Many people think of water as a practically limitless resource. And although water covers over 70% of our planet’s surface, only 3% of the Earth’s water is freshwater and only 1% is available for our use – most of the remaining freshwater is frozen. Conserving water not only ensures that more of this water will be available for future generations; it also reduces the energy that must be expended to transport, treat, and heat water and reduces stress on the wildlife that also depend on it. Seas the Day this August by using these tips to lower your water use and by spreading the word to others.
Make your green thumb blue
You may not love the rain, but your plants probably do! If your household has a garden, or even potted plants on a porch or indoors, try leaving out a bucket to catch rainwater (under a roof downspout is best) and save it for the next time you need to water your plants. In addition, consider switching over to more local and drought-resistant plants, especially if you live in a drier climate. Below are a few more tips for water-wise gardens, as seen in our May posting of Seas the Day.
- Only water your lawn when it shows signs of wilting and stop before water begins to run off to the sidewalk or street – see more watering tips here!
Switch to drip irrigation – this minimizes water loss by delivering water straight to roots
Be smart about mulch – it can help retain soil moisture and keep weeds at bay, but be sure to read this post about which mulches to avoid
Instead of a lawn, consider more low-maintenance greenery!
Choose water-efficient appliances – or hack them!
Choosing more efficient appliances is a good way to reduce your water use – toilets, clothes washers, and showers are among the biggest household water users. When replacing old appliances, opt for water-efficient toilets (ones that use under 1.6 gallons per flush) and clothes washers with a low water factor. In some cases you can use certifications, like Energy Star and the WaterSense label, as a guide. Switching to a low-flow showerhead can also save water, because they aim to maintain water pressure while reducing the actual amount of water expended, but be sure to avoid lengthening your shower!
One easy way to reduce the amount of water used by your toilet is to place a brick or bottle filled with water and/or rocks in the toilet tank. By displacing water, this hack reduces the amount of water it takes to fill your toilet tank, saving water on each flush!
Shorten your shower, turn off the tap
There are many daily changes we can all make to cut down our household water use.
- Shorten your shower (getting it under 5 minutes is a good goal). You can also turn the water off while you shampoo and soap up, then turn it on at the end to rinse off!
Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth – don’t leave it on while brushing
In a similar vein, turn off the tap in between rinses when washing dishes
Don’t waste water by flushing tissues, q-tips, and other products down the toilet
Only run the washing machine and dishwasher when the load is full. Adjusting the settings based on load size is helpful too, but only running the machine when full saves the most water. And skip the extra rinse!
Check for leaks! Toilets are the most common culprits, and you can learn to check for toilet leaks here (note: you can’t always hear them!)
Eat less meat. This one may seem a bit out of the blue, but if you read last month’s Seas the Day, you’ll know that producing meat, especially beef, uses a lot of water and other resources. The same goes for beer, wine, and other forms of liquor: it takes an estimated 1,008 gallons of water to produce one gallon of wine!
Spread the information above and make the changes you can to put less strain on the world’s natural resources!
Seas the Day! Please use this information as you wish to spread the ocean conservation message. Each month, we feature a new conservation theme with ways to help so come back regularly for more ocean-helping ideas and tips!
Tom Coates via Flickr
Patrick Emerson via Flickr