Water conservation is something many households take for granted. In an area with an abundance of water, you might not think about how much fresh water you waste from day to day. In hot weather, it’s even more important to conserve water. Droughts make water scarce, and you might be fined for wasting water.
Conserving water also conserves energy. It’s better for the planet if you use less water in your daily activities. By making a few simple changes and knowing a bit more about where your water is going, you can start to conserve water more aggressively.
1. Shorter Showers Save Water
You may know that taking excessive baths wastes water and that swapping to showers can help with water conservation. It makes sense that shorter showers would save you water. Shower routines are important, but you should try to shorten your routine as much as possible while still adhering to every step you deem necessary. While it is okay to treat yourself to a long shower or bath when you need it, shorter showers are friendlier to the environment.
Fans of hot water may feel dismayed — it’s more energy-efficient to shower in cooler water because you’re not wasting time waiting for the water to heat up. That fact doesn’t mean that you should only take cold showers, though. Consider cutting down on the frequency you take hot showers and choose to take lukewarm ones instead. Besides, a little cold water can’t hurt you. Some believe that colder showers improve circulation and concentration.
2. Stop Irrigating Your Lawn
How often do you water your lawn? While having a beautiful green yard might be a dream, it’s not always realistic. The amount of water your grass needs is dependent upon several factors, like the type of soil it’s growing in. Many homes sit atop clay soil, which doesn’t absorb water as quickly as loam or sand. If your grass grows out of clay soil, consider using less water on it but watering it for a longer period. If you use too much force all at once, the water will be run off and lost, being no use to your yard at all.
Aim to keep your grass alive, but don’t overwater it. Overwatering can be bad for both plants and the rest of the environment. The run-off water that comes from overwatering your lawn can lead to erosion in other sources or might contribute to water damage near your home’s foundation.
3. Don’t Cut Back on Your Own Water
Even though you want to help with water conservation in several areas of your life, you don’t want to stop drinking the right amount of water for you. On average, adults need around eight glasses of water per day, but your personal water intake will depend on your size and how active you are.
You lose water when you sleep, so it’s easy to become dehydrated overnight if you don’t take care of yourself and drink enough water during the day. You can use a water tracker app to ensure you get your recommended daily intake. Just make sure that you’re opting for filtered faucet water rather than drinking from water bottles if you can.
4. Leaks Can Add Up
Leaks aren’t great for anyone. You should always check to make sure your faucets aren’t dripping — unless they absolutely need to, like when they have the potential to freeze in the winter — and take care of any leaks as soon as you notice them. Small leaks can spiral into huge ones. Around 50% of household water is lost due to leaks. Pinpointing them and stopping them is essential in water conservation.
This notion counts for leaks in your houseplants, too. Whether they live indoors or outside, you should avoid watering your plants during the hottest part of the day. When you water them in off-times, you increase their chance of actually absorbing the water before it evaporates. Try watering them in the morning or after the sun has gone down for best results.
5. Making Small Changes Is Essential
Small changes in your lifestyle can add up to big wins for the environment and your energy bills. One easy way to conserve water is to plan your meals ahead of time. Instead of pulling frozen meat out of the freezer and dethawing it on the same day, you can stick it in the refrigerator the night before to let it thaw out slowly. That way, you’re not wasting a sink full of water while trying to get your meat to thaw quickly before dinnertime.
You can also reevaluate how you treat your garden. Pesticides can contribute to water pollution. When you water your plants, pesticides can wash into the water and into the soil. They can pollute the ground they run onto as well as wherever the water takes them. If the leftover water runs off into a body of water, wildlife may drink from it. Consider using an alternative to pesticides in your garden to prevent pollution.
Water Is the Source of Life
Since fresh water is so rare, you should pay more attention to what you use it for. Don’t take your clean water for granted — some people may not have the luxuries that you do. By cutting back on water, you’re conserving it for families and households that may need it more while also improving your carbon footprint. You’ll also pay less on your monthly bills — but that’s just a bonus when you consider the huge helping hand you’re giving the environment.
Kara Reynolds is the Editor-in-Chief of Momish Magazine and believes in science, that climate change is real, and is doing her part to keep Mother Earth healthy for the future of her four kids.