22 March 2012

How To Make a Difference on World Water Day

Today is World Water Day, celebrated for the 19th time. I wonder how much more we have polluted the world ocean since that first World Water Day in 1993. Ironically, the frequency and vigor with which more and more people around the world work for the environment do not correspond to the increasing pollution. 

As stated on the page of World Water Day, currently there are 7 billion people to feed on the planet. According to the statistics, each of us drinks from 2 to 4 liters of water every day, but most of it is embedded in the food we eat: 

1 kilo of beef consumes 15,000 liters of water.
1 kilo of wheat ’drinks up’ 1,500 liters.

We all need water to live, but the usage of water varies greatly from country to country. For example, people in Central Africa each use only 2% of the water used by people in the US.

To mark World Water Day, my husband shot a video of the North Sea this morning, which I am thrilled to show you. You can watch our beach in high definition, see the sun and the islands in the distance, listen to the waves and the singing birds. Think of that video as your 20 minutes of relaxation today and imagine you are there on the beach with us. Maybe, if we all join forces we can make a difference!

Here is a list of actions I suggested on Green Living Ideas last week, that I believe you can take too:
  1. A thing we have been doing in my household for years is to designate a glass for drinking water for each of us every day, or refill a water bottle. This action drastically cuts down the number of glasses to wash.
  2. Instead of thawing food under running water We defrost it in the fridge which not only conserves water but also ensures healthier food. This, of course, means that you have to plan your meals the day before, to allow the food to defrost fully in the fridge.
  3. Always run your washing machine and dishwasher only when they are full. By doing this you can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
  4. It has long become a habit of mine to wash dark clothes in cold water. This action saves water and energy while and is beneficial for your clothes because they keep the color longer.
  5. If you accidentally drop ice cubes when filling your glass from the freezer, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead.
  6. Instead of running the tap to get cold drinking water, keep a glass bottle of water in the fridge.
  7. To minimize evaporation, water your lawn and garden when the temperatures are cooler, i.e. early in the morning or in the evening, after sunset.
  8. Turn off the water while you wash your hair to save up to 150 gallons a month.
  9. Collect the water after rinsing fruits and vegetables to then reuse it to water house or garden plants.
  10. Use the nutrient-rich water from cleaning your fish tank to water to your plants.
  11. Collect rain water from your roof to water your garden.
  12. Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
  13. Reduce the amount of flush water by inserting a displacement device (f.ex. a plastic bottle filled with water) in the tank of your toilet.

Let's make a difference this year and let this World Water Day mark the beginning of a more deliberate relationship with water! All changes are up to us, after all!

What are your ways of conserving water?