While you generally don't think of water as a non-renewable resource, maybe you should be. Only 3% of Earth’s water is fresh water, and with climate change causing significant problems for environments around the world, freshwater access is becoming more difficult. In fact, about one in every eight people in the world do not have access to clean water. While water might cover the majority of the planet, fresh, clean water is surprisingly hard to come by, and a lack of it can prove disastrous.
Around 20% of wastewater comes from agricultural operations and commercial discharge, but that still leaves a significant portion that's the result of individuals like you and me. The average home uses more water than you might think for everything from flushing toilets to washing clothes to cooking meals and more. Luckily, there are a few small things you can do at home to reduce your water consumption and do your part to save our limited sources of clean drinking water.
Add A Rain BarrelIf you live in a rainier climate, you might want to consider adding a rain barrel or two to your home. These will allow you to collect rain that you can use outside your home to water your plants, wash your car, and so on. The amount of water you'll be able to collect will depend on a variety of factors, but the main thing you'll need to consider is the size of your roof. The more space your roof covers, the more rain you'll be able to collect from it. Just make sure before you install a rain barrel that your gutters are clear and are properly sloped. Gutters must be pitched so water will flow to the downspouts. The rule of thumb for this slope is a vertical 1/2 inch for every 10 feet of horizontal run.
Switch To Low-FlowIf you're planning on any renovations for your home that involve replacing appliances, look for options that consume less water. This can include dishwashers, toilets, and other major sources of water use in your home. However, there are options available even if you aren't renovating. Consider adding low-flow aerators to your faucets, shower heads, and other fixtures around your home to reduce water consumption without breaking the bank in the process.
Save SmarterNot all water-saving techniques in your home require you to purchase something new. Make an effort to practice water-saving behaviors throughout your home to help cut down on day-to-day water use. Only wash your clothes or run the dishwasher when you're able to run a full load to cut down on how many loads you have to do. Make sure you turn off the faucet when you're not actively using it, like while you're brushing your teeth. There are plenty of ways you can cut down on water use without adding anything new to your home.
Water conservation in your home can be easy and can go a long way to protecting the environment. By collecting rainwater, switching to low flow fixtures, and improving your daily home water-use habits, you'll be able to reduce how much your home is contributing to water waste. What techniques do you use to reduce your water consumption at home?