Editor’s note: If you haven’t met “Flo” yet, this superhero is visiting Cowichan communities this summer, helping us face down a severe drought and water restrictions. Cowichan Watershed Board summer student Lauren Frost reports in weekly as Flo visits local watershed heroes to learn more about their work (and snap a selfie)!
By Lauren Frost Guest Columnist
Occupation: “Old” Water Woman
Why Flo likes her: Everyday Water Conservation Hero
Flo: Hi Miyo. Great to meet you! Let’s begin with your life here in the Cowichan Region. How long have you lived here?
Miyo: I’ve only lived in the Cowichan Region for approximately two years, but I’ve lived from Nanaimo to Victoria for 37 years. I was born and raised in California. I learned to value water in many communities in which I’ve lived throughout my life — California desert, Greece, and Guatemala especially — and I know that water is one of the very most important things we have in our life and we need to protect it.
Flo: I understand you set a pretty high bar for water conservation around your home. That is wonderful!
Tell me about what you do.
Miyo: I try and use every drop of water at least two times if not three or four times. Using drinking water to flush our toilets is just such a strange idea. So, you know, I really try and use it well.
Flo: Some of the actions you take to save water require more work than most people are willing to give. How do you keep your energy up? What motivates you?
Miyo: I think they actually take less work when you put everything into the equation. I really struggle with myself… do I want to hook up the washing machine? And then I decide, “No, I don’t want to!”
Doing my laundry in flex tubs with a plunger is so easy and allows me to carry the water to the garden, plus will use less water, no electricity, take less time, and it will be more enjoyable.
I think we’re supposed to use our bodies. It’s healthy. And one thing that motivates me is that when I know I’m doing what I think is right in regards to water, I feel good. It makes me feel happy. I can look little children in the eye and say, “don’t you worry!” Other times, I get depressed thinking about what could happen – what is happening already – with our fish and our wildlife.
Look at those kids there! They don’t know what is coming. Everybody thinks everything’s going just fine.
Flo: If you could ask every Cowichan region resident to do one thing for our watershed, what would it be?
Miyo: It would be to put a bowl or bucket under every faucet to catch water. Put the plug in the bathtub when you take a shower. Reuse! You won’t have to use drinking water to flush the toilet anymore. You’ll have lots of water for your plants to grow. Use a bowl to catch the water that would usually run down the drain.