Water. Something we in the US take largely for granted. We go to the faucet, turn it on and don’t really think twice about it. For us it’s abundant, cheap and clean. And for those of us in the Pacific Northwest, it’s cool, refreshing and drinkable — right out of the tap.
But a lot of the world doesn’t have access to good, clean water. So why should I care? I should care because there is only so much water in the world. And being less wasteful is always a good thing. Americans use, on average almost 70 gallons of water per day per person. That’s a huge amount of water. And if we simply installed more water efficient fixtures and regularly checked for leaks, we could reduce that by about 35% to about 45 gallons per day. Not quite “half”, but darn close.
Most of the savings would come in more efficient toilets. I had a friend suggest taking the water bottles we throw away, filling them with water and putting them in our toilet tanks to reduce each flush. I remember a long time ago, they suggested doing a similar thing with bricks to displace the water, but it got brick gunk in the toilet and didn’t work too well.
So I wonder how this would work? We don’t use plastic water bottles, and I don’t want to buy them just to try this (I have one of those fundamental issues with water bottles), so here’s the challenge: give it a try and let me know how it works.
Some other ways to save water are to run the faucet when brushing your teeth only to get the toothbrush wet, then shut it off and only turn it back on when you go to rinse. Small step, but ask “would this be good if EVERYONE did it? I think so.
Shorter showers, only running full loads of dishes and clothes also would help. And, water efficient landscaping (another topic on another day), would be huge. Lawns are the number one irrigated crop in the world.