For years I've tried to cut down on my water use, but never had much success. It took the stern words of Gayapri Raghwa, a specialist programme developer in educational awareness for the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, to shock me into change. She reiterated that every drop we use in the UAE has to be desalinated through an expensive, energy-intensive process. And so in recent weeks I've finally learnt to turn off the tap while brushing my teeth and washing my face - and it was pretty easy to do, actually, once I started paying attention. The hardest thing was giving up my long-standing, almost daily ritual of having a hot bath. There is just no way I can justify it, wasting hundreds of litres of water each night - and more than 100,000 each year - just so I can have a soothing soak. With no way to enjoy a bath using less water, I have started to limit them to once a week.
As for showers, I have tried to cut my time by a third, working up to a half and getting the entire process down to about three minutes. Most of the time I am half-asleep in the shower, so it's hard to tally how long I'm in there. Enter Ekotribe's handy shower timer, in the form of a teardrop or cheerful chickadee, for Dh50. The company is launching an online store at the end of August, but until then merchandise is available at the showroom on Sheikh Zayed Road. 04 332 7693