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Encouraging North Americans to Pollute Less, Consume Fewer Resources, and Use Less Energy since 2007.

(Better Late Than Never).
 
 

 

 

Water Consumption

North Americans use a lot of water. We flush away what bothers us without thinking twice. We create environments that require a lot of water in areas where there is very little. We use 6-10 gallons of drinking water each time we flush our toilets while other people have not enough water to survive the day. And in some areas we have begun to notice that we are running short of water. Cleaning it, transporting it, finding it, fighting for it - all requires energy and it pollutes. Heating the water adds the element of significant energy consumption right in your home. Your hot water heater is a major energy user and any savings here result in less pollution.

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Level of Change

Drink water A gallon/liter of any beverage (other than water) requires many more gallons/liters more water to be made than just plain water. Plants for juices need water, tea and coffee plants need water, milk comes from cows that need a lot of water. One glass of milk requires the use of dozens of gallons of water for the cow and the processing of the milk. Bottled water needs more water than tap water. Even sweetener needs water. Drinking plain tap water is by far the most water-saving way to go.
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Limit the water flow in the shower Less water flow means less use of water per time period. I used a coin the size of a penny, drilled a 1/16" hole in it and put it between the shower head and the water line. The shower now uses less than 1 gallon of water per minute even at full force. Cheap and very effective.
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Showers instead of baths A brief shower uses much less hot water than a bath. Heating water requires much energy and causes pollution somewhere.
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Install a small bathtub
If you need to change bathtubs consider instlling a smaller one (if that is possile). This way you will use less hot water every time you take a bath.
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Try "one-song showers" Taking a shower instead of a bath saves a lot of water only if the showers are short. Try to be done in 5 minutes. Try to complete your shower while listening to a favorite tune and be done before it is over.
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Take short showers The shorter your shower the less you pollute. A 20 minute shower may use as much water as a completely filled bathtub. How long can it take to get clean? What sort of dirt is on you that does not come off quickly with a bit of water and soap? Get wet, soap, rinse - done!. Hot water costs energy and creates pollution.
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Replace shower head Installing a water-saving shower head reduces the water flow. Without reducing your shower time you already use much less hot water.
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Turn off water while you are soaping This is fairly common in many places, just not in North America. Turning off the water while you are soaping reduces your hot water use and increases the efficiency of soaping.
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Shower alone two together usually (not always!) takes longer than two individuals taking a shower separately. That means you are using more hot water.
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Shower cold or less hot Reducing the temperature of your shower reduces how much you pollute.
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Shower less often If you did not get really dirty or sweaty you may choose to take a sponge bath rather than a bath or shower. Not taking a shower or bath maximizes your hot water savings. Saves money - pollutes less.
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Take a bath with another person While taking a shower with another person often takes longer, taking a bath will save energy. Two people in one tub displace more water and it takes less water to fill the tub. Also, it does not matter how long it takes, the water consumption is cut in half. Make sure to not get a bigger tub though.
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Share the water As it was more common in earlier times, several people can use the bathwater in a row. This cuts the water use per person and pollutes less.
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Make up after taking a bath Taking very short showers several days following a bath you can at least try to balance the higher water use from the day you took a bath
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Flush toilet less often Every time you flush your toilet you dump 6 to 10 gallons of drinking water into the sewer system. Flushing less often results in less drinking water use. You may choose to flush only for removing solids or larger amounts of accumulated urine.
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Small toilet tank A smaller toilet tank wastes less drinking water
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Urinate in the garden It adds fertilizer to the natural world and you do not pollute and flush drinking water.
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Composting toilet A composting toilet transforms human feces into a valuable source for plant growth. We are very used to flushing it down, but if you live in the country you could take advantage of the fertilizer you make every day.
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Clean driveway with broom Use a broom and let the rain finish the work. Standing there with a hose in hand is not real work, unbelievably unnecessary, and finally wastes drinking water. If it does not rain where you live, you should not waste water by washing your house.
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Let rain wash your house Why would you wash your house? One good reason please! Let the rain wash you house. If it does not rain where you live, you should not waste water by washing your house.
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Wash everything less often The less you wash anything the less water or hot water you use. That translates into less pollution.
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Use water of dehumidifier for laundry If you operate a dehumidifier (which uses quite a bit of energy by the way) you can use the collected water for doing laundry or watering plants. Just keep any anti-fungal additives out of the water.
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Collect rain water Rainwater has many good uses. You can use it to water the garden or potted plants, flush the toilet, take a shower or bath (if filtered some), mix concrete, wash laundry, do dishes, take a sponge bath, brush teeth (adults only; do not swallow rain water!!), make snow, etc. If you use rainwater for some tasks you use less drinking water.
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Use gray water Gray water (water that has been used but is not really dirty) has some good uses. You can use it to water the garden or potted plants, mix concrete, flush the toilets, etc. If you use gray water for some tasks you use less drinking water.
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Install gray water drain A gray water drain (= drain pipe that can be chosen to redirect water that is still fairly clean but not drinking water any longer) redirects some the the water you pour down the drain and allows you to collect and use this water.
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Fix dripping faucets A faucet dripping just once per second wastes thousands of gallons of water each year. If it is the hot water faucet you not only wasting a valuable resource, but also energy.
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Don`t let water run while brushing teeth It is completely unnecessary and wasteful. It is not hard to turn it off!
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Hand wash dishes with one sink/bowl full of water Hand washing can waste a lot of water, if you for instance let the water run while you are doing dishes. However, if you pour hot water into a container sitting in the sink, you usually have enough water to do a good load of dishes, you have room to pour stuff down the drain you do not want in the dishwater, and you use  less water than with the dishwasher or doing the dishes by hand while letting the water run. Rinse dishes in a bit of cold water.
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Wash your car less often Every time you wash your car you create pollution.
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Let rain wash your car Rainwater is free and falls on your car anyways. If it is a good rain your car will be clean. Not perfect, but pretty clean. And you can help with a little scrubbing in the rain.
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Make sure laundry machine is full to capacity Running a laundry machine that is not full to capacity uses more water per pound of laundry than one that is filled to capacity (meaning just full enough to be washed well at that setting). That is especially noticeable when you wash the laundry with warm or hot water (which is something you may want to change as well and wash only with cold water).
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Oppose decorative fountains Fountains that spray or squirt water in the air waste water. A portion of the water spray gets blown away, other losses are a result of evaporation. The reason for the feeling of refreshment near a fountain is that water spray is carried away and you are in it.
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Drink water from tap right away without waiting Waiting for the water to run cold takes a while. The water you do not drink is wasted.
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Fill water bottle at drinking fountain When drinking directly from the fountain with your mouth most of the water dispensed goes down the drain. If you fill a water bottle and drink from this bottle, most of the water ends up inside you.
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Oppose golf courses Golf courses are tightly controlled semi-natural environments. In addition to man-made pesticides and fertilizers (which require a lot of energy and resources to be made and cause a whole bunch of problems in the environment), they use a lot of water if they are in an area that has little natural precipitation.
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Don`t grow plants that are not native to your area for lack of water If you want to grow plants in an area that has little rainfall grow plants that can handle those situations. Choosing plants that need a lot of water results in you watering the plants and wasting water that is for human consumption.
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Use water of swimmingpool for watering garden If you have to drain you swimming pool do it when you can do something useful with the water. Water the garden with it. Could be bad for the plants though it there are too many chemicals in the water.
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Water plants in evening or at night Watering during times of the day that are cooler prevents evaporation losses. In addition, watering during the day creates water drops on the plant leaves which work like little magnifying lenses and burn the plant.
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Use soaker hoses Sprinkler systems spray water in the air. A lot of that water floats away with the wind. Soaking hoses lose less water.
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Use salts to keep swimming pool water clean Some companies offer salts to keep the swimming pool water clean. Those may be a better choice than some chemicals which make the water useless for any other purpose.
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Drink your water before you leave the restaurant It will get dumped if you do not drink it.
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Brush teeth in shower Saves some water (high estimate: 2 cups/500 ml).
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Put a stone in the toilet tank If you put a larger stone (or water-filled plastic bottle, or large gold bar)  in the toilet tank you displace the same volume in water. Every time you flush now, you use less drinking water. Do not use a material that will fall apart when submerged for a long time (e.g. concrete or clay brick) since this may damage your toilet tank or waste water system.
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