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Water Wisdom

March 24, 2011

By Jennifer Chaky

At the time of this writing it is World Day for Water. Ooops, I missed posting about it ahead of time, but hey, it’s always a good day to think about water—something we use so much that it’s easy to take for granted. In 1992 the UN General Assembly designated 22 March of each year as the World Day for Water as a way to bring awareness to the fact that water resources are facing increasing demands from, and competition among, users. I won’t go into the grim facts about how 2 out of 10 humans in the world do not have access to clean drinking water, and how many children die every day from this sad fact. We have enough gloomy news to contend with these days.

But what I will do is hopefully encourage you to respect and honor the clean water that we in this country are so fortunate to have. After all, water-related problems are not an issue in just developing countries.  Drought and pollution from runoff from lawn chemicals and industries such as animal agriculture can make safe water scarce even in America. We are facing a time when we need to be prudent with everything we use, and water is no exception. Adopting certain habits now can save us some discomfort later. Here are ten ways to use water wisely so none of this precious resource is wasted:

  1. Never ever let water run unnecessarily, like when brushing your teeth or shaving.
  2. Never buy bottled water—it takes three times the amount of water to make one bottle of water.
  3. Soap up with the water off, then rinse. This goes for the shower, and when washing dishes. You can get a trickle valve for your shower and sink faucet that makes it easy to slow the flow of water while you soap up.
  4. Keep a bucket in the shower to catch the water that you run waiting for the temperature to warm up. Use that water for plants or to flush the toilet (pour it in the back of the tank.)
  5. Fix leaks fast. (Sometimes a leaky faucet can be stopped simply by turning water on full blast for a second and shutting it off.)
  6. Avoid meat. Every pound of meat you don’t consume saves as much water as if you didn’t shower for six months!
  7. Don’t waste food. Food needs tons of water to grow. When you waste food you waste water too.
  8. Wash veggies and fruits in a bowl filled with water instead of running water.
  9. Don’t water your lawn. Use nutrient-rich compost to make your lawn healthier and it won’t need to be watered.
  10. Only wash clothes when they really need it. Spot clean, and wear items more than once when possible.

There are tons of other ways to save water. What will you do?

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