Earth Day is right around the corner. People around the globe are coming together to bring about environmental awareness, advocacy, and sustainable change. It’s the season of movement and motivation. But, what many people don’t know is the impact water has on our beloved planet. As humans, we will feel the biggest impact of climate change through changes in water patterns. These water patterns include shrinking glaciers, increased droughts and floods, and changes in precipitation. It’s easy to get lost in convenience and consumption and forget that Earth doesn’t have an everlasting abundance of water. Because most of Earth’s water is stored in oceans or polar ice caps, less than 1% is available for human use. That means we have to be responsible and resourceful in order to hold onto that 1% like it’s all we have—because it is.
It can be daunting to imagine sharing 1% of Earth’s water with the entire world. Especially when you realize 2 billion people still lack access to clean water, and 500,000 people die each year due to contaminated water. By being conscientious of your water intake, you can not only conserve water for Earth’s ecosystems, but you can help efforts to provide clean drinking water to those who don’t have that luxury. So, here is a list of four small steps you can take ahead of Earth Day to help save water and make a big difference.
1. Take Fewer Showers or Stop Showering for a Week!
According to the EPA, the average household uses 20% of their total water on showering, adding up to an average consumption of 17 gallons per shower. This means that a powerful way to reduce water is to skip a shower, or two.
And, this month, Well Aware is giving you an opportunity to magnify that impact. Volunteers all around the world are vowing not to shower until they reach their fundraising goal to help build more clean water systems for communities in East Africa. Join Shower Strike by Earth Day, April 22nd, to make a difference in these communities.
Just think, by reducing the water going down your shower drain, you are putting more water in lakes, rivers, streams, wildlife, and in the mouths of people living in our partner communities. That’s a big impact from one vow.
2. Eat Mostly Plants
What many people don’t know is that the amount of water used to hydrate agriculture is astounding. According to National Geographic, the global water average to produce one pound of beef is 1,800 gallons of water. In fact, cutting the consumption of animal products in half reduces America’s water intake by 37%, a big chunk of the 70% of water used for food.
3. Reuse Your Water
The Earth’s population continues to increase, and with that, so does the demand for water. Thus, it’s essential that we stay resourceful with the water available to us. The water returned to Earth from the water cycle is not the same in amount or quality. So, we need to reduce our consumption by reusing the water we’ve already poured. The water you poured in a glass a day ago? Pour it on your plants. The cold water coming out of your shower while you wait for it to heat up? Pour it on your garden. The water you used to cook pasta or vegetables with? Use it to make a Gordon Ramsey-approved sauce. Before you instinctually pour water down the drain, look around and see other ways it can be used. This also prevents further consumption of clean water that you could have used to say, fill your pet’s water bowl.
4. Reuse Your Goods and Save Energy
Did you know producing a pair of jeans uses a whopping 9,982 gallons of water? This isn’t counting the 40 gallons of water a typical washing machine uses to clean them (try freezing them instead). In fact, every good you buy has a water footprint on it. All the products we buy in stores or online use an immense amount of energy, as do the lights and appliances in our house. The average person uses 39 gallons of water per person per day just from power production alone. You can reduce your water intake by buying used goods like clothes, kitchen supplies, plastic bags, or containers. Or, just reduce your consumption all together! And, while you’re on your way to the second-hand store, don’t forget to turn out the lights.
While we all celebrate Earth Day this year, let’s remember the importance of water conservation and the responsible actions we can all take. Let’s also remember that every day can be treated as Earth Day. These are only four of the endless actions we can take every day to make a difference on this planet and in the lives of those who inhabit it.
Don’t forget, you can help raise funds for life-saving systems by joining our upcoming campaign: Shower Strike
Want to get involved in providing clean water and improving health? Join our village of sustaining monthly donors.