The Scrubba Blog

The Gallon Challenge

by Maylynn Bloom |

Students at a community college in Texas have been participating in a project to gain awareness around the issue of water consumption and scarcity.

While the average amount of water consumed per person each day in America is approximately 80 gallons (over 300 liters), students at a community college in Texas involved in a project called the 'Gallon Challenge' were assigned to live on just 1 gallon (4.5 litres) of water per day for three days and document their experiences.

The students found that one of the major challenges was doing laundry.  Some students reported that their domestic washing machines use anywhere between 45-90 gallons of water per load.  That's 200-400 litres!  This posed the problem of how to stay clean on just a gallon of water a day.

The Scrubba team donated a Scrubba wash bag to the project, enabling students to test whether they could do laundry while keeping within the water restrictions.  Students reported that they were successfully able to wash one day's worth of clothes in the Scrubba wash bag using just 1 gallon of water, although even this was a challenge.

Presumably this would have left little to no water for drinking, cooking and other life requirements, but it was a good lesson on how little we can actually get by on compared to what we consume on a regular basis without thinking.

Research shows that the average amount of water consumed per person in a household is inversely proportional to the number of people in the house.  In other words, the greater the number of people in a household, the less water each person uses.  This is most likely because a portion of water consumption, such as laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc., is shared between the residents.  So perhaps by pooling resources together, the students could manage clean clothes and still have enough water for other necessities on just a gallon a day per person.


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Tags: gallon challenge, scrubba, Scrubba bag, scrubba wash bag, travel light, water consumption, what to pack