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How Do We Conserve Natural Resources? Best Water Conservation Methods
How would you react if your morning paper proffered headlines suggesting that the world was in crisis, because of unprecedented shortages of water and food?
It's a frightening scenario, isn't it?
Yet time and time again we are reminded that our current lifestyles and the rate at which we are using, abusing, and wasting natural resources may eventually lead to disaster, for all of us.
But it doesn't have to be this way. If we learn to conserve the natural resources that we have by altering our lifestyles and thinking carefully about what we use and how, there's hope for us yet!
So how do we conserve natural resources? And what are the best water conservation methods?
How Can We Conserve Electricity?
Experts predict that within 40 years our oil reserves will be completely depleted, and once they are gone they are gone for ever. But what can we do about this? Read Conservation of energy and resources; how can we conserve electricity to find out more.
Why Do We Need to Conserve Natural Resources?
Every resource that man needs to survive is provided by nature: food, air, shelter (wood from trees) and water. And other resources, such as electricity and fossil fuels ensure that as societies we have transportation, can produce goods, heat our homes when the weather is cold and power our much loved gadgets.
Some of these resources are renewable, we can replace them, such as plants (food), water and trees, whilst others such as fossil fuels are nonrenewable. Once we have depleted these resources they are gone forever.
Growing populations, waste and pollution have all ensured that we are not only using renewable resources faster than we can replenish them, but are abusing the resources which we do have.
Poor farming practices ensure the erosion of much needed soil for agriculture, the over hunting of animals leads to shortages of some foods (like certain species of fish) the use of pesticides and other toxins has polluted our air and water supplies.
And when it comes to our usage of fossil fuels we're like a species hell bent on self destruction.
Why does this matter? Well, if we continue at this rate our most basic means for survival will be in such short supply that the world will be in crisis. Such catastrophic events may not happen during your lifetime, but possibly within the lifetime of your children, and certainly within the lifetime of your grandchildren.
The Global Water Crisis is Already Here
How Do We Conserve Our Natural Resources When it Comes to Water? It Begins With The Way You Think About Water
Did you know that despite being a renewable resource the world's supply of clean, safe water is steadily and consistently decreasing? Or that in some parts of the world the demand for water already exceeds supply?
Just fifty years ago, the world's population was half of that today which stands at seven billion people. And by 2050 it is forecast that the world's population will reach a staggering nine billion people, which means that the global demand for water can only increase.
And just fifty years ago, it was assumed that the world's water supply was infinite because it is a renewable resource. Renewable it is, but overtime there will, quite frankly, not be enough water to meet the needs of the global population. At least, not at the rate we are using and abusing this most precious resource.
There is much we can do as individuals and as a collective, to counter our decreasing supply. However, it starts with you and your family, and how you think about, use and conserve water. Try using small stickers in bathrooms and kitchens, to remind other family members, especially children, to think carefully about how much water they're using- and always to turn off dripping faucets and taps.
Conserve Water by Thinking About the Way You Tend Your Garden
The garden is one area where so much water is wasted, and whilst it is not a sin to love your garden and it's contents, it is a sin to needlessly waste such a precious resource. Help conserve water by:
- Use compost and mulch on your flower beds, vegetable gardens, trees and shrubs. Both prevent the evaporation of water from the soil, ensuring that water is held where the plants need it.
- Opt for low water use plants. Once these plants are established they will survive on rainwater alone.
- Use an outdoor water timer to ensure that you use the right amount of water, at the right time and frequency.
- Halve water usage in the garden by using drip irrigation or a soaker hose.
- Water early in the morning as midday watering results in a significant amount of water evaporating.
- Direct any downspouts onto your lawn, on to rain gardens (if you want to know more about rain gardens follow the link), or into a rain barrel.
- Use a stiff bristled broom to clean your driveway and yard, as opposed to a hose.
- When you clean out the fish tank, use the old water to water your hanging baskets, outdoor and house plants. The water contains nutrients which will benefit your plants.
- Likewise, when you give your pets fresh water use the old remaining water on your outdoor and indoor plants.
- Place ice cubes in the soil or under the moss of your hanging baskets, planters and house plants to avoid overflow and wasted water.
Learn Water Saving Gardening Techniques
How to Conserve Water in the Home
There are countless ways to save water in the home, many are obvious but we haven't previously given them much thought.
Whether bathing, cooking, cleaning or doing the laundry, you could literally save hundreds of gallons of water per month by thinking about how you use this resource. And, of course, if you're saving water you're saving money. Think about the savings which you will make on your water bills.
When Washing and Bathing Save Water By:
- Save up to 150 gallons of water per person, per month by shortening the amount of time you spend in the shower by a couple of minutes.
- And, reduce your water consumption by a further 40%, by installing a water saving shower head.
- When running your bathwater, plug the bath immediately rather than waiting for desired water temperature, adjust the temperature as the bath fills.
- Install a water saving faucet in the bathroom, or save up to 25 gallons of water per month by turning off the taps when brushing teeth, lathering hands, shaving and washing your face.
- Always ensure that faucets are closed properly after use.
- Save up to 150 gallons a month by turning off the water while you wash your hair.
When Cooking, Cleaning and Doing the Laundry Save Water By:
Ensuring that you wash your fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables, in a bowl or pan of water rather than rinsing under a running faucet. Save the water and water your plants with it.
- Defrost food in the refrigerator rather than rinsing it under running water.
- Soak dirty dishes and pans rather than scraping them clean under running water.
- Install water saving faucets in your kitchen.
- When hand washing dirty dishes and pans, fill a large bowl with water and rinse the suds from the dishes as opposed to rinsing them under running water.
- When boiling food such as vegetables, use just enough water to cover them. Cover the pan and the steam will help to cook the food.
- You can save up to a 1000 gallons a month by only using your dishwashers and washing machines when you have a full load.
- If you have decided to invest in new appliances, opt for energy efficient and water saving models, such as the ones which offer load and cycle adjustments.
- If your toilet is an older model, such as those manufactured or fitted before 1992, fit a displacement device in the tank, thereby reducing the amount of water needed for each flush.
- Avoid buying children water guns or toys, they use a phenomenal amount of water and there's other ways that kids can have fun.
- Invest in products that display the EPA water label, ensuring that they are 20% more water efficient than any other models.
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