#GoneGreen2016 | Day 2 / 365
I’m a sucker for the extended hot shower, I’ve been known to spent 30 minutes to an hour in the little slice of heaven that hot water, and plenty of it, provides. When I was 10, I designed a house that was basically one big shower, however impractical and un-environmental this design might have been, the idea of a permanent hot steamy warmth was the castle of my dreams.
I could blame growing up in Canada for my warped warm water obsessions, but the true reason my 10-year-old self dreamt of abusing my water privileges, and my current self still often does, is because here in our blissful western world, we don’t have to worry about water or its availability, even for those of us, like me, who grew up poor.
We don’t spend much time thinking about it. It is available, drinkable, and clean wherever we go. Which is something to celebrate in many ways, but is also the root of our ignorance. Currently, 844 million people around the world lack access to clean, safe drinking water. Last year, that number was 663 million.
Water is a limited resource, and the kind that is fit for us to drink, wash, or aid in our food’s growth, makes up less than 1% of all the water on Earth. When we let the tap run, we waste 6 litres of that precious water per minute. That’s around 35,000 litres of water per year just brushing our teeth. Never mind the shower, the washing machine, the dishwasher, cooking, cleaning, tea slurping and so on …. We must learn to be grateful for the access we have to it (there are one billion people on our planet who don’t have access to clean water) and learn to treat this gift with respect. It’s a simple easy fix which requires zero investment too, just an edited habit to practice.
Soap the dishes (with a wet sponge and the water off) piling the dishes on the side (with the water off) then rinse, rather than filling the sink with water.
Keep it short (like 5 min) and turn the water off while you’re soaping and shaving and shampooing. Installing a low-flow, water-saving shower head can reduce water waste 2,900 gallons a year.
Turn the tap off while you brush your teeth. Having the tap running while brushing our teeth/washing our faces wastes about 6 litres of water per precious minute.
If it’s yellow let it mellow …
When you’re making a hot drink fill up the cup you’re using, and warm only that water.
Use it sparingly if necessary, the broom is better, you’ll save about 30 gallons for every five minutes you don’t use the hose.
There are some car washes that use recycled water, find yourself one if you might clean up your gas guzzler.
Use your eco setting and make sure you’re doing a full load each time you wash. Wash cold and quick. Washing full loads saves 15-45 gallons of water per wash.
Teach them to turn it off too so they don’t develop our horrid habits. There’s a cute site here called Water Sense which is geared towards children with activities and ideas. National Geographic Kids is a great resource too.