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10 Simple Ways to Save Water Everyday
Water Conservation Begins Here and Now
Water is a topic at the front of many environmental discussions today - and for good reason. Water is in limited supply, and for many Americans, we use it as if it will never run out. The truth is, much of our nation’s water use is out of our personal control. The industrial giants that we rely on for our basic needs are the ones responsible for the majority of the water consumption. A true David vs Goliath. Let’s not get overwhelmed. Instead, let’s focus on the water use that we can control - our own. According to the EPA, the average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water every day (excluding our water footprint). The good news is, with some simple every day changes, we can largely reduce this number. Adopt these 10 ways to save water into your everyday life, and together we can make changes to ensure our future and our children will have access to clean fresh water like us.
10 Ways to Save
1. Skip the shower - Cleanliness is Godliness, but I’d like to bet that even God himself didn’t shower daily. Walking for miles to reach a well, lowering a bucket, hoisting the bucket, carrying it home, building a fire, heating the water - not even God would go through this trouble. Yes we are blessed with access to seemingly endless amounts of water from our shower head, but access does not mean excess. A shower every 3 days will save water, keep you clean, smelling sharp, and increase your enjoyment of showers.
2. Suds up without the soak - When shower day does arrives, keep it brief. This is a general rule. Why not save even more? Turn off the water while you soap up and apply shampoo. While it only takes a minute to do so, it saves around 7 gallons of water.
3. Don’t flush it - It’s not necessary to flush down every bowl of yellow-tinted water. Consider this fact from Community Action Science Guides, “the average person pees urinates about 6 times per day, equal to 7.6 gallons flushed. That's about 2,774 gallons per year to dispose of about 171 gallons of urine.” Learn to temporarily live with your expelled liquids and you’ll save water every day.
4. Protect your products - Remember that industrial, water wasting giant? Most of us rely on him for our basic needs - food, water, clothing, shelter and all material goods in between. The water he uses is needed to grow, transport, refrigerate, process and manufacture all of the things we buy and use everyday. If we take good care of these things, they will last longer. The less we buy, the more water we save.
5. Reusable everything - As we learned, protecting our goods is one way we can save water everyday. In the same way, we can save by reusing goods. A home kitchen is no place for disposable paper plates and napkins, of which use lots of water to make and transport. The same goes for plastic cups and Ziploc bags. Go reusable and save water.
Water Conservation Resources
6. Remove your lawn - The American dream isn’t complete without a white picket fence surrounding a perfectly manicured grass lawn. Right? Well, if you haven’t been paying attention, the American dream is dissolving. With it, our lawns will too. According to the EPA, 30 percent of our water use is for outdoor irrigation. Of that, more than half of that outdoor water is used for watering lawns. Instead, why not rid your yard from it’s current dog poop magnet, AKA lawn, and use less water by planting either vegetables, fruit trees, drought tolerant plants or natives.
7. Catch it in the sink - We use our sinks everyday to give our fruits or vegetables a quick rinse. But a quick rinse adds up quick! If you want to save water everyday, try using a bowl or bucket in your sink. Catching the water in a bucket and using that water to wash your produce is an easy way to save good water from going down the drain.
8. Trickle effect - It’s important to wash any fruits or vegetables, whether organic or conventional, to remove possible chemicals or bacteria. This water use is unavoidable. What we can avoid is the amount of water we use for this task. Instead of tearing the sink handle on full blast, give it a slight turn and let the water trickle. Want your sink to use less without monitoring? Use a faucet aerator. These introduce water into the stream and reduce the amount of water use instantly.
9. Sweep don’t spray - A windy day can bring leaves, mulch, debris and other litter to your driveway or front porch. Right now, many of us reach for the hose. Not anymore! Reach for a broom. Sweep away any unsightly messes from off your property and save.
10. Tell your server - Restaurants, along with other business establishments use huge amounts of water everyday. Luckily, we can take responsibility for the water use we have control over. It happens right after we’re greeted. When a server offers water - only accept if you know you’ll drink it. Your friend says, “waters all around!” You say, “speak for yourself.” Allow others at the table to answer whether or not they want water. Saving one 16 ounce glass of water might not seem like much, but consider 100 glasses - that’s 50 gallons saved!
Every Drop Counts!
Saving water is not a novel idea, it is a necessary adaptation. It will take a while, but every step we take towards saving water is a step in the right direction. Whether it means taking shorter showers, or eliminating showers all together. Or maybe it means eliminating paper plates from our home, or encouraging a local restaurant to do the same. Whatever it is, remember that every drop counts! We know how limited our water supply is, and we know 10 simple ways we can save everyday. Let's move forward together.