This week's Change the World Wednesday Challenge is to "conserve water by not wasting it. Consider every drop which typically gets poured down the drain and find creative uses for it. Examine your water use and see where, and how, you can make improvements."
When I heard what the challenge was, I started thinking about ways that water is used that we don't always see or think about. Here are some thoughts I had on creative ways to reduce water use that we often forget about. Turning off the water when brushing your teeth is something you can see, and so for those of us who are conscious of water use, it's easy to remember. But here are some actions we can take that don't always remind us of the water use associated with them, and a few that do directly remind us of water, but which have become so habitual that we forget the water waste associated with them can be eliminated:
- Reuse your dishes and cups in your home throughout the course of the day. Every time you grab a new plate, it's one more thing that will require water use in the dishwasher. The longer it takes to fill up the dishwasher (or the more times you wash dishes if you don't have a dishwasher), the more water you're using. Reduce water consumption by remembering which glass was yours that morning, and instead of reaching for another mug or plate, reuse the one from earlier. Only run the dishwasher with a full load to also save water and energy.
- Wear clothes more than once if you can, such as jeans and sweaters that tend to not get dirty as easily. The same principle applies to this one as the dishes one--the fewer times you fill up the washing machine, the fewer times you have to run it. And always remember to wash your clothes with a full load to save water and energy.
- Finish your glass of water instead of dumping it down the drain. I see this happen at restaurants and at home. You fill up your glass, but at that moment you aren't really thirsty enough to keep drinking it. Solution: only fill up your glass with as much water or juice as you want, and then drink all of it. Your body could probably use the extra fluids anyway, especially during the summer. If you really can't drink it and it's water, feed it to a plant.
- Wash your hair less often. I know that when I take a shower and wash my hair, that shower ends up being way longer than when I don't wash my hair. This solves two issues: the over-shampooing of our hair, which makes it actually more oily and unhealthy, and water waste. To learn more about going no 'poo, or stopping or reducing the amount of chemical shampoo we apply to our hair, check out this link.
How are you reducing water use in your everyday life?