Water scarcity is a serious issue. The problem is, most of us don’t realize it because water has always been available to us. We just turn a handle and boom, clean water. But that’s not the case for most of the world, or even for some towns here in the U.S. For
According to the UN.org, “Around 700 million people in 43 countries suffer today from water scarcity. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water stressed conditions.”
And yet there are some very simple things we can do at home to help save water, or more specifically, to not waste water. Here are 5 simple tips to get you started.
Tip 1: Collect shower water
Some showers take a while to warm up. And understandably, we don’t want to be standing in ice cold water at 6am while it gets to temperature. So what can we do to avoid wasting water? Easy. Collect it. Of course this water is totally drinkable, but perhaps the idea of drinking a bucket of shower water doesn’t appeal to you. I get it. But if you have pets, trust me, they won’t mind. Just don’t tell them.
Of course I’m not telling you to give your dog some rusty bucket trash water. That’s awful. Use a clean container, like one you’d be willing to drink out of. Pets are our friends, treat them well! If you don’t have a clean container, upcycle something. Even if you don’t bring plastic drink cartons into your house, maybe someone at work does. Cut the top off a gallon milk carton and use that as your bucket, just make sure to give it a good clean-out first. Or just use a big salad bowl. Just be careful that you don’t forget it’s in there and step on it, that would be bad. Also a good idea to let others in the household know this in case they try to steal your hot shower onto to find a giant bowl in the tub. Questions will arise.
Don’t have pets? Water your plants. Don’t have plants? Water your friends or neighbors. No just kidding. Use it for your cleaning solution: mix it with vinegar and it works as great counter cleaner (as long as you don’t have marble surfaces, marble + vinegar = bad).
Tip 2: Turn off the shower when lathering:
According to The Washington Post, “Showering drives almost 17 percent of water use in homes, and an average American family uses some 40 gallons of water per day in the shower. This amounts to 1.2 trillion gallons of water in the United States each year, says EPA, “enough to supply the water needs of New York and New Jersey” over the same time period.”
turn off the shower when you lather up! Whether is soaping up your skin or shampoo/conditioning your hair, you don’t need the water on to lather up. So turn it off for a few seconds.
Have you heard about the 3-minute shower challenge?
If you took a 3-minute shower, you are only using 7.5 gallons, (that’s less than 1/3 the normal amount!!!) Over a month, you would save 225 gallons of water (645 gallons saved.) Over a year you would be using 2737.5, gallons of water…
That’s 7482.5 gallons saved!
Tip 3: Turn off the faucet when brushing teeth
Similarly, when brushing your teeth, turn the water off until its time to rinse. Do we need the sound of water to brush our teeth? I think not.
Tip 4: use soapy water to flush toilets
This was something a veterinarian taught me: you can flush a toilet by pouring water into the basin. This is a trick people use if they don’t have running water and need to flush their potty.
How to flush a toilet with water:
Not using a low-flush toilet? Time to switch (this isn’t a tip, but a strong suggestion.)
Tip 5: Pet Water
This tip is for pet owners! Let’s face it, that water bowl gets nasty before it gets fully consumed. My dogs wont even touch it after another dog drinks from it. Little kings and queens. So what do you do with that water? Just toss it down the sink? No!
Though it’s definitely not ideal to drink this slimy slobber-water, your plants absolutely will not mine! My dog slobber has been propagating produce for seven years, and my plants couldn’t be happier. Maybe there’s something to dog spit that flowers just love. Probably not, but it certainly never hurt them.
Do you have a sustainable solution to dirty dog water? Let me know in the comments below!