Now that I have children I feel even more reason to voice my concern over the state of our planet and water supply. Without going into it, I’ll just say that I believe every person on the planet has a responsibility to conserve water; that’s right EVERY SINGLE PERSON. Luckily, it’s not difficult to encorporate water conservation into your every day living.
Cutting back on water use and consumption will not only help the planet, it will lower monthly costs by reducing your energy and water bill. So, if preserving our planet and therefore the human race isn’t enough to get you motivated, perhaps saving money will be the push you need.
Here are some of the ways my family and I cut back on our water usage:
1.) Turn off faucets when not directly in use. – This means when you’re scrubbing your hands or brushing your teeth, turn the water off when you’re not directly using it. You could save up to 4 gallons a minute!
2.) Fix leaks and have efficient faucets/fixtures – An example of this is a low-flow shower head.
3.) Save spare water to use later. – When turning the water on to let it warm up, we place a mason jar or jug under the faucet to collect the water. We then use the water to water the garden or for cleaning purposes. These are the mason jars and watering cans we use:
4.) Install a rain barrel outside. – We live in Washington state so it would be silly to not utilize rain collection to maximize our water use for things like lawn and garden care. It can also be used to do laundry, wash your car, or for flushing your toilet. We never wash our car so this isn’t a big concern to us! 🙂
5.) Have an energy efficient washing machine. – By weighing the clothing and having proper settings to choose from, these machines will use less water when possible. You may be able to cut water usage down by 20 gallons with some machines such as the ones below.
6.) Reduce frequency/amount or stop eating meat – We have cut back our meat consumption due to the massive amount of water it takes to maintain the meat industry. Eventually I hope to be vegetarian.
7.) Stop buying new clothes – Okay, you can buy some, but we focus on buying thrift store or used clothing because the apparel industry is wreaking havoc on the environment. Not only water, but our rainforests also, as well as the entire human rights issues faced in manufacturing companies overseas. Cotton requires 100 gallons of water per 1 lb of material, it is not asking much to reduce your apparel consumption and therefore your water consuption and waste.
8.) Recycle, reuse, and buy less. – Bottom line, if you don’t need it don’t buy it and if you can buy it used then do so. Recycled products typically use less water because the material is already created. Recycled paper, recycled clothing, and so on.
9.) If you drop an ice cube, use it in a house plant or dog dish.
10.) Avoid recreational activities that require excessive and constant water flow.
11.) Let your lawn go brown. – I realize some HOA’s will require a perfectly green lawn, and I say challenge them. Show them statistics and ask them how they can morally continue such a practice. It’s disturbing that we are wasting water because we want our lawn to “look pretty.” I assure you, the kids will still play in the dead grass and no one will care that it isn’t bright green. These issues need to be repeatedly brought to the forefront to create meaningful and lasting change. If you MUST water, do so the least possible amount, preferrably no more frequently than every three to four days.
12.) Leave your lawn clippings on the grass when you mow. – This keeps moisture in and reduces the amount of water needed to maintain it.
13.) Insulate hot water pipes. – This requires less energy to heat up the water and less time standing with the faucet running.
14.) Compost waste to reduce garbage disposal.
15.) Don’t run water while washing dishes. – Fill the sink up once and scrub from the water, then place in drying rack. Allow pans to soak before scrubbing them, to cut back on the amount of water needed. Also, don’t scrub every dish unless it absolutely needs it, this is wasteful and your washing dishes twice.
16.) Cut back on dirty dishes. – Only run the dishwasher when it is completely full. Designate one cup or water bottle for drinking water all day. This will cut back on the amount of dishes used and therefore less times the dishwasher is ran.
17.) Cloth instead of paper towels and wipes.