Impact Water

How You Can Waste Less Water and Be a Better Human-Being

Honestly, there are no excuses.

by Aaron Barksdale
May 4 2017, 6:03pm

Photo via Pexels

Most people in our generation know more about the variety of water-type Pokemon than they do about water conservation. While it may sound difficult, using water sustainably takes minimal effort, which we know you love.

Here are few easy-to-follow tips that you can use to conserve water from your home and prevent yourself from unintentionally polluting the water in your community.

1. If you're not a baby, stop using wipes.

Besides being a bit weird, wiping with baby wipes hurts wastewater systems. What people don't realize is that flushing wipes also means clogging sewer pipes. Even if wipes are labeled "flushable" that may just mean they fit down the toilet. But they still aren't biodegradable. If you're strongly opposed to using regular toilet paper, think about using a damp washcloth or invest in a bidet.

2. Is anyone opposed to free refills?

Getting a reusable water bottle is probably the easiest way to conserve water and save money. But if you are going to drink bottled water make sure it's in a glass bottle. Plastic bottles are prime real estate for bacteria that will actually make you sick, and washing them out just creates more problems. Many disposable plastic bottles are made from polycarbonate and are designed for one use only. When these bottles are washed with hot water or put in high heat environments the chemicals from the plastic, like bisphenol A and phthalates, can diffuse into your water. Refreshing, right? Play it safe and invest in a good water bottle that will stand the test of time.

3. Do you really want to rub plastic balls on your face?

Exfoliation is important, but is an unblemished face really worth contaminating waterways? Microbeads are tiny balls of plastic found in popular hand soaps and body wash products that have a harmful effect on the environment once they go down the drain. Instead of dissolving, the beads sop up toxins like a piece of bread in sauce, but it's much dirtier. What's worse: they're often eaten by fish, which affects human food supply. In 2015, President Obama put a ban on microbeads in wash products, but they're still accessible in certain merchandise purchased before the ban.

4. Dog crap is a problem. Be the solution.

Everyone has stepped in it at least once. Animal waste is more than a nuisance, it affects the environment in harmful ways too. After a heavy rain, the runoff could wind up in freshwater sites or in the ocean if you live near a beach. It could also cause major damage to underwater ecosystems and human health. So please, do us all a favor and pick up after your dog.

5. Don't get lost in the weeds.

We don't care what you're growing, especially if you pick your harvest on 4/20. But if you're using fertilizer, make sure it's environmentally friendly. Many fertilizers contain nutrients that are great for your plants but stormwater pollutes local bodies with byproducts from your lawn that seriously hurt aquatic life. It's simple: use a minimal amount of fertilizer.

6. No scrubs!

TLC taught us this important lesson for dating in the '90s and early 2000s, but it also applies to washing your car. The soapy chemicals used to clean your wheels ends up in sewer systems and pollutes waterways. Also, it's just a straight up huge waste of water. The better option is to go to a mechanical car wash that recycles water and uses environmentally friendly cleaning products. Plus, everyone loves going through a carwash.

7. Limit shower power.

If you're the type of person who loves luxuriating in a long shower and lathering up for an hour you're not gonna like this. According to the EPA, the average family uses about 40 gallons of water a day just in showering. You could get a more energy-efficient shower head, but an easier and cheaper solution is to take a shorter shower. Aim for 10 minutes or less. You could even keep track of time by playing music in the bathroom, and after two songs you know the shower party is over.

8. What would Barney do?

Do other '90s kids remember this nostalgic video about water conservation and oral hygiene?

Seriously though, letting the water run while you brush your teeth is a huge waste (this applies to shaving as well). Use a cup —not a plastic one— to hold the water while brushing and turn off the tap.

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No Excuses