxiety”. We know it is easy to sit back and complain about how only governments are in-charge of big changes or why politicians need to care more, but the real transformation is already happening when we choose to make small yet impactful changes in our day-to-day lives. It is our consumption, our travel, our food and our lifestyle that gets added up (x7 billion) and affects our planet.

So on this Earth Day, we are choosing to live a less consumptive, less carbon-intensive and less toxic lifestyle instead. Come join us in our journey as a couple that has decided to go green and we hope that it inspires you to make those changes in your life as well. We welcome guest blog posts (so feel free to write to us with your own stories of green living)!

Matt wrote the following story about how we spent Earth Hour earlier this year, and how that got us thinking about living more sustainably and eventually getting the inspiration to start this community.

Spending Our First Earth Hour Together

MATT: With Earth Hour being on a Saturday this year, many ideas come to my mind about fun and interesting things we could go out and do. But being March, it meant going out involved using some kind of power (it is cold and dark out here in Canada, and we would have to drive to our destination which meant using fuel). So instead, this year we decided to stay in and play some cards (decided on UNO) by candlelight and have some Rosé.

Spending this uninterrupted time together (without phones or lights) turned out to be better than anything going out could have provided. Earth hour, as advertised is only one hour, but the time flew by and we played for much longer. Vasu jumped out to an early lead, but we ended up both winning three games. Both our competitive natures came through, but the whole experience itself was great fun. The time spent together, not worrying about what’s happening on social media or the internet was a nice break from the usual routine.

Sometimes we forget how fun just staying in and not doing anything that involves electricity or some kind of power, is sad given how much more enjoyable life can be without it. We automatically think that for something to be fun now we need to be doing something exciting or ‘like’ worthy, but we forget that the best times can be had with those around us and it doesn’t involve our phones, computers or TV. Earth Hour reminds you that the most important things are not electronic, they’re right there in front of us and one doesn’t need power or electricity to enjoy it. That’s what we’ll try to explain with this blog, that you don’t need to always be focused on what’s going on where you are or what trend is popular at the moment – life is always better when you enjoy it with people close to you. And sometimes disconnecting and spending quality time with those close to you is what often gets overlooked when it comes to changing our lifestyles.

A snapshot of our monthly electricity consumption.
Love how our electricity provider gives us an idea of what 1 kWh means. Perspective makes all the difference.