My housemate, a good friend, is very wasteful. We knew each other pretty well before moving in together but I didn't realise quite how wasteful he is. It bothers me a lot. I don't know how to either accept it or change his behaviour. Currently, I'm dealing with it by compensating for his wastefulness.
He's mainly wasteful of four things:
He leaves the lights in his room on constantly. They're almost always on when he's home, it doesn't matter where in the house he is. He also often leaves them on when he goes to work. I frequently turn them off when I leave for work or when I get home and realise he's left them on.
Twice now he's left the iron on and walked away. The first time it was on for two days. The second time I don't know how long it was on for.
Lastly, he frequently opens the fridge door and then starts doing something else, like opening a tin of beans or slicing some food. He opens the door, walks away, and doesn't close it again until he grabs something from the fridge. He does the same with the freezer. He'll grab a few ice cubes, prepares some drink / cocktail and only after that's finished he'll close the freezer door.
He's pretty bad at making sure food doesn't go bad. He frequently buys or opens a new packet of something while there's already an opened one. He also never really puts anything in a tupperware. We regularly have friends over for barbecues. I enjoy them a lot but the next day we inevitably have a ton of leftover meat. I don't know why but I always end up putting it in tupperware. I don't mind doing it, but if I don't he'll just leave it on a plate on the kitchen counter. Also, because I don't eat meat so can't finish it the following days. My housemate, for some reason, doesn't eat it either. It's perfectly good meat and he'll have eaten before, but he doesn't eat it as leftovers.
This is the main one. I live in an extremely drought prone area and this year is particularly bad. Summer is about to started and it won't rain much until March. Winters are usually wet but it didn't rain nearly as much as it usually does. There's a real chance we'll run out of water and people are urged to drastically reduce their water consumption, with the government suggesting a daily limit of 87 litres.
I'm making a serious effort to stick to that limit and am pretty sure I am succeeding. I've put a large bucket in the shower that collects the water as it's getting warm. We can then use that to flush the toilet, though I stopped flushing when I only pee. I turn the water off when I am soaping. I also only shower three times a week. I make sure I don't waste any water when I do the dishes. I collect all the rain water I can to fill the flush bucket and to water our plants.
My housemate, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have changed his behaviour. He showers every day and slides away the bucket that's under the shower because he likes the steam (that was his answer when I asked why he does that, I don't understand what it means). He rarely uses the bucket to flush but when he does it's often when he peed, which isn't necessary. He cleans dishes by keeping the water running, except when it's a lot and then he does put a plug in the drain. But then he replaces all that water when it gets just a little dirty.
We've talked about the water crisis, between the two of us and with other friends. I asked him to get better at it and he did for two days before backsliding. He knows how dire the situation is and I feel like I've done what I can to make it easy for him to save water.
Bit of a strange one. We have capped internet and right now only 20GB a month. I keep track of how much I use and can check how much we have left so I know how much he uses, which is about 50% more than I do. Last month we ran out on the 29th because he watched the new episode of the Blue Planet, I think in HD.
Currently, I'm dealing with his wastefulness by being the opposite. I try to compensate by saving as much water as I can, using as little electricity and internet as possible, and eating leftovers whenever I can. Leftover meat I started giving to homeless people / beggars.
Ideally, he changes his behaviour. I can't expect that from him though. He's an adult, he should make his own decisions. I talked to him about ways to save water; I introduced the flush bucket, told him it's not necessary to flush when peeing, etc. He seems to have just ignored my suggestions.
At this point I'm not sure what to do. It bothers me a lot and it's affecting our friendship, though I think he's unaware of it. I don't want to be the asshole who continuously tells him not to be so wasteful but it's becoming increasingly difficult to bite my tongue.
What can I do to convince him to be less wasteful without being a jerk about it?
- We currently split the bills 50-50.
- My housemate has, for the most part, not expressed interest in getting better.
- We live in Cape Town, South Africa.