I’m a romantic in so many ways. I’m particularly attracted to some of the devices from the past that were a part of daily life. One of my real faves is the wash basin and pitcher. I think they’re ripe for a comeback among the conservation-conscious, while lending a bit of the romantic lifestyle splash of which I speak.
Whenever I’m brushing my teeth or washing my hands or face in the bathroom sink, I try to turn off the water in between actions. Water is such a precious resource, —or so we say. Yet we go through it like sailors swilling brews at a dockside bar. Just keep it coming!
But throughout human history, and in many locations still (the number would shock us) people, usually women, had to go long distances to fetch and carry it back home themselves. Or they use pilas and are very mindful about it’s purity. In that scenario, the preciousness of water is made abundantly clear. But just racing out of taps, loaded up in 20 ounce bottles in refrigerator reach-ins at convenience stores (boycott them please), or served to us at restaurants so ubiquitously that we often leave the glass untouched, obscures that preciousness fairly well.
We forget how fragile that entire set up is.
Water conservation practices
Even as I turn my water off within a use session, I realize that I could use even less if I used a wash basin and pitcher. There would be a hassle factor to fill a pitcher and bring it to a dresser, at least based on today’s perception of ease and convenience.
And there may be concerns in a germ-phobic culture like ours that such an approach is less sanitary. But we have to remember that this is the same culture that produced the plastic-wrapped plastic fork. Sometimes an idea can simply be taken too far for no real good reason.
Perhaps that’s also the case with getting a water pitcher. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just as easy to turn the faucet off in between rinses.
Pretty things make life nicer
But I’d like to have a wash basin and pitcher anyway.
It would be nice to have one around aesthetically if there were ever any disruptions to the water supply. I’d hate to think that if I had to fetch water from another source, once I brought it back my whole relationship to it was out of a old plastic milk container or something equally unappealing.
In a post-peak world I believe we’ll redefine luxury. Mixing conservation with romantic sensibilities offers a way to discover some of those luxuries now.
And having some of the tools of the past on hand, such as a water basin and pitcher, might be just the thing to make a worse downturn feel a little easier to deal with in the future. Until then, a water basin could simply be decor.
Or you can experiment with your relationship to water a little more consciously. As Lao Tzu said, “One cannot reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.”
We could use a little of that, too.
–Lindsay Curren, Lindsay’s List