Conserving water: More than switching your shower head

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Each Wednesday our twitter feed is dedicated to tips on how to conserve water. Syncta is not the only company doing it–search for #waterwednesday and you’ll find a plethora of awesome tips and ideas. Most times, we think about conserving water from a direct standpoint. We consider switching our shower heads, using low-water toilets, and making sure we don’t have any dripping faucets. All of these ideas are valid and important.

However, what about the ideas that aren’t “direct” water usage? EcoWatch put an article out discussing some facts regarding water consumption, focusing primarily on indirect usage. It is estimated that 3% of the water on Earth is drinkable. We’re hopefully closer to desalinization prcoesses that are both economic and environmentally friendly, (another conversation, entirely) but right now, how can we affect our global indirect water consumption? EcoWatch mentioned some great tips.

1. Compost whenever possible. This is both direct and indirect. Directly, when you shove things in your garbage disposal, you’re flushing it with water after. Indirectly, if you put your compostable scraps in the trash, you’re filling up trash bags more quickly–and effectively garbage dumps at a quicker rate. As landfills increase in size, also does their effect on emissions into groundwater. Composting is, admittedly, not always possible. Tiny little studio apartment? Probably don’t want some hot compost stinking up the kitchen counter on a 100 degree day. (I know. I’ve been there. It wasn’t one of my brighter ideas.)  If you live on even a little bit of land though, composting is a great idea. Your neighbors may even bribe you for it with fresh veggies from their patio garden.

2. Take public transportation, ride your bike, or walk whenever possible. Conserve your trips in your personal vehicle by doing bigger shopping trips or making sure to take right turns. (As UPS drivers usually do—taking left turns have all but been eliminated by UPS routing, as taking lefts typically requires trucks to idle longer to cross traffic.)  Gasoline for your car requires over a gallon of water for every gallon of gas.

“US withdraws 1 to 2 billion gallons of water each day to refine nearly 800 million gallons of petroleum products like gasoline.”

-Grace Communications Foundation 

3.Skip the soda. Want a beer? It’s better for the environment! A beer takes about 20 gallons of water to create when considering the entire process, whereas a soda pop can use up to 50 gallons of water for the same amount! If you’re really gung-ho on conserving water, switch from coffee to tea; tea production requires one-quarter the amount of water that coffee does.

4. 95% of our water usage is in our meals. The biggest way to reduce water usage is to eat fewer animal products, and more plant-based foods.

5. Use less plastic. One pound of plastic requires 24 gallons of water to be manufactured. Search for items with less packaging–buying in bulk sections can help. Re-use your plastic bags for grocery trips or use cloth bags created for re-use. Be considerate of what materials things are created from, as well as how things are packaged.

Other ways to reduce your indirect water usage is buying things second-hand, like vintage and thrift store clothing and furniture. Consider ingredients in beauty products–certain brands seek out minimal packaging and smart water usage.

What do you do that conserves water–both directly or indirectly?

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