Worldwide water usage keeps rising at the rate of about 1 percent per year. That’s putting a strain on the planet’s resources. Currently, about two billion people live in areas that experience high water stress.
That figure is only going to get worse, with seven billion people expected to face water scarcity or stress by 2050. That sobering statistic should make everyone realize we have to do our part to conserve as much water as possible. Here are some ideas to help you save every drop you can.
Don’t Waste Food
This might seem like a strange tip for an article about water conservation. But it takes a lot of water to produce and package food. Approximately 25 percent of all the freshwater used last year was spent on food that went to waste.
Be Mindful of Running Water
When you’re brushing your teeth, you should shut off the water instead of letting it run. It’s a painless way to save water. If you’re washing dishes, turn your faucet off until you’re ready to rinse a stack of sudsy dishes.
Use Those Dropped Ice Cubes
Those of us with ice makers and dispensers in our refrigerators know that occasionally those ice cubes end up on the floor when we try to get some of them in our cups. Instead of tossing those ice cubes into the sink just to have them melt down the drain, put them in your potted plants.
If you don’t have any potted plants, toss them into your garden. At least there, they’ll be doing good for some plants.
Shorten Your Showers
Taking faster showers can rack up the water savings quickly. Consider this: Every minute of a shower uses approximately two gallons of water. Even if you trim one minute off your daily shower, you can save 56 gallons of water in four weeks.
Use Less Toilet Water
There are two great ways to do this. The first is to switch to a low-flow toilet, which can use 1.6 gallons per flush compared to 5 to 7 gallons per flush.
You can also use less toilet water by putting a full plastic bottle in your toilet tank. It will take up space so your toilet won’t require as much water to fill.
Run Your Washing Machine Less
Consider reusing towels multiple times before you wash them. You can use this tip at home or when you’re staying at hotels.
Cut Back on Your Sprinkler Usage
Do you really need your lawn to be green and lush all the time? Why keep watering it so frequently when you’ll just have to spend more time and money mowing? Consider watering your vegetable garden area and flowers only and letting the rest of the grass get less water.
Just one hour of using your garden hose sprinkler wastes about 1,020 gallons. If you absolutely must water your yard, don’t give it more than it needs -- it will be fine with 1 to 1 and ½ inches of water per week.
Watch Out for Leaks
Household water leaks are the worst because that water is completely wasted and you may have a huge water bill because of it. If you suspect a leak, get it fixed promptly.
Be a Good Steward
It’s up to everyone to do their part to conserve water. With a world population of more than 7.7 billion people, imagine how much better our water situation would be if everyone on the planet committed to saving just one gallon each per day.