Water makes up about 70% of the globe. It is the most important substance to sustain the life unique to our planet. Whether we’re watering our plants, washing our clothes, cooking, or taking a long drink after a hot hike – we use it every day. Though it may seem we have an endless supply of water, we can actually only use about 1% of the Earth’s water supply. This limited 1% is the only fresh water we have readily available for use. With the Earth’s population expected to rise another forty percent within the next fifty years, there will be more of a demand for water than there ever was before.
Did you know that if we continue to use water as abundantly as we do now, we will have a water shortage within the next ten years?
40% of our country’s rivers and lakes are polluted by factories, which destroys some of the little drinking water we do have. With our usable water supply at risk, it is especially important to conserve water within your household. You may be thinking that your home won’t make much of a difference, but you have the power to make changes that will save hundreds of gallons of water every month. Each area of your household can be used as a tool to conserve water. By making these few changes you are helping our environment and lowering your own water bill at the same time.
- Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pot of water.
- Designate one glass or water bottle to drink water out of so you don’t have to continue washing new cups throughout the day
- Compost vegetables and fruits instead of using the garbage disposal. It will power up your plants and save water.
- If you accidentally drop ice, don’t throw it in the sink – put it in a house plant. If there’s any ice left over from a drink do the same thing.
- Try to use fewer pots and pans when cooking, you’ll have less to wash.
- Click here for yummy recipes that only require the use of one pot! Perfect for warming up during the cold season.
- Leave a tub in the shower to get the excess water while it warms up. You can use this water for your plants!
- Take a shower right after someone gets out so you don’t have to wait for it to warm up.
- Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save 100+ gallons a month!
- While washing your hands, turn off the sink while you lather your soap.
- Plug the sink while shaving to save water when rinsing your razor.
- You can use a tub of water to shave instead of letting the shower run.
- Turn off the water after wetting your toothbrush and turn it back on when you’re done brushing.
- When washing clothes make sure you’re washing a large load instead of half a load
- Only wash your clothes after a few uses
- Harvest rainwater a few different ways to save water and have for later use. If you’d like more information on harvesting rainwater – read up on your options here.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalk, and driveways
- When giving your pets a fresh bowl of water, use the left over to water plants and trees around the house or yard.
- Only order water at a restaurant if you’re going to drink it.
Making these simple changes in your life and around your house can make such a huge difference overall. Not only are you helping yourself, but you’re helping your community and your environment. It may be a bit challenging to remember everything at first, but as time goes on you’ll pick up these habits and take them as your own.
Personally, my favorite way to save water are the little things I do around my own household. I take shorter showers knowing every time I bathe I’m saving gallons of water. I also enjoy taking my dog and washing him in spots I knew I missed when watering my yard last. If you’d like to use a soap that’s good for the environment and easy to find, you can stop at your local market and pick up Dr. Bronner’s biodegradable soap. You’d be using environmentally responsible products and it’s less of a mess for you to clean up! Though I had a slightly difficult time adjusting, I ended up getting used to doing these things. Knowing I do my part to make a small difference in the world makes it so much easier to retain these habits. I encourage you to do the same because in the long run – you’re helping our world as a whole.
Written by Shannon Cartwright, ECOLIFE Intern