Water is vital to human life, but the question is: Exactly how much water do we need?
Many people over-consume water in their households and everyday lives without realizing it. However, this can have dire consequences for the environment and the planet. Thankfully, it’s always possible to reduce your water footprint.
In this article, you’ll learn how to reduce your water footprint to do your part in saving the planet.
Before learning how to reduce your water footprint, it’s essential to understand what exactly a water footprint is.
According to the Water Footprint Network, the water footprint measures the amount of freshwater used to produce the goods and services they use. The water footprint was developed as a way to encourage water sustainability.
You can measure a water footprint for almost everything, including:
- A single product, such as an article of clothing
- A company
- A country
You can also measure water footprints in terms of a household and even a single individual. On average, the water footprint of a person in the United States is 7,800 liters, twice the global average.
Excessive water consumption contributes to the depletion of our natural resources and the pollution of freshwater worldwide. The good news is that you have control over how big your water footprint is based on the goods you consume and how you operate your household.
Let’s look at how to practice water conservation and lower your water usage and ecological footprint through just a few small changes to your daily habits.
There are many ways you can reduce your water footprint. Some ways are obvious – such as taking shorter showers, installing a rain barrel, or getting a high-efficiency washing machine. However, there are a variety of habits that you may not know are contributing to your water usage that you can cut out.
To help you out, here are the top ways to reduce your water footprint.
Many people think their dishwasher uses the most water in their home. However, this is a common misconception. Your dishwasher may help your water footprint.
Here’s a fun fact: Using your dishwasher every night is more water efficient than running water for 10 minutes to wash your dishes. In fact, this habit can save you up to 100 gallons of water a week.
Did you know more water goes into producing meat than growing vegetation?
You might be surprised to hear that consuming meat negatively impacts your water footprint. Assessing your diet is a good place to start if you want to learn how to reduce your water footprint.
A lot of water goes into food production, but an animal product has a much bigger water footprint than other foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and grains.
There are a few main reasons for this. First, it takes a lot of water to raise and maintain animals. From there, processing meat and animal by-products requires even more water. Finally, animals produce waste in a way that produce does not, and that waste needs to be managed with … you guessed it, water.
With water involved in every step of the process of producing meat and animal by-products, consuming excess dramatically increases your water footprint. The same goes for any processed food, as a significant amount of water is required for processing.
One way to fix this is to minimize meat consumption in your diet and add more vegetation and whole foods. Legumes such as beans and chickpeas provide daily protein and significantly reduce your water footprint.
Something that may be contributing to your water footprint that you have yet to learn about is your water pipes and taps. A leaky faucet dripping one drip per second can waste over 3000 gallons of water annually!
To minimize this type of water use, it’s a good idea to periodically check all of the taps in your home, specifically:
- Kitchen taps
- Showerhead and faucet
- Bathroom faucet
- Pipes under your sink
If you have a leaky faucet that you’ve been ignoring for a while now, it’s a good idea to fix it and slowly reduce your water footprint.
Plant-based milks are more popular than ever and benefit those who drink them. While plant-based milks are also generally better for the environment than dairy milk, almond milk is one that is somewhat detrimental to the world’s water footprint.
You may be surprised to hear that it takes one gallon of water to produce one almond. This may seem unreasonable for one almond considering its size, but many simple foods require a lot of water. Here are a few examples:
- 1 egg = 53 gallons
- 1 gallon of milk = 880 gallons
- 1 hamburger = 660 gallons
This isn’t to say that you should stop drinking almond or plant-based milk, as there are many other contributors to the problem. However, these numbers should make you wary of how much you consume and allow you to consider whether you’re overconsuming this milk or letting any go to waste.
To recap, four things you can do to reduce your water footprint are:
- Use your dishwasher.
- Consume less meat.
- Fix leaky taps.
- Be mindful of plant milk consumption.
Starting with these small changes can significantly minimize your water footprint. Once you know how to reduce your water footprint, you can make a small difference which may contribute to a huge positive impact on the environment.
If you’re concerned about the environment and would like to learn more about an eco-friendly water supply for your next event or fundraiser, contact us at QuenchBuggy.com.