Saturday, September 26, 2015

Simple Shower Water Recapture System

In spring of 2015 we implemented a variation of the "bucket flush" concept. If you search with terms like "bucket flush graywater" there is plenty of material out there, but all of it that I found is either too complicated (involves plumbing) or talks in generalities.

We have been using a bucket flush system in both bathrooms for about six months now; this is a write-up of exactly how we did it, and how it has been using it in practice.

Catching the water

I found these plastic organizer boxes from Really Useful Boxes at OSH, and it turns out they're available online direct from the manufacturer for about what I paid at OSH (just over $10 each). While they are not the cheapest organizer boxes, I chose them for a number of reasons. On top of being very sturdy, they are wide-mouthed for catching water, a good size for the shower stalls and are a manageable for kids to carry and pour. They hold 8.1 liters (about 2 gallons) each. You won't need the lid, and the handles pop off easily if you don't want to use them.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Advice From Dad: Installment 1


I am the father of two wonderful teen girls. Over the past 15 years, I’ve occasionally heard well-meaning, but old-fashion clich├ęs such as, “Two girls? Watch out dad! Better have the shotgun ready!” I find this type of advice to be sexist. I trust my girls to carry their own metaphorical shotguns.

I strive to help them feel empowered. I trust they will try to apply common sense, and of course I know they will make mistakes. For years I’ve been contemplating what kind of dating advice I might give them when they’re old enough. I hope to impart self-confidence, and give them some advice that will help guide them as they begin to navigate the fraught waters of adolescent sexuality.

I acknowledge that the following advice may be more frank than some parents are comfortable with. I wrestled with the decision to publish what is fundamentally personal material. Before I shared it with my daughters, I sought feedback from a few parents of their BFFs. I didn’t want my kids to share it with their friends, without first having vetted it with some fellow parents. I received positive feedback, and some encouragement to publish it. So here’s the first (and possibly only) installment of “Advice From Dad” for my two wonderful daughters.

Installment 1

Hello my darlings,

You are both old enough that I want to start a dialogue about some adult topics that we haven’t discussed much in the past. I’ve been working on articulating these first few topics over the summer, and I think they’re ready to share now.