We are utterly dependent on water. There wouldn’t be any life on earth without water.
We experience water in many different ways, both positive and negative. It seems so plentiful and readily available to most of us (except for nearly 2 billion people without access to safely managed water) that we can neglect to treat water as a precious life-sustaining resource. To better understand our water’s risks, Read our blog, We Should Never Take Water for Granted. Especially Now.
As each of us takes action to live more sustainably and in harmony with nature, how can we change our relationship with water? If each of us makes small changes to reduce, recycle, and reuse water together, they will add up in a big way!
To help you get started, we share water-saving tips for four high water usage areas: Kitchen, Bathroom, Laundry, and Outdoors.
Reduce water and chemicals while cleaning clothes
- Wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine
- To save money on your energy bills, set your washing machine to use cold water rather than hot or warm water
- Use eco-friendly laundry products
- Reduce polyester and other synthetic clothing that release micro-plastics into the water system
Reduce water usage where over 50% of in-home use happens
- Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing teeth
- Fix any leaking pipes or faucets
- Take short showers which use less water than a bath
- Use eco-friendly personal products (fewer chemicals in the water and on you)
- Install a dual flush or low flow toilet or put a conversion kit on your existing toilet
- If updating the bathroom, look for WaterSense products and save with every use
Use less water while enjoying great meals
- Eat vegetarian meals several times a week (less water is used growing veggies than meat)
- Scrape your plate instead of rinsing it before loading it into the dishwasher
- Use a dishwasher — and when you do, make sure it’s fully loaded!
- Use eco-friendly cleaning products
- Compost instead of using a garbage disposal. The less we put into our water system, the less we have to clean up
- Add food waste to your compost pile instead of using the garbage disposal
- Don’t use plastic water bottles and keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge — no need to run the water until it is cold!
Improve efficiency, reuse, and store water
- Plant native plants and food gardens that are beautiful and efficient to bring nature closer
- Don’t overwater your lawn or water during peak periods, and install rain sensors on irrigation systems
- Capture rainwater and stormwater runoff from your roof, driveway, and other areas to use in watering your garden
- Plant trees — as many as you can
- Clean up and help restore areas around rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans
To learn more about water, we suggest these blogs and books:
We love water, but do you wonder why? We flock to the ocean and lakes to sit quietly, taking it all in. We need water daily to survive. We love to splash and float in water. “The Blue Mind story seeks to reconnect people to nature in ways that make them feel good and shows them how water can help them become better versions of themselves.” Read more.
Nature is a connected network of life that we rarely notice. Peter Wohlleben shares many examples of this interconnectedness so we can begin to see nature in all its beautiful complexity. Based on science, he leads us through life cycles where salmon, rivers, and trees support each other. We learn how wolves, bears, and fish need each other in Yellowstone National Park. To our surprise, trees take loving care of their young. In one chapter, he explores our role in nature. Read more.
This children’s book, We Are Water Protectors, written by Carole Lindstrom and beautifully illustrated by Michaela Goade, serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting our water. It is inspired by Indigenous-led movements to protect our natural resources. Soak up this story as it is read by Joanna Henry. Read more.