There are many things we can do in our day to day lives that can help us save water for ourselves and the planet. Certain things that we could do, can also help our municipalities manage our sewer systems. So, let's show some love to our dear planet.
Just as charity begins at home, we need to start by analyzing what our water footprint is or by finding out how much water is used by the entire household for all sorts of activities. There are water footprint calculators available online to help with this. Once we have our data right, we can set sail to explore ways in which we can reduce our water consumption. The first place to start is to change our mindset; Instead of thinking of water as an infinite resource let's start thinking of it as a scarce commodity. While we are privileged enough to have running water just by turning our faucets, let's think of water as people facing droughts would- every drop counts. It does sound a little extreme but is easy. This will help us change our habits and recognize conservation opportunities.
Before we change things around the house, we need to peek outside our window and know our water facts. Like, where is our water coming from and where is it going. If you do have a water treatment plant or a filtration plant in your municipality, make sure they are working. If not, make the authorities get these plants running. After all, we pay taxes to make sure that our water is in good hands. Once that is done, we are in a good place to start as now we know our footprint as well as our facts to efficiently combat our impact.
Small things like turning of the tap while brushing teeth and washing hands can save a significant amount of water in the long run. Shaving in the sink instead of the shower can help save gallons. Use a bucket to take a bath instead of using the shower or the tub. Leakproof the entire home; make sure no taps, toilets, pipes or appliances are leaking. Change old faucets to water-efficient ones. Switch to low flow showerheads and flushes. We have installed dual flush toilets as flushing urine doesn't require the same amount of water as it does to flush poop. Me and my roommates time our showers and have a friendly competition to monitor who wasted the least amount of water every week, it also serves as an encouragement to be better to our mother earth. These small things really save gallons of water every month.
Other than that watering plants by hand instead of a hose and harvesting and collecting rainwater, are a few ways to make your garden water efficient. Other than that, installing water sense appliances and not running the washers and dishwashers until there is a full load can save lots of water and make sure to use them in cold settings. The dishwashers and washers use the same amount of water to clean one dish or T-shirt or to clean full loads, hence waiting till these appliances are full, is the right thing to do. Use natural detergents and soaps or biodegradable/ eco-friendly cleaning agents but beware of greenwashed products that claim to have natural ingredients but mostly have artificial fragrances. Make sure nothing unwanted is entering the sewerage, like plastic waste/ baby wipes/ paint. Energy production is a very water-intensive process, so saves electricity to save water. Don't fall for fast fashion and shop smart, as making one t-shirt requires 2700 Liters of water. Eat and drink carefully, eating less meat and less processed food is more water-efficient. Instead of buying packaged water, invest in water filters and reusable water bottles. I convinced my roommates to do the same and this not only helped us to cut down on waste but also helps us to keep a track of our hydration. Clean fruits and veggies in a bowl instead of running water; Along with saving water, it helps in thoroughly getting the pesticides out. Steam the vegetables instead of boiling. If vegetables have to be boiled, the gray water can be reused while making gravy or sauces as it is packed with nutrients. However, make sure you use it right away or there is a risk of bacterial growth. On those lines, even shower water can be collected and reused for cleaning and flushing.
Saving water is great for our pockets as well, it helps save on water and electricity bills. On top of that, it leaves more water for animals and the environment, while eliminating the risk of a water-less future for us.