24 Ways To Save Water On This World Water Day
We all want to do our part to help the planet, and from ocean cleanup projects to making sustainable swaps in our homes, environmentalism has never been more accessible.
This year, in honor of World Water Day, we thought what better time to break down all the easy ways we can save water inside and outside our homes? World Water Day is an annual observance spearheaded by the United Nations since 1993 to celebrate water—and highlight its important role in both public health and climate change.
After all, according to the U.N., one in three people around the world don't have access to clean drinking water, with demand for water expected to increase by more than 50% in the next 20 years. And of course, the recent COVID-19 outbreak has spotlighted communities who don't have the means to take the easiest preventive measure: washing your hands.
So without further ado, here are 24 ways we can all save water, for the sake of the planet and each other.
Cutting down on water in the bathroom.
Let's start in the bathroom, where many of us may be unintentionally letting water go to waste:
- 1. Take shorter showers.
- 2. Invest in a low-flow showerhead.
- 3. Turn off your faucet while brushing your teeth and or shaving.
- 4. Check your pipes for leaks.
- 5. Check your toilet for leaks (if you put some food coloring in your toilet tank and it seeps into the bowl without flushing, it's running).
- 6. Consider getting a dual-flush toilet if you don't already have one.
And in the kitchen.
Moving on to the kitchen, there are lots of simple ways you can limit your water waste while cooking and washing dishes:
- 7. Wash your produce or dishes in a pan of water instead of leaving the water running.
- 8. Try out a faucet aerator that lets you adjust your faucet's flow.
- 9. Resist the urge to hand-wash dishes you're putting in the dishwasher. If you must do a little scrub, refer to tip No. 7.
- 10. And speaking of dishwashers, only run them on a full load (that goes for your washing machine, too).
In the garden.
Outside in our gardens and on our lawns is another place that, unfortunately, sees tremendous water waste. Some estimates say outdoor water use accounts for at least 30%1 of households' water usage and likely more in dry climates or during warmer months. And not only that, but up to 50% of that water goes to waste because of evaporation, wind, and more. Here's what you can do:
- 11. Water your lawn or garden during cooler hours in the day to prevent evaporation.
- 12. Similarly (and slightly ironically), make sure your lawn is sufficiently soaked when watering so it doesn't easily evaporate.
- 13. A layer of mulch around trees or bushes can also prevent water from evaporating.
- 14. Avoid watering on windy days.
- 15. Rather than using your hose to clean patios and sidewalks, bust out your broom and spare the water.
- 16. Native plants and flowers in your garden will respond better to your climate and require less maintenance.
- 17. Greywater diverters can be used to repurpose and reroute household water runoff to be used in your garden (you can get help from a plumber if needed—just be sure you're using all-natural products that won't harm your landscape).
- 18. Sufficiently weeding and pruning your garden can help make watering more effective.
- 19. Cover your pool as often as possible to prevent evaporation and more frequent refills.
- 20. As fun as it can be for the kids, washing your car with the hose running can waste up to 100 gallons of water. You're better off at a car wash (especially one that recycles its water).
With your wallet.
Another factor to keep in mind when thinking about saving water is how we're spending our money or, rather, what we're spending it on. Just as we can have a "carbon footprint," there's such a thing as a water footprint, as well. Here are some ways you can decrease yours:
- 21. Limit your intake of foods that require the most water during production (steak, hamburger, ham, eggs, soda, coffee, wine, salad).
- 22. Going forward, look for Energy Star and WaterSense2 products.
- 23. Take public transportation when you can (gasoline = water).
- 24. Encourage your children and workplace to get involved by sharing these easy tips.
And, last but not least, find out what your water footprint is today and try to stay up to date with the latest water conservation news in the future. Making changes can seem daunting at first, but soon they'll become habits you don't think twice about, as we all look to reduce water waste one drop at a time.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.