Like your body, the earth that you call home is mostly made of water (your body is up to 60% water; the earth is 71%).
Most of the water on earth (97.5%) is too salty for humans to use or drink. Instead, we rely on just 2.5% of what’s left to hydrate, wash, clean, and produce our food, goods, and clothing.
Consciously choosing to save water will help ensure that you and generations to come have access to this vital natural resource for years to come–and can help reduce your water bill to boot. Here are six simple ways you can do your part and save more water today.
1. Turn off the tap.
Did you know that a bathroom faucet runs about 2 gallons of water a minute? That means if you brush your teeth for the recommended 2 minutes twice a day with the tap running, a whole 8 gallons of fresh drinking water has simply slipped down the drain in a single day!
Instead, turn off the taps while you brush your teeth, shave, wash your hands and face, and do your dishes. Through this small conscious effort, you could literally save hundreds of gallons of water per month!
2. Shorten your shower (or update your shower-head).
For adults and children alike, taking a shower is as much about getting clean as it is about unwinding or refreshing your energy.
While you may not be ready to shorten the length of your shower after a particularly long day or serious sweat session, consider shortening your shower at least 2-3 days a week, or switching to a low-flow shower-head. Set a time for 5 minutes for you and your family, or look for a shower-head that uses no more than 2 gallons a minute.
The average American shower uses almost 16 gallons of water in 8 minutes, so every mindful effort you make to use less can make a dramatic difference in your household’s overall water usage.
3. Opt for full loads of laundry.
If you’ve got a front-loading washing machine, you’re already on your way to reducing one of the biggest sources of water uses in the US: laundry. While a standard washing machine uses up to 41 gallons of water per load, an energy-efficient front-loading machine can drop that usage down to 28 gallons a load.
Another way to save water while washing clothes, without updating your washing machine? Wait to tackle your laundry until you have enough clothes to run a full load. Washing a single full load of clothes requires less water and energy than running 2 half loads.
5. Repurpose water.
Repurposing running tap water ensures you get the most out of your clean water (instead of sending it down the drain).
Catch the water you use to wash fruits and veggies to water your houseplants, or use a bucket to gather the water that runs from your shower while you’re waiting for the water to heat up to wash your car. If you’ve boiled veggies, allow the water to cool and then water your plants outside.
6. Choose a kiddie pool over sprinklers.
Though playing with the hose or sprinklers is a fun way to cool down during a hot day, those summer favorites also tend to waste precious water during a time of year when natural sources of freshwater are at their lowest.
If your child (or you!) are looking for a way to cool off without running water unnecessarily, opt to use a kiddie pool instead and repurpose the water (#5) whenever you’re finished.
When it comes to doing your part to save water, remember that a little goes a long way. Ultimately, the most important thing is simply that you begin today.
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