In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day to bring attention to the urgent need for action to tackle the global water crisis. Today, 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with feces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. The Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2015, include a target to ensure everyone has access to safe water by 2030, making water a key issue in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty.In honor of World Water Day 2017, we at Green Empowerment decided not to focus on the work we’re doing overseas to tackle this issue (though you can read more about that in our other blog posts,) but instead to focus on what YOU can do to support the cause in your own home. So, without further ado, here are 10 of our top tips for how to conserve water and do your part to tackle the global water crisis:1. Turn it off! Whether you are brushing your teeth or washing your hands, turn off the water if you are not directly using it. The average faucet releases between around 2.5 gallons of water per minute; how much of that is going straight down the drain?2. Check for leaks. You know that annoying dripping sound your toilet sometimes makes? Well, the cost is a lot more annoying than the sound. A leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day! A sink faucet that drips once every second can leak 3,000 gallons every year!3. Don’t use the permanent press cycle on your washing machine. The permanent press cycle uses an additional 5 gallons of water for every wash, which really adds up. 4. Only run the dish washer or clothes washing machine if it they are completely full. Washing/rinsing cycles with only half a load leads to unnecessary wasted water.5. Reuse water when possible. For example, when cooking pasta, or anything else that requires a large pot of water, allow the water to cool when you are done with it and use it to water plants around the house rather than dumping it down the sink…just make sure it’s cooled enough, or it could hurt the plants.
6. Limit your time in the shower. Showerheads commonly produce 5 gallons of water per minute. Tomorrow when you wake up and turn on the shower, think about hopping in right away rather than waiting for it to get steaming hot. It will save hundreds of gallons each year and help you wake up and get ready for the day!7. Turn off the lights! One of the best ways to conserve water is to limit your electricity intake. Every minute the lights in the other room are left on, power plants require more and more water to keep cool. In 2008, US power plants withdrew around 50 trillion(!) gallons of water. For context, US power plants withdrew 3 times more water per minute than the amount that flows over Niagara Falls per minute.8. Keep a bottle of water or a water purifier in the fridge. Turning on the sink and then waiting for the water to get cold sends gallons of water straight down the drain. 9. Cut back on using the garbage disposal. Disposals require a lot of water to properly operate and add a considerable amount of volume to septic tanks which can lead to more problems. Instead, try composting. It will save water and is also a great source of nutrients for plans.10. Install low-flush toilets. Most toilets use between 3 and 5 gallons of water each time they are flushed. While some people are comfortable following the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” practice, others may not be as keen. Instead, look into installing a low-flush toilet that only requires 1 gallon of water per flush. Happy World Water Day from all of us here at Green Empowerment!