Do you know the size of your water footprint? It’s definitely more than the recommended 8 glasses you drink daily.
The average American uses 100 gallons of water per day at home. And, on a larger scale, the United States uses more water in 24 hours than it uses oil in an entire year. This is twice the world average when it comes to consumption. Clearly, we’re one thirsty nation.
Unfortunately, this demand isn’t sustainable. At least 36 states face water shortages under non-drought conditions, which likely will continue without changes across all levels of the community. The good news is that we can control our intake and waste. From personal home usage to large-scale agricultural and manufacturing projects, Americans should continue to work together to sustainably manage this important resource — every drop saved helps!
Here are some simple steps you can take at home to make it better:
EASY WATER FIXES YOU CAN DO TODAY
- Fill and weigh down your empty Honest product bottle, putting it in your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water drained with each flush.
- Instead of pouring it down the drain, use leftover water from pet bowls or humidifiers to feed your houseplants.
- Keep pitchers of drinking water in the fridge, so you won’t waste it waiting for the faucet supply to run cold. Similarly, skip disposable plastic bottles and opt for reusable ones you can grab on the go — it takes three liters to produce one plastic bottle before the water is even in it!
- Place a large bucket in the bathtub and collect the water that would otherwise run down the drain while you wait for your shower to run hot. Use this water for cleaning or watering plants!
- Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth. And sudsing up your hands. And scrubbing a dish.
- Cover your pool to prevent water loss by evaporation.
- Eat less meat and dairy. (Did you know that an average vegan diet requires 600 fewer gallons of water per day to produce the food than an average American diet?)
- Make sure your washing machine and dishwasher are full when you run a load. This way you can save water and get the most out of your Honest laundry and dish pods!
- Only order water at a restaurant if you are actually going to drink it.
- Reduce junk mail with apps like Manilla. It takes about 28 billion gallons of water to manufacture all that paper you simply toss in the trash.
LONG-TERM SUSTAINABILITY GOALS
- Install low-flow faucets and showerheads. According to Christopher Gavigan, “A low-flow, one-and-a-half-gallon-per minute head allows you to indulge in a five-minute bit of heaven because it uses less than half of the water of a conventional, four- to five-gallon-per-minute head."
- By replacing your regular toilet with an ultra-low volume, dual-flush one you can save over 20 percent of your indoor water use.
- Plant native species and drought-hardy plants in your yard. And only water early in the morning or at night to reduce chances of evaporation.
- Fix water leaks in your home. (Did you know that approximately 5-10% of American homes leak 90 gallons of water per day due to leaky pipes and appliances?)
- Purchase an Energy Star or WaterSense labeled dishwasher (look for these labels on other home products, too), which will use less water and eliminate the need to pre-rinse dishes. If new appliances aren’t in your budget, adjust your machine to the most eco-friendly setting.
What water-saving tips do you use at home?