Conserve Water – Environmental Tips for Everyday Living
Environmental studies conclude that we need to conserve water
supplies now. Finding fresh water is getting harder when you consider that 99.5 percent of all fresh water is found in icecaps and glaciers.
There are more people on the planet, which requires more water for sustaining life. This extremely large population creates a lot of waste, some of which ends up polluting rivers, lakes, and streams. Companies and manufacturers that dump hazardous waste into our water make the problem even worse.
Each year, 40 million acres of tropical rainforests, which is an area larger than California state, are destroyed through logging or burning.
The water in your home is created from rivers and reservoirs. The more water you consume, the higher the probability that some beautiful valley will be flooded by a reservoir, or another river might begin to run dry up, killing the wildlife in and around it. That's why it's so important to conserve the water that we have!
Do you remember what happened in Atlanta GA in 2007? The city was absolutely desperate for water because of the bad drought that year! Georgia's Governor at that time, actually requested that people not only conserve water, but pray for rain!
The other bad part about wasting water, is that sewage systems have a hard time keeping up with the excesses. Accidental overflows of sewage can seriously pollute water and land resources, which only wastes more water.
What Pollutes Our Water?
There are many, many sources of water pollution, some of which may surprise you. We usually think of huge pipes dumping industrial waste into rivers, but only 10 percent of water pollution comes from industrial dumping.
To fully understand what pollutes water, it is first important to understand where your drinking water comes from. Nearly half of all Americans and 3/4ths of people who live in cities get their water from underground aquifers. This water will pick up whatever it passes through.
Rainwater and melted snow run off of parking lots, rooftops, streets, and farms, and carry with them many deadly substances they’ve picked up along the way. During a heavy storm, pollutants are washed into rivers and streams. Once they get into the water cycle, they are very hard to eliminate.
One big source of pollution is found in the farming industry. Farming uses about 2/3rds of all water in the United States. Every year, millions of pounds of pesticides and fertilizers run off of farmlands and contaminate the environment, which includes the land and water supply.
Once a plant ingests the chemical, they cannot be rinsed off! They are consumed by the plants along with the water they're given to grow. The end result is that chemicals have now become part of the plant and whatever fruit the plant produces. When you look at the vast amounts of vegetables and fruits in a superstore, you begin to wonder how many chemicals these fresh items actually contain! It's just another reason to buy produce locally!
How Much Water Do YOU Use?
It is difficult to imagine how much water is used in your home every day. Here are some estimates:
1 toilet flush - - - - - - - - 3.5-7 gallons
1 bath - - - - - - - - - - - - 25-30 gallons
1 10-minute shower - - - - - - 50-70 gallons
1 washing machine load - - - - 25-40 gallons
1 dishwasher load - - - - - - 9.5-12 gallons
If for example, you flush your toilet 6 times a day, that's 15,300 gallons a year per person. Try to figure out approximately how many gallons of water you use in your home. If you have a typical four-member family, each member of your household uses about 80 gallons of water a day. That’s 29,200 gallons a year per person. That's a lot of water! The less we use and the more we conserve water, the better it will be for the environment and future generations.
Tips to Conserve Fresh Water and Save Money!
Cut shower times back to 7 minutes. You’ll use around 20 gallons less water than a 10 minute shower. Use a timer in the bathroom if you need help determining how long you’ve been in there!
Alternately, you can install a WaterSense shower-head to conserve water. They're inexpensive to buy and you can save up to 750 gallons of water yearly.
Cut down on the amount of water for your lawn by adding shrubs, bushes, or ground covering plants. You can also add drought smart plants to your flowerbed, which will conserve water too.
Use your dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand. Dishwashers may seem like a waste but they actually use less water than washing dishes one by one in the sink.
If you live alone or have a small family, fill the sink half way with warm soapy water and wash dishes all at once.
Water plants in the yard early in the day or late in the afternoon. This cuts down on evaporation, which helps conserve water.
Keep insulation around water pipes. Use the pre-slit foam pipe insulation to make installation a breeze. You'll also get hot water faster, which cuts down on the amount of waiting time you'll have for the hot water to come into the house.
Don’t flush the toilet often. If you work at home, don’t flush the toilet every time you urinate. Wait till the 2nd or 3rd time. This may seem gross but urine does NOT contain harmful bacteria like you might think. You can always add a touch of Clorox to the water if it makes you feel better. Since urine contains mostly water, its a great way to conserve water.
Do large loads of laundry only. This cuts out a lot of extra water waste.
Use soaker hoses on your flowerbeds or gardens instead of using a regular hose. Soaker hoses put water directly into the roots, so there is little evaporation and loss of the water used.
Alternately, you can use compost and/or mulch to hold water around plant roots.
Use lawn sprinklers every other day instead of every day to conserve water.
Keep a large barrel in your yard and collect rain in it to water your potted plants. Keep insects and animals out of it by covering it with a cheap window screen. This is a great way to conserve, especially since plants love fresh rain water!
Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth. This saves a lot of fresh water!
Instead of rinsing fresh fruits and vegetables off one at a time, fill a large bowl with warm water and soap and douse them in it. Give them a quick shot of water to wash suds off.
If you see someone wasting water, gently remind them of their part in conservation and saving the environment.
If you have a leaky faucet, get it fixed quickly. A very small leak of 1/32 inch in any faucet can waste up to 6,000 gallons of water month or 72,000 gallons a year.
Wash vehicles at the car wash and not at home. Because they are on a timer, you’ll work faster and conserve lots of fresh water!
Instead of buying bottled water, invest in a water purifier and make your own bottled water at home.
Pressure washing wastes a large amount of water so try and keep the time you spend on it short and sweet. If your house gets moldy from time to time, try removing it off with a scrub brush and elbow grease instead.
In this day and age that we live, everyone should be doing their fair share to conserve water at home and at work! Since water is vital to your survival, it's important to be proactive and make adjustments to your lifestyle.
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