The Simple Way Your Whole Family Can Save Water At Home, According To Michael Phelps

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Michael Phelps retired from swimming back in 2016, but his journey with the water is far from over.

"Water is something that's so special and important for me," Phelps said during a candid conversation for the mindbodygreen podcast earlier this week. "I never see that changing."

For the second year, the 28-time Olympic medalist is using his star power to spread messages of water conservation as an ambassador for Colgate's Every Drop Counts campaign. Mobilized by the fact that 130 million Americans deal with severe water scarcity for at least one month every year—mostly in Western and Southern states like California, Texas, and Florida—Phelps is getting vocal about the water-saving tweaks that have made all the difference for his growing family.

That means teaching his 2-year-old son Boomer when it's time to turn off the tap using a low-touch solution. "We have a little sticker on Boomer's sink stopper that changes color when the water has been on for too long so he can see it," he said. "When you do leave the faucet running, you're wasting about 64 glasses of water."

It may not seem like much, but it adds up: Colgate estimates that their campaign has saved 50 billion gallons of water annually—proof that small changes can make a surprisingly huge impact.

Colgate's efforts coincide with other consumer-facing campaigns about the importance of water conservation. Stella Artois, for example, has partnered with Water.Org to help bring clean drinking water to 3.5 million people by 2020.

"I think people are starting to understand the importance of making a change today to be able to have this amazing resource for the rest of our lives," Phelps said. "It's something so easy that we can do every day."

It's a nice little reminder that every drop counts and the daily, often banal, actions we take can lessen our mark on the planet. If you're ready to start taking water conservation seriously in your own home, some more quick and easy habits to start include waiting until your dishwasher and laundry machines are totally full before running them, taking shorter showers, and giving any old water left in your drinking glass or diffuser to your plants. Hey, every drop counts!

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