Celebrate World Water Day: Drink More Water, But Use Less
Are you ready to take action this World Water Day, March 22nd? Never heard of it? Well, World Water Day isn’t simply an annual reminder to stay hydrated. Instead, it was initiated in 1993 by the United Nations to bring attention to the importance of ensuring access to clean, drinkable water across the globe. If you live in an economically developed country with reliable access to clean water, perhaps you’re thinking: “I can get clean drinking water any time I want it, so why should I be concerned about this?”
Well, here’s why: water scarcity and water pollution can occur anywhere, even in your own backyard. Just ask the residents of Flint, Michigan, or the folks in the western parts of North America about the consequences of water contamination and extended drought. In many cases, industrial users of water need to be help accountable for their water waste, but regular people can also benefit from using less water on a daily basis. For one, conserving water can help cut your water bills and help you save money, not to mention reduce your carbon footprint. More importantly, it’s better to have good water conservation habits in place before an emergency. Here are some ways you can help conserve water to ensure we can all continue to drink up!
In the bathroom
- Take shorter showers. Cutting 4 minutes off your daily shower can save 9.5 gallons (36 liters) of water! Even better — skip the shower altogether when feasible. Your skin and hair will thank you!
- Use a shower bucket. Keep a large bucket in the bathroom to collect the water that runs before your shower warms up. You can use that water for cleaning, filling your pet’s water bowl, or even flushing the toilet. Speaking of which…
- If it’s yellow, let it mellow. Some toilets can use more than 5 gallons (19 liters) for a single flush. Like the saying goes, don’t waste water flushing the toilet unless the contents are… solid? This works better if you have a private bathroom, of course!
- Turn it off! These may seem like minor actions, but think about how many minutes a week the water is running while you’re brushing your teeth or lathering your hands.
Around the house
- Use a dishwasher. If you have one, a dishwasher is much more water efficient than washing dishes by hand. Just make sure the dishwasher is full each time!
- Run full loads of laundry. The same rule goes for loading up the washing machine. Maximize water efficiency by doing larger, less frequent loads of laundry.
- Get a dehumidifier. For folks who live in humid climates, a dehumidifier can not only keep down the moisture in your home, but can also collect water right from the air! It’s probably best not to drink this water, but you can use it for flushing and cleaning.
- Fix leaking pipes. Besides being an annoyance that can turn into an emergency, leaky pipes are a huge source of water waste. Whether you rent or own your home, take care of those leaks promptly.
In your brain
Okay, so this one’s not a specific action, but a way of thinking about what a precious resource water is. Every time you use water in your life, whether that’s filling up your water bottle, cleaning your teeth, or doing the laundry, take a moment to feel thankful for the water that’s keeping you hydrated and clean. Remembering to appreciate all the people and natural resources required to bring clean water into your home will go a long way to help you commit to USE LESS, DRINK MORE!