Even if you haven’t lived in drought-ridden California, it’s now well-known we need to find some more ways to save water. With fresh water being a limited resource, conserving is of the upmost importance. Why? Consider the growth in our freshwater consumption.
Why we need ways to save water
- Our growing population needs to be fed. The meat industry is the biggest offender here, taking 15,000 liters of water to produce 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) of beef.
- Thermoelectric power plants are becoming more widely used. As the demand for electricity increases, people are turning to different ways to harvest it—and it’s drying up our wells.
- Droughts have damaged regions and ecosystems. While the water may fall somewhere, places like California have seen water levels plummet.
In fact, The World Counts even has a published counter on their site detailing when the world will run out of water if we don’t change our habits.
While I didn’t grow up in a super eco-conscious household, my father used some interesting tricks to save water. We’ve rounded up his easiest habits, and found a few more, to make it super simple to cut back on water usage.
1. Limit the flow while you brush
Okay, so we’re starting really easy. Simple changes like turning the tap while you’re brushing your teeth, scrubbing the dishes, or washing your face can add up to a surprising amount of savings. Bonus if you catch excess water and use it for things like flushing the toilet. Same goes for shower water. Just the water saved while heating up could easily water all your plants—even if you’re a millennial momma like me.
2. Check your appliances
Believe it or not, some things you’ve heard about the appliances in your bathroom or kitchen may be old news. My dad was a big proponent of saving water by washing all dishes by hand, but many dishwashers are now more energy efficient than good old elbow grease. As if we needed another reason to be lazy.
3. Swap your fabrics for water friendly varieties
Of course, not buying new fabrics at all is the easiest way to cut down on your water consumption here, and we dig into the best way to do that in our review of The RealReal. But if you gotta buy new, consider the fabric. Certain materials, like hemp, are wayyyyy lower on the water usage than its cotton counterpart. It’s one of the most fun ways to save water.
4. Eat less meat—I know, sorry
As a not quite vegetarian myself, it’s a little hard to even type this. But there are so many (like really, so many) reasons to cut back on eating meat, and the world’s water budget is definitely one of them. Of the billions of animals we humans eat every year, they each have a different price tag.
Cutting down on the amount of meat you eat can make a big difference in your personal water consumption, but even being selecting about the meat you eat can be pretty substantive. Swapping your beef bolognese for a pork variety or substituting your afternoon almonds (again, sorry) for a trail mix cuts the water usage of your meal by more than half.
5. Swap to reusable goods
Now we’ve got one a little more obvious, and a little more simple. That cute mug you use every morning? That’s one of the ways to save water! Cloth napkins? That’s another! Lunch box to the office? Not just for kids anymore! Creating new goods is always (well we haven’t found an instance to the contrary) going to use more water than simply washing a mug, plate, or sweater.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when looking at the data about our freshwater problem. And not to minimize it, the problem is huge, and to make a big dent in the water counter will probably take sweeping regulations. But as you can see, it’s not so hard to cut down your own water consumption significantly. Who doesn’t like shopping for mugs? With these ways to save water, you won’t feel anything missing.
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