You may have heard that 98% of the world’s water is salty; did you know that most of the remaining 2% of fresh water is frozen in the ice caps? Only about .007% of the world’s water is actually available for human use. (University of Michigan) Some experts even think that we may be reaching a point of “Peak Water”. As the global population rises so does water usage; we are using water faster than nature can replenish it.
As you can see from this map, this isn’t a problem in just one part of the world, it’s everywhere. In America, Houston, L.A., Orlando and other cities are struggling to provide enough water to their citizens. In some countries there have been water wars and some privately owned companies are getting into the water utility business. And while countries like New Zealand and Iceland have plenty of freshwater, they have no way of transporting that water.
We can do our part by conserving water at home. According to the EPA, “The average family of four can use 400 gallons of water every day…” and about 27% of that is toilet use alone! And again, this is where “going green” not only benefits the planet, but your wallet as well.
What can we do? Some of the energy conservation tips we’ve told you about on this blog save water, too, i.e., replacing old, inefficient appliances and only running full loads in your clothes washer and dishwasher. Here are some other things you can do:
- If your toilet is 20 years or older, replace it. By installing a low flow toilet you can save almost 2 gallons of water per flush. For a family of four, flushing, on average per person, 5 times a day, that can save 64 gallons of water a day! And low flow toilets aren’t the underperforming flushers they once were; search through some reviews and you can find a great low flow toilet.
- Check all your faucets and make sure you don’t have any leaks.
- Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and make sure your family members do the same.
- Take showers (10 – 25 gallons) instead of baths (70 gallons).
- Water your lawn only when it needs it. If you step on your grass and it springs back up, it doesn’t need any more water. And you should water at night, so the heat of the sun doesn’t evaporate the water before it has a chance to soak in.
- Install a low flow shower head; according to eartheasy, this can reduce your water consumption by 50%!
By following these tips, you could easily save thousands of gallons of water per year; that’s good for our planet and that’s good for you! Are there any things you do to save water that you’d like to share?