Without water we’d be nothing. Life on Earth would cease to exist and the planet itself would become a wasteland. This isn’t an exaggeration.
And we’re running out of clean water. People in Canada alone on average use 329 litres of water every day.
That’s why it’s more important than ever that we take steps to reduce the amount of water we waste on a regular basis.
You’ve likely heard of all the many ways to reduce your water usage by now. Showering instead of taking a bath, using the washing machine only when you need to, using the dishwasher instead of handwashing dirty dishes. The list goes on.
But there are a lot of other things that waste water. Things in your life using up ridiculous amounts of water without you knowing.
Down below we've listed down some of the biggest and most unexpected water wasters in your life and what you can do about them.
The first culprit on our list are the clothes you’re wearing right now.
According to The Fashion Law, the fashion industry wastes 25 billion gallons of water on textile production and 1.3 trillion gallons on fabric dyeing annually. That’s an awful lot of water to throw away for the sake of a new outfit.
Instead of buying from fast fashion outlets, try sourcing from more eco-friendly fashion brands that use environmentally-friendly fabrics other than cotton. Another option is to reduce the amount of clothes you buy. Do you really need TWO t-shirts of the exact same color?
The very food on your plate wastes 45 trillion gallons of water when it’s thrown away. Meat production alone uses up 5,000 to 20,000 litres of water per kg of meat.
The solution? Be more conscious of your eating habits. Store uneaten food portions in the refrigerator. Make sure to eat all your fruits before they rot. And if you’re up for it, reduce the overall amount of meat you eat (even better, go full vegan!).
You should also shop more wisely. Buy your groceries from eco-friendly supermarkets or farmer’s markets to support environmentally-conscious food production practices, which will in turn reduce water wastage and consumption.
You probably already know to stay away from bottled water at the convenience store. Bottled water not only adds plastic to our landfills but also wastes valuable drinking water. Since most taps are regulated and provide clean water to drink, you shouldn’t have to get water from the store.
Instead, opt to bring a reusable water bottle like this tumbler wherever you go. That way you can stay hydrated and the Earth won’t suffer for it.
1 sheet of A4 paper requires the equivalent of 5 litres of water. Now multiply that by the amount of paper you print and use every day and let that sink in.
Unfortunately, sometimes using paper is unavoidable. Maybe your boss really likes having paper copies. Or perhaps you need to print out and fill in hardcopy forms to submit because that’s required. Regardless, there are still some things you can do to reduce your paper usage.
As always, the first thing you can do is to recycle any paper you dispose of. The second thing you can do is reduce the paper you use by using digital alternatives. Like reading? Use an ebook. Need to communicate? Use email or text. Have notes you need to organize? Evernote’s got your back.
And finally, if you absolutely need paper in your life (perhaps you enjoy journaling), get your paper from eco-friendly sources. There are many companies that produce compostable or sustainable paper materials. Support them, and the environment, by buying from them.
Another huge waster of water is your morning cup of joe. A single cup of coffee takes 37 gallons of water to produce from harvesting to brewing. It'll be hard, but letting go of caffeine will save a lot of water for the planet. It also reduces your carbon footprint. That same cup of coffee also releases 150g of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Instead of drinking coffee, you can try drinking black tea instead. It provides that same caffeine fix but without the intense water requirements.
You might also consider buying your coffee from brands that incorporate eco-friendly cultivation practices into their production. Look for organizations that carry certification labels on their products like Rainforest Alliance or Fair Trade.
With love and compassion,