Living Green – Water

Water Facts: Did you KNOW that..

2.5 gallons is the amount allocated per person in much of the world while the average American citizen uses 400 gallons.
30% of your energy bill is made up of heating water
88 percent Of deaths from diarrhea are caused from unsafe drinking water, inadequate availability of water for hygiene, and lack of access to sanitation; this translates to more than 1.5 million of the 1.9 million children under five who perish from diarrhea each year. This amounts to 18% of all under-five deaths and means that more than 4,000 children are dying every day as a result of diarrhoeal diseases.
$35 billion is the amount of money spent on bottled water in the most developed countries in the world.
1.5 million Barrels of crude oil used for making PET water bottles, globally. This is enough oil to fuel 100,000 American cars for a year.

Water Reducing Tips:

1. Consider cutting a little water usage from your morning routine. Does anyone really need to shower for more than 5-10 minutes? Keeping a timer in your bathroom will remind you to wrap up and get out. Prune-y fingers may be sexy to some people but they won’t make you any cleaners – an hour of water won’t make you significantly cleaner than a 10 minute shower.

2. Please turn off the faucet: while brushing your teeth, applying soap to your dirty dishes, shaving, etc. All that perfectly clean tap water is just going down the drain. And when using it, lower the pressure. The pressure and flow of water won’t significantly increase how fast you can wet your toothbrush or wash your face.

3. Use less hot water, whether it’s showering, washing your face, washing dishes, etc. Reduce your water heater temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees – there will be almost no difference and your energy bill will go down. I know adjusting from a scolding hot shower to a hot or even warm shower may be tough, but it’ll make a huge difference in your energy bill.

4. Reduce water use in your own yard:

* Try collecting rainwater by placing containers at the end of each gutter. It’s perfect for watering your garden.
* Water your lawn or garden in the morning or the evening when the water will evaporate less rapidly. Adjust sprinklers to avoid the pointless watering of sidewalks or paved areas.
* Sweep patios and sidewalks rather than hosing them, which wastes water and carries contaminants into freshwater systems.
* Limit pesticide use. Pesticides are the only substances we intentionally introduce into our environment to kill living things, and besides being potentially dangerous to people, pets and wildlife, they’ll eventually be carried into our freshwater supply by runoff.

5. Take the easy way out and hit the car wash. A car wash typically uses about 32 gallons of water per vehicle, but the EPA estimates that washing it yourself can use up to 500 gallons of water…not to mention loads of your time and energy.

6. Bottled water is a scam. The government and local water agencies are paid to consistently test the water quality in faucets. If your water tastes bad, report it. If they take too long, buy a water filter for your sink. If you’re attached to water bottles like I am at times, buy a nalgene bottle or re-use your water bottle. I refill my water bottle at least 4 times a day before I recycle it (to make sure I drink the recommended daily amount).

7. As a side note, don’t flush pills down the toilet, either. These chemicals and hormones can end up in our drinking water supply, and it’s difficult to filter them all out. In fact, a recent investigation found trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in the water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas, and the human and environmental consequences are still unknown. A better solution than flushing: return excess medication to your pharmacy.

Home Improvement:

1. Check for–and hastily repair– leaky pipes and faucets. The tiniest leak has far greater impact than you’d think. In fact, many cities lose 40 to 60 percent (or more!) of their water supply due to leaky pipes. Use the U.S. Geological Survey’s leak calculator to see how much water is lost through your drips:

2. Don’t use your sinks and drains as trash cans, and dispose of oil and other toxic materials properly. Just one gallon of oil reaching the sewer can contaminate one million gallons of fresh water.

Buy Water Efficient:

1. Washing Machines: If you are in the market for a washing machine consider replacing your old washer with an Energy Star or High Efficiency model. By doing this you will be saving 15-22 gallons and 50% less energy each load. Front-loading washing machines use 40% less water and 50% less energy than top loaders, are gentler on your clothes and reduce drying time by squeezing more water out.

2. Water Heaters: Before purchasing a new water heater, consider these two options before you buy. The tank-less water heater consumes 8-34% less energy than storage tank heaters because it has no conventional reservoir of water that it must keep at a high temperature- it heats water as needed. The solar thermal water heater relies on the sun to heat the water. They can be used alone or alongside a conventional water heater.

3. Showerheads: Showering comprises almost 20% of the water used in a household. Low-flow showerheads help reduce water usage by limiting the amount of water that flows out. Most low-flow showerheads offer a shut-off switch that can be used while you’re soaping up. This function alone will help save 15 to 20 gallons of water per shower.

4. Sinks: Faucet aerators and gray water systems are two appliances that help sinks become more water efficient. A faucet aerator filters air into the water flow to limit excess water use while maintaining the same water pressure. A gray water system captures and filters water used by your faucets, washing machines and water appliances, and re-uses it for other functions such as watering the lawn. Together these appliances reduce and re-use the amount of water used and can save 7,800 gallons annually.

5. Toilets: Americans use 5.8 billion gallons of water a day to flush the toilet. Older toilet models use about 4-7 gallons per flush. By installing a dual flush system to retrofit older toilets, different amounts of water will be allocated for flushing liquid and solid disposables. The best way to be water efficient is to install a high-efficiency toilet that uses less than 1.6 gallons per flush and can save over 4000 gallons of water per person.

6. Recycle: Always remember to remain environmentally conscious and recycle your old appliances. There are many ways to dispose of your old appliances: A) Donate them to a charity like Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, or the Salvation Army; B) Sell the appliance to a new owner; C) Return your appliance to the dealer who may have an appliance recycling program; D) Recycle the appliance through your local recycling program.

Thanks !



One Response to “Living Green – Water”

  1. […] Living Green – Water […]

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