Eco-Tip of the Week: May is Water Awareness Month

Now that summer’s around the corner, swimming pools, sprinklers, trips to the beach or lake, water parks, and other wet ways to cool off are all starting to come to mind.  During the warm spring and summer months, we tend to not only do more water-related activities; we also use more water.

Everything from the frequency of our showers to the amount of water we give our plants increases in the hot weather.  This makes summer a great time for us all to be especially conscious of our water use.

Because there’s already a strain on our water supply, we need to make water conservation something we all practice everyday in as many areas of our lives as we can.  Climate change has seriously altered the timing of winter snows and spring rains in many parts of the world.  These changes can upset the current patterns of precipitation, causing cities, states and farming communities to face serious threats to their water supplies.   What’s more, population growth has increased the demand for water and resources, posing another important threat to our water supply.

One of the most effective ways to reduce water use is to make changes at home.  Our faucets, showerheads, and the elaborate infrastructure that carry water into our homes can create the illusion that our water supply is unlimited.

It’s not.

Good, clean, drinkable water is rarer than many people realize, and it’s not to be taken for granted even though statistics suggest that we’re doing just that.  In fact, researchers have found that “12% of the world’s population uses 85% of its water.

Far too many people across the world lack access to clean water and adequate sanitation.  This water shortage causes poverty, sickness and death in many places.  For more information on clean water access issues and what you can do to help bring clean water to people who need it, click here.

Just as important:  here are a few tips to help you make simple changes at home.

1.   In the home: 

  • Install a low-flow showerhead and replace your toilet with a water-saving ultra-low flush model.
  • Be conscious of the length of your showers.  Time them and challenge yourself and your family to make them shorter.
  • When buying a new washing machine, buy a front loading washer; these use 1/3 less water than top loaders.

For more household water-saving tips and practices, click here:

2.   For the lawn, garden and outdoors:

  • Water evening or morning to prevent rapid evaporation during the heat of the day.
  • Use a nozzle on your hose that can be shut off or adjusted to a fine spray.
  • Use a rake or broom instead of a hose to remove leaves and debris from driveway, walk, patio, and pool decks.

For more outdoor water-saving tips, click here.

3.   Other tips: 

  • Wash your car at home with a bucket of water instead of a running hose.  If you need to go to a commercial car wash, visit one that uses recycled water.
  • Patronize hotels, restaurants, and other commercial establishments that participate in water-conservation programs.

For more information and a guide to buying more energy and water efficient products, click here.