Water is a necessary part of our lives, but the average person uses an astonishing 2,000 gallons of water every day. When you consider that less than 1 percent of Earth's freshwater is easily accessible, it’s easy to see why you should watch your water waste. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can reduce the amount of water you use, starting in your own home!
- Begin in the bathroom. The simplest way to reduce your water usage is to lessen the amount of water you use in the bathroom! Make sure to turn the faucet off when you wash your hands or brush your teeth–a running faucet can waste 2 gallons of water. Taking short showers instead of baths also helps to conserve water.
- Conserve in the kitchen. You can't see it, but there’s “virtual” water associated with the production of your food. Meat products are the biggest sources of excess water, with meats such as beef requiring 1,800 gallons per pound to produce. Try to go one day a week without cooking any meat—instead, cook with vegetables, tofu and other foods that require less water to produce. And once you're done eating, make sure to clean those dishes by filling the sink with water instead of running the tap. Or use the dishwasher, but only when it's full!
- Get going in the garden. Plants, flowers and lawns require a lot of water to maintain, but there are ways to reduce the amount of unused water they consume. Build a rain garden to direct rain water to plants. Or, install a rain barrel to collect water that can be used later to water flowers. This will make watering gardens easier and less wasteful!
- Make adjustments around the house. There are plenty of other places around your home that can be optimized for water efficiency. If you’re in the market for new appliances, look for dishwashers, washing machines, shower heads and faucets that are built with water conservation in mind. Many states also offer rebates to residents who upgrade to water efficient appliances! Be sure to also walk around the house and fix any leaks. A leaky faucet can waste thousands of gallons of water over the course of a year.
Curious about how much water you use? Calculate it here.