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5 Ancient Ways to Survive Drought: Public Baths, Veganism, Nudity, Eco-Latrines, Eating with Hands
Hank Pellissier   Jul 16, 2015   Ethical Technology  

“Blue Gold.” Water is becoming dangerously rare and valuable in drought-stricken areas around the globe, including my home in California.

Today citizens in developed nations each wastefully splash away 100s of gallons per day. But what if fresh H2O continues to dwindle? Suppose humans were rationed a meager allotment, like 10, or 5, or even 2 gallons per day?

Thirst - especially in the accelerating heat - impels us to drink 1 gallon per day. This leaves us - if the above rations are applied - with only 9, or 4 or 1 gallon each to perform all the washing, flushing, and bathing activities our spoiled flesh is accustomed to.

We’d enter a radically-different Dry Era with drastic changes in our lifestyle.

How would cultural habits change? Below I list five ancient ways to survive:

Public Baths: Every 5 minute shower pours 25 gallons of water down the drain. Shampooing your hair? Shaving your legs? Up that to 50 gallons. To eliminate this solitary self-indulgence we could revert back to public baths. Romans enjoyed this, so did Native Americans. Hungary and Istanbul still splash en masse. I live flour blocks away from a community pool that would suffice. Hot springs, lakes and rivers would be advantageous, and children would insist on water parks.

Veganism: A horrific 5,000 gallons of water is required to create 1 pound of beef, and 1,000 gallons are needed to produce 1 gallon of milk. This is the most significant statistic you’ll read in this essay. Our steaks, ribs, and burgers are fed alfalfa, a crop that’s thirstier than almonds. If after was solely utilized to irrigate human-only plants, the drought problem would be largely resolved.

Eco-Toilets: Every time you flush your urine or feces down an old toilet, you waste 3.5-7 gallons of water. If you own a thrifty new model, you’re still draining away 1.28-1.6 gallons. If latrines were used, with nitrogen “humanure” composted safely and sprinkled in gardens, this waste would be quickly eliminated. Pardon the puns.

Nudism: Even in hot, humid climes, we wear unnecessary garments that we sweat in, spill food upon, and stain accidentally. Cleaning this apparel in laundry machines requires 30-40 gallons of water per load. If clothes were donned only for warmth, and we only washed the filthiest, we’d be saving oodles of H2) for more essential purposes. Nudity also provides health benefits.

Eating With Hands: Dishwashers use 5-10 gallons of water per load, and they’re packed with unnecessary items. Many cultures don’t use forks, for example, they eat with their hands. Plates are also extravagant - families can scoop food from the pans with their fingers instead, and shove it into their mouths. This is a way to elevate everyone’s gut microbiota  - very beneficial. If someone has a contagious disease, they shouldn’t be at the table anyway - infecting everyone with touch, breath, and sneezing.

These five drastic measures to survive with minimum water seem primitive and uncomfortable at first glance, but deeper inspection reveals that they all offer benefits, both physically and socially.

Naked vegan potlucks, fingered into our mouths, followed by an out-of-doors BM and group skinny-dipping - who doesn’t want that?

Please leave your comments below.

Hank Pellissier serves as IEET Managing Director and is an IEET Affiliate Scholar.


Hank, an awesome essay, my friend!

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