Water is one of the most important resources for preserving life. However, it is also one of the most undervalued things there is in the world. In many developed countries, we tend to take water for granted because it flows easily out of the faucet. We use water without really thinking about it. It even seems strange that many people have no problem leaving the faucet running but we would go to war if someone tried to steal our oil.
Since about 70% of the Earth’s surface is water-covered, many people can’t help but wonder – Why should we save water?
- Up to 60% of the human adult body is water and our brains are approximately 80% water and our bones are 15-20% water
- We can live up to three weeks without food but only days without water
- 97% of the water on Earth is salt water
- Only 3% of the world’s water is fresh water and only 1% is available for drinking, the rest is frozen or glaciers or polar ice caps or deep in the ground
With the importance of water to life on Earth and the limited supplies of fresh water we have, if we do not take our responsibility to learn more about using our limited water supply wisely and think about ways of saving this precious resource, we might come across a day when there will be no pure and safe water left for generations to come.
Saving water not only protects the wildlife that lives in wetlands, it reduces your household water bill as well and ensures the health of our bodies and our natural environment.
Water conservation is a big scale thing and it might seem like we can’t do much to help, but every little bit helps, so we should not think that what we do doesn’t matter. One little bit may be nothing, but a whole lot of people doing a little bit adds up to a whole lot. If you think about how important water is every time you use it, you can save water more easily.
But how to save water in daily life? It might be a lot easier than you think. Below, you will find simple ways to save water. Once you make these practices a habit, you will be surprised at just how much water you can save.
How To Save Water
Step 1 – Saving Water Starts at Home
We rely on water for a wide variety of uses around the house every day. So there are many ways in which we can save water on a daily basis.
In the kitchen
- Clean fruits and vegetables in a bowl of water instead of under running water.
- Defrost food in the fridge instead of using water.
- When making soup, you can use leftover cooking water from previously boiled or steamed veggies. It not only saves water but also adds a nutritious addition to your family’s next meal at the same time.
- When boiling veggies, use just enough water to cover veggies. *Tip: Using less water when boiling veggies will also preserve nutrients and flavor.
- If you’re brewing coffee at home by using the pour-over method, heat only enough water to fill your pot or cup.
- If you’re looking for a new coffee maker, try to find one that has an auto shut-off feature, which can help save energy and water.
- Try to use dishwashers instead of hand washing and only run the dishwasher when it’s full.
- Consider buying a dishwasher with a “light-wash” option
- Only use the garbage disposal when necessary (composting is a great alternative)
In the bathroom and laundry room
- Check the parts inside your toilet tank to make sure they are in good shape and up to date. Also, find and repair leaky toilets.
- Turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth, then turn on again when you’re ready to clean off the toothbrush.
- Consider getting a low-flow showerhead in your bathroom, you can save approximately 15 gallons of water during a 10-minute shower.
- If you use a handheld shower, you also save a ton of water. You direct the water so there is very little overspray and you gate cleaner sooner.
- It takes about 60 gallons of water to fill a bathtub, so showers are the more water-efficient way to bathe. But if you still want to use your bathtub, fill it halfway instead of all the way to the top. Once you get in the bath, the water should rise to a comfortable level.
- Takes short showers whenever possible.
- Consider upgrade your washing machine to more energy – and water – efficient models
- Adjusting the settings on your machine to the proper load size
- Wash with cold water when possible and only run full loads in the washing machine
- Reuse your old towels as much as you can before launching them
Around the home
- One of the most effective ways to cut your water footprint is by repairing leaky faucets, indoors and out.
Step 2 – Save water in your garden and lawns
It can take an enormous amount of water to maintain our garden and lawns. In fact, nearly 60% of a person’s household water footprint can go toward garden maintenance.
- You can save a ton of your soil’s water from evaporating by applying mulch.
- Choose plants with low water demand for your garden and lawns. Use native plants in flower beds.
- Put automatic water sprinklers on a timer and make sure they are pointing only at areas where plants will be watered.
- Reserve the water while waiting for hot water. Put a bucket under the faucet and catch the two quarts or more. When the water is hot, turn on the shower and take out the bucket. You can use that water for plants or cleaning.
- Water your plants in the morning or late in the evening. This will maximize the amount of water which reaches the plant roots, prevent the water from evaporating as quickly and result in the need for less watering in general.
- Use a soaker hose to water gardens and lawns. If automatic water sprinklers are used, put them on a timer and make sure they are pointing only at areas where plants will be watered.
- Adding organic matter to the soil is the great way to improve the soil and increase the soil water holding capacities.
- Use a broom to clean walkways, decks, and porches, driveways rather than hosing off these areas.
- One of the easiest ways to save money on water is the rain. Use a barrel to catch water help nourish your outdoor plants, this also helps prevent you from using a hose or sprinkler system as often
Step 3 – Change your diet
The average American uses over 2000 gallons per person daily, according to the National Geographic – two times the global average. And 40% of the water consumed by Americans goes into meat and dairy production. So if you eat lower on the food chain, eat more whole foods and waste less food, you can save a ton of water.
- Eat less meat and dairy and eat more vegetables since it can take an enormous amount of water to produce animal products.
- Eat less processed food like premade meals, candy, chips and soda because processing requires more water.
- A regular cup of coffee takes about 55 gallons of water to produce, with most of the water used to grow the coffee beans. So drinking less coffee per day can also save water.
- There are also water costs embedded in the transportation of food. So, consider buying local products to cut your water footprint.
- Find what’s in season near you with Seasonal Food Guide.
Step 4 – Change your buying habits
- It takes about 2700 liters of water to produce the cotton required to make a simple cotton shirt. So, consider whether you really need that extra T-shirt!
- It takes a lot of water to produce the food we eat and all the things that we buy. So you can conserve water by buying recycled goods or recycling your stuff when you’ve done with it.
- Buy Organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified Products because they often use less water.
- Don’t use bottled water since it takes approximate 3 liters of water to produce a one-liter bottle of water. Moreover, only 15% of plastic water bottles get recycled. The most affordable and water-saving option is to fill a steel or glass reusable water bottle with filtered tap water.
Step 5 – Transportation
- It takes about 3/4 of a gallon of water to extract, refine and transport the gas used to drive one mile. So you can save both energy and water by taking public transportation, combine your errands, carpool to work.
- Consider buying a fuel-efficient hybrid or even electric car. It could help significantly reduce the part of your water footprint attributed to transportation.
- Washing your car less frequently you can cut back your water use.
- When washing your car, wet it quickly, then use a bucket of water to wash the car. Also, don’t leave the hose running when you wash your car.
Use these resources to find out more!