Droughts throughout the U.S. Increasing water demand due to population growth. Decreasing groundwater levels and storage. Aging water infrastructure in big old cities like Philadelphia. Wasteful fixtures and habits in our communities and homes. Drip. Drip. Drip.
Water scarcity and access to clean drinking water are no longer life-and-death issues for developing nations only. Climate change and other factors are driving these conditions closer to home no matter where you live.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to be mindful of our water use every day and everywhere: at home, at work, at play. Conserving water is vital to protecting plants, animals, ourselves and the planet, and this practice has the added benefit of reducing energy use and decreasing pollution.
In 2022, the Academy of Natural Sciences and Drexel University are celebrating Water Year to dramatically increase consumer awareness and responsible behaviors around water in every person who we can reach. The following tips provide ways to reduce your water use right in your own home.
Here’s what you can do to use less water in your everyday life, starting now:
In the bathroom
- Turn the faucet off when brushing teeth or shaving.
- Stop using the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket.
- Take shorter showers.
- Drop a plastic bottle filled with sand or pebbles into the toilet tank to trick the toilet into filling up with less water.
- Install water saving showerheads and flow restrictors.
In the kitchen
- Use the automatic dishwasher (and automatic washing machine, too) for full loads only.
- Scrape food off plates instead of rinsing before placing them in the dishwasher.
- Dip fruits and veggies in a bowl of cold water or clean sink to clean them instead of running the faucet.
- Thaw frozen foods in the fridge overnight instead of running them under hot water.
- Keep a container of drinking water in the fridge instead of running the tap until the H2O gets cold.
In the yard
- Don’t use hose water to push around leaves and debris in the gutter or the yard. Use a broom, dustpan and muscles.
- Water outdoor plants only when needed and only during the coolest parts of the day.
- Install drought resistant native trees and plants and pour a mulch around them to retain moisture.
- Wash the car with water from a bucket instead of from a hose. Consider a commercial car wash that recycles water.
- Cover the pool to keep water from evaporating.
- Check faucets, hoses and pipes for leaks. Then stop them.
- Drink tap water and carry a reusable water bottle.
For more tips and resources, visit the Small Actions Spark Big Changes webpage.
By Carolyn Belardo, Director of Public Relations