One of the hottest topics in sustainability is water: water scarcity, water reusability, increasing sea water. Water is essential to life on earth—we can’t live longer than a few days without it—but the demands of overpopulation, industry, and a changing climate are placing great strains on our finite water resources. Water is quickly becoming a major environmental and human rights concern, and increasingly organizations are choosing to focus their responsibility and reduction efforts on addressing water consumption and effluent.
Here are some simple ways we can all increase our water conservation efforts:
Easy to Implement
- Turn off the tap—don’t let it run endlessly so you only use what you need.
- Always fill the dishwasher before running it – and invest in Energy Star appliances for your home and office.
- Fix leaky toilets and faucets – a drip rate of 1 drip/second can waste up to 3,000 gallons annually!
- Reduce the time you spend in the shower – a 5 minute shower takes about 25 gallons of water (compare this to a bath, which uses about 70) – or shower less frequently.
- Use a rain barrel to collect rain water for plants, gardens, and yards.
- Water gardens and lawns in the cooler early morning hours to avoid evaporation, and be sure that you’re watering the lawn—not the parking lot.
Requiring a Little More Work
- Install low-flush or dual-flush toilets.
- Replace shower heads with low-flow ones.
- Install aerators on your faucets.
- Use mulch to cover plants, tree root, and gardens to help retain moisture. Take it one step further by replacing water-intensive yards and landscaping with xeriscaping.
- Eat less meat: It takes more than 2600 gallons of water to produce a single serving of steak. Compare that to the 12 gallons it takes to produce a handful of almonds
Saving water promotes environmental justice, reduces your water bills, and helps conserve water for our many needs the planet around. A few simple adjustments in your behavior at home and at work can make a big difference!