Sunday is World Water Day, and we’re celebrating by stepping away from the washer/dryer and into a pair of Levi’s…the same Levi’s we wore yesterday. Believe it or not, every time we put on a pair of “dirty” jeans, we’re actually doing something environmentally “clean.” Not a bad trade-off!
When we put our 501s through the Levi’s Life Cycle Assessment, we discovered that washing a product every 10 times it’s worn (instead of every two) reduces climate change and water impact by up to 77%. Consumer use is one of the top areas of impact, which puts a lot of power in our hands to make a difference.
But why stop there? Here are 17 more easy ways you can save water every day:
1. Cut it short!
According to the S. Geological Survey, each minute you knock off of your shower saves 2 – 2.5 gallons of water.
2. Bath or shower?
The latter. Filling up a tub uses about 36 gallons of water, while a five-minute shower may use as little as 10.
3. Start a collection.
Bath or shower, collect the running water while you’re waiting for it to get hot and use it to water plants.
4. One is the loneliest number.
Bathe your little ones together (of the two and/or four-legged variety).
5. Give it a rest.
While washing your hair or shaving, turn the water off. The same goes for brushing your teeth.
6. [Don’t] repeat after me.
The shampoo bottle may say “lather, rinse and repeat,” but trust us…you can do without the “repeat.”
7. Drop a brick in your toilet.
Seriously. Toilets are the top water-consumer in homes. In older toilets, a brick can make a huge difference, saving about a half a gallon of water for every flush. (Check out Drop-a-Brick for a more toilet-friendly alternative to old-school clay).
8. If it’s yellow …
Speaking of toilets … well, you know what they say.
9. Let your fruit relax.
Wash your fruits and veggies in a bowl of water instead of a running faucet. Bonus points for using the leftovers to water plants.
10. Soak it in.
If you’re hand washing your dishes, soak pots and pans rather than letting the faucet run.
11. Let the dishwasher do the dirty work.
In general, you should try to use the dishwasher instead of hand washing. Newer, energy-efficient dishwashers use less than half as much energy as washing dishes by hand and save nearly 5,000 gallons of water a year.
12. Fill it up.
Ready to start the dishwasher? Don’t do so until it’s completely full.
13. Hang it up.
Reuse your towels instead of requesting a fresh set during hotel stays. Do the same at home.
14. Take only what you need.
If you’re pouring a glass of water, fill it only with the amount you plan to drink; if you overestimate, use what’s left to water the plants.
15. Reuse for refills.
Don’t grab a new glass each time — refill the one you already have. This will cut down on the number of glasses you dirty (and wash) each day.
16. Bring your own glass.
Always use a cup or bottle when getting water from a drinking fountain so you don’t waste a single drop!
17. Know the footprint of your food.
Through our LCA, we want to educate people about the environmental footprint of their jeans. Similarly, you should pay attention to the footprint of your food by understanding how much water the food you’re eating consumes. For example, one head of broccoli uses 5.4 gallons of water, while a strawberry uses .4 gallons.
Some of these steps may seem small, but if practiced regularly and by many of us, they can make big impacts on our resources and environment.