Grey Water Recycling

So we have installed a grey water recycling sink in one of our bathrooms.  We have two sinks in the master bath and are doing the grey water recycling system with one of them until we get the hang of it.  What is a grey water recycling system you ask?

Basically we unscrewed the plumbing under the sink and placed a 5-gallon bucket under the drainage pipe.  When we brush our teeth, wash our hands, shave, etc., the water drains into this bucket.  When we do our “biz-ness” on the toilet we use this water to flush.  At first I thought this sounded like too much work, mostly because I thought that I would have to dump the water in the actual toilet tank, but that is not how it works.  You simply pour about a gallon of grey water (used sink water) into the toilet with the water valve turned off and the toilet flushes on its own.  Replace the bucket under the sink and start over.

Although we had heard about this simple system and wanted to use it upon our return, we first saw it in action while we were at The Simple Way community in Philadelphia.  Click here if you would like to go to their website and read about the system, among other things.  I also posted most of the information below.

A Simple Grey Water Recycling System

4 Easy Steps — To Flush with the water under the sink.

  1. After using toilet, lift toilet seat to prevent splashage.
  2. Gently but briskly pour about 1/3 (about a gallon) of the water from the bucket into the dirty water in toilet (NOT in water reservoir above), and toilet will flush automatically.
  3. Clean up any splashage, lower toilet seat, and replace bucket under sink.
  4. Pat yourself on the back for living responsibly and spread the word about simple but significant techniques of sustainable living like “Grey Water Recycling”.

We have decided to do this for many reasons, one being that it cuts water bill costs, but another simply because it is the right thing to do.  The average American uses approximately 40 gallons of water per day, half of which is flushed down the toilet.  Why in the world would we flush perfectly fine drinking water down the toilet when over 1 billion people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water?  You’re right – there is no good reason!  Especially when you could use grey water instead.  Plus, after you brush your teeth it makes the toilet smell minty fresh!

Here are 10 reasons posted on The Simple Way website:

  1. It’s easier to find jewelry when you drop down the drain.
  2. When we listen to the water drip under the sink we are reminded that 1.2 billion people, about one third of the world’s population, have no access to clean water.
  3. A child dies from a preventable waterborne illness once every 10 seconds. 76 million people will die from preventable water-related illnesses between now and 2020.
  4. For hundreds of years water has been an important symbol for Christians – baptism, holy water… and Jesus calls himself the “Living Water”.
  5. The world’s population has tripled in the last century. Meanwhile, water use has increased sixfold, drying up rivers and ravaging about half the world’s wetlands.
  6. Jesus says in Matthew 25: “When I was thirsty you gave me something to drink… for when you did it to the least of these you did it unto me.”
  7. World wide demand for water is doubling every 21 years. To date, in order to meet the human demand for water over 60 percent of the world’s largest 227 rivers have been dammed.
  8. The World Bank’s vice president for environmentally sustainable development, is on record as stating that many of the wars of the last century (20th) were about oil, but wars of this century (21st) will be about water.
  9. When we carry the bucket to the toilet we can remember those who walk miles every day just to get clean water.
  10. It just doesn’t make sense to use good drinking water to wash down poop, eh?
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Learning how to jump again

We have now been back in Hubbard, OR for almost 2 weeks.  The first week was a whirlwind of getting our house in order, cleaning out Big Buster, Andy figuring out a teaching position back at Woodburn High School, visiting friends and neighbors,  the 4th of July celebrations and Eva’s 3rd birthday.  We were running on the adrenaline and excitement of being back “home”.  Our bodies finally began crashing at the beginning of this week as our tasks slowed down.  Our hearts and minds have now begun processing the idea that we are back in a way of life that is not always traveling, meeting new people, and experiencing new things.

We believe, without a doubt, that God has meant all along to bring us back here.  These were NOT our plans, as many of you know- we tried to sell and rent the house for quite a long time, but no bites.  Yet, God, provided mortgage payments, school loan payments and then enough for us to stay on the road for 1 year.  We serve an amazing God who directs our paths and honors us as we attempt to honor, point, and glorify Him.  We did not think that we would be back in this house, but God did.  We praise Him for knowing the plans He has for us!

So now what do we do?  We know God has asked us to take this summer to rest, pray, and prepare us for the next venture He has for us.  This venture involves taking all that we have learned, all the love He has given us, and all the confidence He has built in us over the last year, and putting  it towards freeing the captives in Hubbard, OR.  Wow.  That all sounds wonderful, Lord, and I know you can do impossible things through me and my family, but how in the world?!!!!  There are moments when this next season feels crazier than selling everything, buying an RV, and traveling across America to preach the Gospel with our three children.

I process things much differently than Andy.  I am much more of an internal processor, he is external.  He is a man, I am a woman.  Enough said.  This week has been a good week for the two of us as we try and communicate as best we can and giving each other grace while we do our thing.  Right now, I feel like I have jumped off a trampoline that I’ve been playing on for the last year.  You know how it feels after jumping off a trampoline.  Gravity feels much stronger than ever and jumping seems nearly impossible.  So as I sit in my thuddy-ness, I have heard a whisper from the Lord saying, “Now I will teach you how to jump, like you did on the tramp, in this way of life.  But it is only possible with Me.  It will look different and feel different, but that is what makes it exciting.  Do not despair.”

To be honest with all of you, I don’t feel like I belong here anymore.  Maybe that is a good thing, maybe not.  I love all my friends and family here but I have developed a love for the kind of adventure that we found on the road- even though it was hard and exhausting at many times.  I am now asking for my Father to give me a new love and vision for the adventure He has for us here.

As of now, we will begin organizing times of prayer, here at our home with those who desire to join us in this love battle for this area of the country.  Of the many things we have learned while on the road, prayer was one of the biggest and most powerful tools He began teaching us to use.  I can’t imagine going into battle without knowing the enemies ways, the people we are fighting for, or the tactics our Leader intends for us to use.  The battle belongs to our Lord and we intend to go to Him for information and direction.  Please join us as we continue to pursue Jesus and His Love for His children.  And please keep our family in prayer as we continue to process and learn how to jump again.

Serenity