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Today is the third day of World Water Week, which runs August 25-30. World Water Week aims to make water accessible to people around the world. This mission remains vital in the face of the growing global water crisis, which has caused massive water shortages such as the ongoing one in Chennai, India.
Causes of the global water crisis range from climate change to widespread wasting of water. You can help to minimize the impact of the latter cause by making simple changes to the way you use water in your home. For World Water Week, commit yourself to these five ways to conserve water in your home.
1. Turn off your faucets
Do you keep your bathroom sink faucet running while you brush your teeth or shave? Doing so can waste large volumes of water, as most sinks can pump two gallons of water per minute. Showers, of course, use even more water, so taking military-style showers, also known as “navy showers,” could be worth considering. For these showers, you’ll turn off your shower faucet while you lather soap, using water only to rinse off your soap. Navy showers can reduce your water use by 95 percent.
2. Take shorter showers
During navy showers, in the time when water isn’t running, you could find yourself exposed to the sort of cold that accompanies stepping out of a hot shower. If you can only imagine yourself tolerating this cold after your shower, then just take shorter showers. The average shower uses about 17 gallons in eight minutes, so cutting your shower time in half could conserve large amounts of water.
3. Maximize your dishwashing efficiency
Every time you rinse kitchenware before using dish soap, you use water. When you wash this soapy water off, you use more water. Consider keeping your dishwashing water use minimal and constant by setting up a two-bowl system. Add a modest, equal amount of freshwater to both, and add some dish soap to one of the two bowls. Dip any equipment you’re cleaning into the soapy bowl to wash it, and then rinse the soap off in the non-soapy bowl. This dishwashing technique can conserve several gallons of water.
4. Reuse greywater
The water that you use in your sink, shower, and washing machine can be reused. This water, known as greywater, is excellent for use in gardening. Since greywater is nutrient-rich, it can offer a stronger alternative than freshwater for growing ornamental plants and even fruit trees. It can also be used with vegetable crops as long as it makes no contact with the edible part of the crop. Greywater that isn’t recycled can pollute existent freshwater sources, as the nutrients that make it great for plant use can harm other life.
5. Upgrade your appliances
If you can replace your dishwasher or washing machine, you might want to do so. High-efficiency washing machines and lower-volume dishwashers can conserve high volumes of water while slashing your utility bills. Just be sure to use laundry detergent designed for high-efficiency washers – this way, you don’t sacrifice proper cleanliness for conservation.
How do you conserve water at home? Share your tips in the comments!