Friday, August 11, 2017

Twenty-One Days Until TEOTWAWKI - Day Two (Water)

This post isn't actually about water - per se.  It's about beverages, and it might seem a little superfluous to some of you.

Here's the thing.  We don't, usually, purchase sodas.

That's a lie.

We didn't, for a very LONG time, purchase Coca-Cola or Pepsi-Cola products, because most of them contain high fructose corn syrup.  Then, Coca-Cola company came out with this "Coke Life" product that has cane sugar and Stevia.  A few 12 packs made it into our shopping cart, maybe once or twice a month.

We also spent more money than we should have on soda products that were locally manufactured (Maine Root and Cap't Eli's were the two brands we would purchase), and/or we would purchase soda products from one of those organic soda companies.  Our grocery store carried a flavor by Virgil's called "Dr. Better".  We found that we really liked it.

Bad habits are born slowly and end up becoming pervasive - remember the frog boiling analogy?  It applies here, too.  In fact a lot of the things I'll probably be discussing over the next three weeks are frogs boiling.

Around June when TSHTF, we realized that we were spending quite a lot of money each week on soft drinks, which is funny for someone who had completely eliminated them only a few years earlier.  It was easy when my daughters were young, but as they reached those teenage years, forcing my opinions and ideologies becomes more difficult and started to feel invasive.  They're getting older, and they need the opportunity to make their own decisions - such is one of the main tenets of the unschooling philosophy.

But as a side note, let's not turn this post into a bashing of my schooling philosophy/parenting style.  I think there's a post about homeschooling later in this series.  You can bash me there :).

Anyway, sodas made their way into our house in a very big and very expensive way.

But then, we were suddenly faced with the need to cut back on our spending.  One of the easiest cuts was the soda.

My friend recommended a Soda Stream.  The initial outlay for the machine was $70, which included one CO2 cartridge.  Because we usually bought the super expensive sodas, $70 is probably what we spent a month on soda.  So the soda stream actually paid for itself after the first month.

When the CO2 cartridge is empty, we take it back to the store to exchange.  It costs $15 - one-fifth of what we were spending on sodas.

We make our own syrup using organic cane sugar and water.  Sometimes we'll add juice from fresh squeezed lemon and/or lime.  We've also made cherry limeade to rival Sonic's.  Ours is way better.  Just saying.  

So, this isn't, exactly, a TEOTWAWKI thing.  If the world goes belly-up and we all start fighting zombies, having carbonated water will be the least of our worries.

But if our TEOTWAWKI is a job loss and the goal is to survive without losing one's house or whatever, switching to something that can save a lot of our cash, especially in a short period of time, might be a useful transition.

Probably, we should have just switched to drinking still water.

To that end, we've actually made a very important step toward improving our water usage here.

We've long been "if it's mellow ..." practitioners.  That hasn't changed.  We usually take quick showers, because, why dawdle?  Sometimes we even shower with a buddy to save water.  We always wash a full load of laundry.  We don't run the faucets when we don't have to.

This year, though, has seen a transition in the way we use water outside.  Precious likes to fill the rabbit water bottles inside.  I, personally, don't find it easier or faster to bring them all inside, but for whatever reason, she did.  I was able to encourage her to use the rain barrel instead.

In addition, I moved a rain barrel closer to my garden, and I put a couple of buckets right next to it. The hose is on the other side of the house and is heavy and bulky and difficult to drag around.  The bucket that can be filled with the rain barrel is right there.  But also, the water isn't turned on and left running while the hose is being moved around the yard, which also saves a lot of water.  AND since we're using a bucket rather than a hose, we can water whenever, and there's less chance of sunburning the plants with water droplets on the leaves in the heat of the day, because we pour the water right at the base of each plant rather than using the sprinkler method in which everything gets sprayed from above.

We probably won't see a change in our water bill, because the cost is going up by 30% this year anyway, thanks to some infrastructure improvements the water company did that they feel their customers should pay for.

But with the rain barrels, if our personal TEOTWAWKI ends up with us in financial dire straits, which results in the water company turning off our water, we'll still have water, at least a couple hundred gallons - as long as it rains ... and if it doesn't rain, we do have access to some water very close by that we could haul (not my favorite plan) by 5 gal. bucket.  It would have to be sanitized for drinking, of course, but luckily, as backpacking enthusiasts, Deus Ex Machina and Big Little Sister have a couple of these.
Water is life, right?  Saving money on that absolutely vital commodity can be a big deal.

And having cheap fizzy drinks also contain ingredients we choose is also a bonus.


  1. I gave up sodas years ago too, too much sugar and acid. I LOVE the Coke made in Mexico in glass bottles made with real sugar. At 45 grams though we split a bottle. Our water is cheap here, even in the summer, but we know if our tiny water company gets bought out it will be tough. We water our gardens, etc. with city water. Time will tell... Nancy

  2. I am really digging this series. I'm sorry for the cause, glad you were at least partially prepared, and happy that it is short term.
    I like how you strive to live a "normal" life within your community. You haven't gone Luddite, you enjoy some "unnecessaries", but aren't dependent on them. (I realize "unnecessary" and "dependency" seem contradictory, but you know what I mean!)
    Keep writing; I'm taking notes!