How to Reduce Your Water Footprint
We all use too much water. This is bad for two reasons.
- When we waste water, we pay for something we don’t use. We’re throwing money down the drain
- Water is a renewable resource, but it’s not infinite
In the future, we will have to be much more restrained in our use of water. Better to get in some good conservation habits sooner rather than later, we think. So what can you do? Just like with other resources, we can:
- We’d say recycle, but in the case of water that’s basically just reusing
What can you do to reduce your water use at home?
- Set a timer in the shower. Only stay in there for 5 minutes, and don’t let the shower run for 5 minutes heating up before you get in
- Reduce the amount of water you use in each toilet flush with a low flow toilet. If you don’t want to invest in a new toilet, simply displace the water in the tank with a large object. The tank will only fill half way and each flush will be less wasteful. Pun intended
- Check for leaks in your faucets, toilets, shower heads, pipes. A leaky faucet dripping every second can waste water equivalent to almost 200 showers in a year
- Don’t take baths
- Don’t run your dishwasher unless you have a full load. That’s at least 15 gallons for a wash
If you really want to get serious about water conservation, you need to reconsider your food choices. It takes almost 2,000 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef. Veggies are more like 40 gallons per pound.
- Use grey water where you don’t need filtered water.
- Buy a couple big drums for water storage and attach them to your eaves trough system. You can use this grey water to flush toilets and irrigate your garden through dry spells. If you grow and eat your own veggies, you’re being extra water friendly.
- You can easily alter your laundry room plumbing to use dirty laundry water for easy, automated garden irrigation.
- Cooking pasta for dinner? Save the water and use it to feed your indoor plants.
What does your family or business do to ease your burden on the water supply? We used to love washing our cars at home, but it turns out automated car washes are about 50 times more efficient. So we’ve given up on doing it by hand.
One thing you can’t cut back on is the water you and your family drink. Most of us don’t drink enough, and the water we do drink is often tainted with bacteria and chemicals.