Water truly is the lifeblood of our planet. It covers more than 70 percent of the earth’s surface, it provides the environment for life to grow, and it sustains humans, and all living things, everyday. Today, we have found even more uses for water than just consumption. We convert the power of massive rivers into the renewable resource of hydroelectricity. We gather tank loads from lakes by helicopter to help fight forest fires. And we even use it in our means for relaxation.
While water continues to be – and always will be – a vital resource, humans have nonetheless begun to pollute both our fresh water and salt-water sources. In the Pacific Ocean floats an island of plastic ‘the size of Texas’. Furthermore, both the massive industrial complex and surrounding cities pollute countless rivers and streams daily.
Despite humans’ amazing ability to divert water and its sources, some places like Los Angeles face drought. Days have to be set aside to water the lawn, and washing your car in the dead heat of day can be illegal.
Because of its essential role in the longevity of humankind, we should all take steps in conserving water and promoting water conservation. Here are a few ways how.
Number 1. The Japanese Shower
Derived from Japanese bath etiquette, the Japanese shower refers to the idea of using limited water while bathing. First, get yourself wet enough to lather both soap and shampoo. Once you’ve done that, turn the water either completely off or to a low drizzle. Turn it back on to rise, add conditioner, then rinse again. This can save hundreds of gallons of water a month if not more.
Number 2. Brushing Your Teeth
Like the Japanese shower, the idea here is limit the amount of water we need for this ‘water necessary’ activity. Simple enough: turn off the water while you brush your teeth! Every second that water runs, more is wasted!
Number 3. Let the Dishwasher Do its Job
According to some sources, rinsing your plates before putting them in the dishwasher is a total waste of time, energy, and water. Trust us, all modern dishwashers will have the power to blow away food debris. In some cases, though, you may find yourself with a retro washer. In that case, rinse quickly and turn it off whenever you can! And if its really tough, just wet the sponge and scrub it out!
Number 4. Running on Full
Always, always, always run your laundry or dishwasher only when its full. By doing so, you can save hundreds of gallons of water. Breaking up loads into colors and whites is fine, but be sure you’re running at max capacity, because that will mean you’re running at max efficiency.
Also, try cold water washing. It cleans clothes just as well as helps save energy.
Number 5. Drinking Your Own
Besides a high proportion of bottled waters really just being tap water, it adds plastic as a pollutant into our system. Instead, get a water filter, a pitcher, and a portable/reusable water bottle. By doing so, you’ll have cool water whenever you need it. You’ll also save money!
Number 6. Fix Those Leaks
Ever hear that drip drip drip at night? Here’s a test: if your shower fill a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 or 30 seconds, replace the head right away. If it doesn’t fill it completely, but substantially, keep the bucket there and use the water to water your plants or garden outside.
Also, check the faucets, pipes, and sprinklers outside. It always bewilders me to see a sprinkler looking like Old Faithful, shooting water 20 feet into the air.
Number 7. Toilet Rules
If it’s yellow, let it mellow. Don’t worry, that pee won’t hurt you. Flushing less regularly can save hundreds of gallons a day (depending on your bladder power). In the US, we seem to have a fear of what it deemed as ‘gross’ or ‘icky’. That said, maybe change this practice when you have guests, but in the mean time, flush as little as possible.
Here’s another cool test: put food coloring into your toilet tank. If it seeps into the bowl, you have a leak. Fixing this, like those other leaks, will save you thousands of gallons a month.
Number 8. Lawn Rules
Lawns are perhaps the most water intensive project in our homes. However, rather than water on a set schedule, check for soil moisture 2-3 inches below the surface. If its moist, don’t worry about watering.
The next option would be to drop the lawn altogether. Use drought resistant plants or the landscaping of your choice. If every home in the United States did this as well as paint their roof white, the US could quite possibly become the world leader in energy conservation.
Number 9. Demand Sustainable Business
Whether it is your dry-cleaners or favorite restaurant, voice your concern for water conservation. The truth is many people won’t start changing their habits until others work up the nerve to say something about it. Besides, business is all about consumer demand, so don’t be afraid to demand that your local business act wisely. If you’re a business owner yourself, lead by example!
Keep these rules in mind when thinking about water. While there is a natural recycling process on earth, fresh water sources are being depleted and we are surpassing our means. Live within your necessities and help protect our most valuable resource: water.
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