3 Easy Changes to Improve Your Water Conservation

For many who live in generally damp areas, a water drought during the summer isn’t a big deal. Sure, you might not be able to wash your car or water the lawn for a certain period of time, but in the end, we know that a rainy day or two is around the corner. In drought-affected areas, however, this really isn’t the case.

It’s easy for people to take plentiful running water for granted, but in some regions — and for those who aren’t able to afford the utilities that many of us are used to — the availability of clean, usable water is far from a given.

Dry Spell

A recent World Bank study found that, as early as 2050, a limited water supply could result in negative economic growth in Africa, India, the Middle East, China, and other parts of the world. Dry conditions continue to plague California, and a May executive order from Governor Jerry Brown announced that the state would be transitioning to “permanent, long-term improvements in water use.”

In a time when so much threatens to divide us, it makes sense to rally around saving the primary thing that keeps humans — not to mention plants, animals, and the planet we share — alive. Here are some changes I’m making, and I hope that, together, we can add to this list:

  • Shower for no longer than six minutes. Kohler recently challenged Bonnaroo attendees to take the #CommitToSix pledge. The Environmental Protection Agency found that Americans, on average, take eight-minute showers that use 18 gallons of water. By shaving two minutes off that time, Kohler hopes people will use 25 percent less water. (Lose track of time in there? For me, setting a phone timer turns a shower into a fun, racelike game.)
  • Eat less red meat. You don’t need to go vegetarian or vegan, but one third of greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, and livestock production accounts for a significant portion of that, contributing to the increased use of water and even water pollution. Try sticking to white meat and plant-based protein when possible.
  • Use extra water to clean the house and care for plants. Go ahead and fix those leaky faucets, but in the meantime, place a bucket beneath them, and use the water to dampen cleaning rags when you need to scrub muddy fingerprints from the wall. You can also use this water, along with any you can get from half-consumed plastic water bottles, to water houseplants.

What do you do to save water? Tell us about it on Facebook.

Image source: Bigstock