Water is one of those things that we use every day and, quite frankly, take for granted.
What would happen if we turned on the faucet and nothing came out? I would panic. I think you would, too.
Water is really one of our most precious resources. We tend to use it without thinking about it. Our theme in October is all about water — keeping it pollution-free and conserving it, too. We can make choices every day that can conserve and use water wisely. Consider these tips and staggering facts on water use from National Geographic and www.epa.gov:
• Water is wasted if you turn on the tap and let it run while you wait for the water to get hot. To reduce waste, wrap pipes with insulation. You also might want to consider a tankless water heater.
• Newer models of washing machines are significantly more efficient. Nearly 22 percent of indoor home-water use comes from doing laundry. Save water by making sure to adjust the settings on your machine to the proper load size. Use the cold-water setting for most loads. Also, try using less detergent.
• Most front-loading machines are energy- and water-efficient, using a little more than 20 gallons a load, while most top-loading machines, unless they are energy-efficient, use 40 gallons per load
• On average, 10 gallons per day of your water gets lost to leaks. Short of installing new water-efficient fixtures, one of the easiest, most-effective ways to cut your footprint is by repairing leaky faucets and toilets.
• You can save 15 gallons of water during a 10-minute shower by using a low-flow showerhead.
• Showers are generally the more water-efficient way to bathe, since you’ll need about 70 gallons of water to fill a bathtub. Try keeping the shower time under five minutes.
• Flushes can add up to about 20 gallons a day down the toilet. If you still have a standard toilet, which uses close to 3.5 gallons a flush, try retrofitting or filling your tank with something that will displace some of that water, such as a brick, or just give it up and purchase a dual flush toilet.
• EnergyStar dishwashers use about 4 gallons of water per load; even standard machines use only about
6 gallons. Hand washing generally uses about 20 gallons of water each time.
• Nearly 60 percent of a person’s household water footprint can go toward lawn and garden maintenance. Climate counts; where you live plays a role in how much water you use, especially when it comes to tending to a yard.
• The average pool takes 22,000 gallons of water to fill. Hundreds of gallons of water per month can be lost due to evaporation if it’s not covered.
• It takes about
1,000 gallons per person per day to produce the average American diet. That’s more than the global average water footprint of 900 gallons per person per day for diet, household use, transportation, energy and the consumption of material goods.
• Washing a car uses about 150 gallons of water.
• About 13 gallons of water are used to make a gallon of gasoline. Combine your errands, car pool to work, or take public transportation to reduce both your energy and water use.
Conserving water every day is one way we can all use this resource more wisely. Volunteering with Rivers Alive in October is another way to make a powerful statement about protecting our water and our local waterways. Contact Keep Liberty Beautiful (www.keeplibertybeautiful.org) now to join us for these annual waterway cleanups. Making healthy choices every day about water usage can also make a powerful difference.
Don’t be a drip about water conservation! Clean water is worth protecting.