This is Day 119 of the Green in 365 series!
So we can’t talk about going green in the bathroom without discussing the importance of conserving water. Water is one of those resources that we so easily take for granted.
For the majority of us that live in the US or other first world countries, we don’t have to wonder where our water is going to come from today. We turn on our faucets and water flows in an unending stream; we can choose scalding hot, medium tepid, or freezing cold water with the turn of a handle. We can wash our hands, brush our teeth, take a shower, flush our toilets, without giving the water necessary to perform those actions a second thought.
But for millions of people around the world, their reality is vastly different. Women can’t work because most of their time and energy every day is spent seeking and gathering water. And many times, the water that they do have access too is contaminated, meaning that children can’t go to school due to sickness from contaminated water. Read more.
For those of us blessed enough to have a constant and clean water source, it is not a right that we are entitled to. The average American uses 100 gallons of water every single day, and even though water might seem like an infinite resource, it’s not. Less than 1% of the world’s water is available for human use. (source)
We need to be good stewards of the resource of water that we have been given, and as we use our water, we should always be mindful of those who are not as fortunate as we are.
There are lots of easy ways to begin conserving water in your bathroom and around your home.
6 Easy Ways to Conserve Water
1. Turn off the faucet.
Whenever you’re doing something at the sink, like washing your hands, brushing your teeth, or shaving, you should make the effort to turn off the faucet so it’s not running the whole time, wasting water down the drain.
2. Take shorter, and even fewer, showers.
Gasp! Yes, I said it, I am of the opinion that you don’t always need to shower every day. I think we are conditioned by our culture to think that we need to shower daily. Sure there are times when we need daily showers, when it’s hot out, or we’ve exercised, and we’re sweaty and stinky. But for just normal day to day, I don’t believe a daily shower is necessary, showering less often saves water and other resources.
But, if you’re in the: I have to shower every day camp, then you can make an effort to shorten your showers. Set a timer and see if you can cut a couple minutes off of your daily shower time.
3. Bathe children together.
Showers use less water than baths, so if you give your children a bath like we do, save water by bathing them together. Our kids love to play in the bath together, and it makes bath time go much more quickly than if we bathed them each on their own.
And while we’re talking about bathing children, the same thing applies that they don’t need to be bathed every single day – unless they are like my son in the summer time and covered from head to toe in sweat and dirt. But overall, I think children only need to be bathed a few times a week – it’s better for their skin not to be exposed to the hot water, and chlorine in the water, on a daily basis.
Photo by stevendepolo
4. Use a low-flow shower head and faucet aerator.
Low flow shower heads and faucets are widely available, affordable, easily installed, and can make a big difference in the amount of water your family uses on a daily basis. The EPA has a WaterSense program, similar to the Energy Star rating, that can help you to find products that use at least 20% less water than conventional models, and can save hundreds of gallons of water every year.
5. Flush Less.
You’ve heard the saying; If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down. And this is a good rule to follow at home to help conserve and save water when flushing the toilet.
Another option that a reader gave is: Flush after 2 #1’s or 1 #2. That one makes me laugh, but is basically the same idea, if you can tell the toilet has been used before you, flush when you’re finished, unless you’re going #2, then you should always flush when you’re done.
6. Fix Leaks
A leaky faucet or toilet can waste a ton of water over time. For the average American household, water leaks can waste up to 11,000 gallons of water per year – that equals 270 loads of laundry! (source) So take a few minutes to fix that slow drip, and save water and money!
How do you consciously conserve water at your home?
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