Water is arguably one of the planet’s most precious resources as well as one of the most limited. Yet, despite predictions of water shortages in the future and stories from places that are already experiencing shortages, western society continues to run through this valuable resource like there’s no tomorrow.
It’s easy to waste what’s so readily available, but day-to-day water encounters don’t have to be wasteful ones. Here are some tips to help reduce your water consumption:
Wear it more than once: According to consumerenergycenter.org the average load of laundry uses 40 gallons of water and a typical American household does 400 loads of laundry a year. That’s an estimated 1600 gallons of water each year wasted on cleaning clothes for a single family.
Cut down on water wasting laundry loads by wearing clothes more than once before sending them through the cleaning cycle. This philosophy works best with pants, particularly jeans. Pants pretty much look the same from one pair to the next, so no one’s going to notice if you wear one pair two days in a row. The same goes for jackets and pajamas. If there aren’t dirty spots and it doesn’t stink, then don’t wash it. The only exception to this water conservation technique is underwear: never wear underwear more than once.
If it’s yellow leave it mellow: According to toiletabcs.com, each toilet flush uses an estimated 1.6 gallons of water. Based on this measurement, a person who flushes the toilet three times a day will use almost 5 gallons of water per day and nearly 35 gallons in a week. Over the course of a year that’s over 1800 gallons of water being used to flush the toilet. And that’s just if a person is flushing the toilet three times per day.
Instead of flushing every time, try and get more than one use per flush. Now this doesn’t mean start an unsanitary ammonia factory in your bathroom, but choosing when and when not to flush can be a potential water saver. For example, if you’re one to get up in the middle of the night to go pee, don’t flush. Wait to flush until morning after you’ve gone pee again.
Use common sense: If you’re not using water at that moment, turn the water off. Listening to running tap water isn’t a vital process of brushing your teeth, so cut the water flow between rinsing the brush off. The same goes for washing your hands. If you’re soaping your hands up, the tap water doesn’t need to be running. Even small decisions to use less can make a big difference.
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