Water Works

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Water Works (Week#8)

The Why:

March is water month!  And March 22nd is World Water Day! Our next few posts will examine our sustainable practices with our most precious resource, water.

Did you know that in the winter, the average person in the U.S. uses 80 gallons of water per day?  According to the U.N. Human Development Report, an American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the typical person living in a developing country slum will use in a whole day. Our showers, faucets, laundry machines and toilet flushing comprise 79% of our water usage in the US according to the EPA.

Observe your water practices when brushing your teeth, taking a shower, dishwasher and laundry usage, lawn, auto and garden care. Are there ways you could be reducing your water footprint or purchasing more eco-efficient appliances and fixtures?

Out with the old, in with the cold – that’s this week’s challenge! The average American household spends $600-800 dollars annually to heat water for their home. All of this water heating can be a big deal when it comes to our energy use and personal carbon footprints.

Take, for instance, Proctor and Gamble, which did a lifecycle assessment of their products and found that heating water for washing clothes was the biggest single impact on the environment! So, this week, take a stand and implement at least three Cold Water Solutions – use cold water detergents, turn down the temperature on your water heater, wash dishes in a cool temp…all this cold H2O will lead to hot savings.

 

The WHAT:

Examine your use of water in your home and at work by calculating your water footprint and learning more about where your water comes from. Reduce your usage by 50% and implement cold water practices.

The HOW:

Calculate your water footprint here.

The Department of Energy tells us all about reducing hot water usage here.

100 Ways to conserve water here.

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The Deep Dive:

The carbon footprint of a load of laundry here.

Find out all about water usage in the USA here.

Find your water resources here.

Do you know where your water comes from? Find out about your watersheds here.

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