Water = life. We need it for everything… growing crops, cooking food, hydrating animals, maintaining hygiene, and protecting our bodies (to name a few things!).
There’s no denying water is absolutely essential to our survival and the survival of future generations. However, just because water is infinitely valuable doesn’t mean it has an infinite supply.
According to The World Wildlife Fund, less than three percent of water on earth is freshwater, and only a portion of that water is accessible. Because of that, they cite, about 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water, and about 2.7 billion find water scarce for at least one month of the year. To put that in perspective, that means almost half of the world’s population is dealing with water shortages of some sort.
Particularly because water is so vital, adjusting our habits with heart and purpose can make a meaningful difference for all beings — present and future.
How to reduce your water use
Eat less meat
If you want to save water, the most efficient way to do it is by eating less meat. Period. Studies show that someone following a plant-based diet uses five times less water than someone with a more meat-based diet.
Here’s a breakdown of how much water it takes to produce 1 pound of different food sources:
- Beef: 1,800 gallons
- Sheep: 1,248 gallons
- Pork: 718 gallons
- Chicken: 518 gallons
- Chickpeas: 501 gallons
- Eggs: 395 gallons
- Tofu: 302 gallons
- Rolled oats: 290 gallons
- Asparagus: 258 gallons
- Oranges: 67 gallons
- Broccoli: 34 gallons
- Tomato: 26 gallons
That said, it’s no secret nuts are major water hogs, particularly almonds and and cashews. So be mindful of your snacking while embracing Meatless Mondays — or even better, Meatless Every Day!
Adjust small habits, repeatedly
When it comes to global sustainability issues, it can be really easy to feel overwhelmed. Try zooming in! By focusing on small daily changes, it’ll make it easier to feel a bit more in control.
Here are simple ways to save water:
- Speed up your showers
- Get a low-flow shower head
- Avoid running water needlessly (turn tap off when brushing teeth, washing hands, shaving)
- Use a dishwasher *and only run full loads*
- Capture rainwater for gardening, but check your local policy to make sure you’re in compliance with the rules
- Fix leaks
- Water plants during the coldest part of the day
- Use washing machine for full loads, only
- Layer mulch around trees and plants to retain moisture
- Soak pots and pans rather than scrubbing them while water runs
- Reuse towels at home and in hotels
- Use a pool cover
And don’t forget to celebrate the small wins! If you cut your shower by one minute or two, you’ll save 150 gallons per month. Tip: try a shower challenge. Rinse and wash before your favorite “long” song finishes. Our faves: The Beatles – Hey Jude (7 mins, 11 secs), Sufjan Stevens – Chicago (6 mins, 5 seconds), and Taylor Swift – Cornelia Street (4 mins, 47 seconds).
Are you on a mission to be planet-friendly all year long? Same! Check out this post: 31 ways to make 2020 your most eco-friendly year ever