Updated: Apr 16, 2020
Only about 2,5% of all the water in the world is freshwater and only 0,5% is easily accessible. Much of our freshwater is trapped in glaciers and snowfields. So, our freshwater is precious and should be used with caution. Here are a few tips to help you save water.
Turn off the tap
It can be this simple. Just turn oft the tap when brushing your teeth, soaping up your hands or just not using the water in general.
Take a shorter shower
Most of us need a shower to wake up in the morning. Did you know that the average shower uses around 65 liter/17 gallons of water and lasts about 8 minutes? This results in about 8 liters per minute or 2 gallons per minute. Making it clear how much water you save with each minute you do not use the shower. Even better is to use a bucket to catch the water that is normally wasted when you wait for warm water. This water can be used to flush the toilet or water plants.
Run a full load
Whether it is the dishes or the laundry, always make sure you have a full load.
This seems a bit weird as we are talking about water consumption but did you know that it takes about 30 liters/ 8 gallons to make one paper cup. For comparison, a full load of dishes requires about 10 liters/ 3 gallons of water.
Go for recycled
When choosing paper, go for recycled paper. Not only for your printer but also for example toilet paper. The amount of water for 1 roll of toilet paper is 170 liter or 37 gallons.
Know what you eat
Agriculture is responsible for about 65% of the consumption of the world's freshwater. Did you know that you need almost 200 liter / 50 gallons of freshwater to produce enough coffee for 1 cup of your favorite beverage? While tea requires about 20 liters/ 5 gallons per cup.
Chicken needs 4100 liter / 1100 gallons per kg of meat while eggs 3500 liter / 950 gallons per kg of product.
Plant protein is even better with only 2500 liter / 650 gallons of freshwater for 1kg of tofu.
Know what you wear
The production of 1 kilo of cotton requires 8000 liter / 2100 gallons of freshwater although it depends on the area. In China, the water consumption of cotton is about 4000 liters/ 1050 gallons per kg while in India it can be up to 22000 liter / 5800 gallons per kg. Also dying of the cotton requires water. This is about 100 liter / 26 gallons per kg of cotton dyed. Overall, the water footprint of 1 cotton t-shirt is about 2700 liter / 710 gallons. A pair of jeans is about 8000 liter / 2100 gallons. About 7500 liter / 1970 gallons of that is fresh water for the production of cotton. The remaining 500 liters/ 130 liter is for dying, bleaching, printing, and finishing. To save water, opt for second-hand clothing.
I hope these tips will help you reduce your water footprint.