21 Easy Ways to Conserve Water: Blog Action Day 2010

A while back I shared 21 Ways to Reuse Coffee Grounds, so I thought I’d recycle (hah!) that theme for this year’s Blog Action Day 2010.

If you don’t know about Blog Action Day, you can learn more about it and related charities at the main site; see my past Blog Action Day posts from 2007 (the environment), 2008 (poverty), and 2009 (climate change); and also check out this video:

Blog Action Day 2010: Water from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.

If you watched the video, you already know that this year’s theme is water and the reasons why. But for those who didn’t watch the video, from the Blog Action Day website:

Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us who are subject to preventable disease and even death because of something that many of us take for granted.

Access to clean water is not just a human rights issue. It’s an environmental issue. An animal welfare issue. A sustainability issue. Water is a global issue, and it affects all of us.

Are you using more water than you need to? You can find out by using the handy dandy H2O Conserve Water Footprint Calculator (US residents) or the equally handy dandy Water Footprint Network Water Footprint Calculator (international).

The good news is that there are lots of really small, simple things you can do in your everyday life that could end up making a big difference in the long run.

21 Easy Ways to Conserve Water

1. Never have a dripping faucet or leaking toilet. Not only will you save money, you’ll also save water.

2. Install low-flow faucets, showerheads, taps, and toilets.

3. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth, washing your face, shaving, etc.

4. Don’t use the toilet as a rubbish bin — tissues, cigarette butts, etc., can be thrown away instead of flushed.

5. Take quick showers, five minutes or less.

Blog Action Day 2010: Water6. Put a bucket in the shower to catch water while you’re waiting for it to wait up; use that water for watering plants or gardens.

7. Don’t discard water until you think about how else you might use it, e.g., to water plants.

8. Wash only full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher.

9. If you drink water from the tap, fill a bottle and keep it in the fridge instead of letting the water run until it gets cold.

10. If you water your lawn, don’t overwater. If you step on the grass and it springs back up, it doesn’t need water yet.

11. Water deeply and use mulch to help retain water in gardens; mulch also reduces weeds.

12. Water in the early morning to prevent too much evaporation.

13. Don’t let the hose run while washing your car.

14. Don’t hose down driveways and sidewalks; sweep away dirt and leaves instead.

15. Insulate your hot water pipes.

16. Don’t let the water run at full blast while rinsing dishes; use a separate basin if possible.

17. Scrape dishes clean of food as best as possible before putting them under water for rinsing.

18. Collect any water in gutters and use for plant or garden watering.

19. Use only the amount of water in cooking (making pasta or tea for example) that you need.

20. Avoid using the garbage disposal; compost your scraps instead or simply throw them away.

21. Practice these water saving tips even when you’re away from home, including when you’re traveling and staying in hotels.

There’s still time to take part in Blog Action Day 2010, but of course your daily, year-round actions are what will make the biggest difference.

Lemon blossom after the rain

Lemon blossom after the rain

Have you been trying to change your water use habits? How?

14 Beans of Wisdom to “21 Easy Ways to Conserve Water: Blog Action Day 2010”
  1. Gil
    10.15.2010

    Back in the day the list included “shower with a friend”!!

    That works too Gil! 😀

  2. Putting indoor plants on the balcony on a rainy day and also taking advantage of the rain to clean that same balcony is a favourite trick of mine. My mother in law used to soak her dirty dishes and pans in the left over pasta water.

    Excellent tips Joanne, thanks!

  3. these are all things we have to do as a matter of course, living in a water scarce environment, would be great if the rest of the world followed suit.

    Agreed…some things are just such no-brainers to some of us at this point…now if we can get more people to do some of these things automatically, it could make a big difference!

  4. 10.15.2010

    Thanks for this post!
    Please read and share my post about Water’s footprint in Fashion http://wp.me/pXsUB-oi
    You can make the difference!

    Thank you Elena! Will check it out 🙂

  5. 10.15.2010

    Thank you for posting such simple but necessary changes we can adjust in our lives to make an impact.

    People should also be aware that certain water treatments are very wasteful, such as Reverse Osmosis, which wastes 4-7 gallons to achieve 1 gallon of filtered water! That can easily end up wasting a ton of water every month for an averaged sized family.

    On the other hand, if you use distillation, there is virtually no waste water, no concentrated contaminants that are ending up in landfills (like filters) and no petroleum usage (as you’d find with bottled water), not to mention the fact that over 80% of bottles end up in landfills to stay for 700-1,000 years!

    Please check out the video that we created for Blog Action Day at http://mypurewater.com/watercology/.

    Thanks so much for sharing this info, Courtney!

  6. Great ideas to help save water! Our members are also providing wells and clean water in Mali.

    Excellent! Thank you for coming by 🙂

  7. 10.17.2010

    Ciao! Great informative post. I have a question. I was wondering how you got sponsors for your blog? I was thinking of getting sponsors for my blog. My mom & I are in a very bad financial situation right now & we hardly have money. We need to make money & I was wondering how sponsors work. I was on someone else’s blog & it says a certain rate. If you could please explain how it works I would really appreciate it.

    Here is my e-mail if you want to e-mail it to me:

    peacelovehappinesss1975@yahoo.com

    I will send you an email, Alessandra…please be patient 🙂

  8. Anne
    10.27.2010

    Great tips on water conservation. In my own way, I also save by using the water from washing the dishes to water the plants.

  9. @Anna: you’re gonna kill your plants if pouring them with water from washing, because all the soap, salt and other stuff which are not suitable for plants.
    @Michelle: May i add more tips to conserve water:
    – Considering washing your face or brushing your teeth while bathing.
    – Bathing your kids together.
    – Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost vegetable food waste instead and save gallons every time.
    – Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
    – When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your plants
    – Collect water from your roof to water your garden.

    Thanks Elena!

  10. Michelle Fox
    01.06.2012

    Help Save Mother Earth!
    Eco-Vets:
    Our country has a real fresh water problem, in many areas the water shortage is critical. A low flush toilets will save 20 gallons of water per day, 7,000 gallons of water year for one person, 9000 gallons in the average home.

    Help Mother Earth! Install low flush toilets now!

    Check this for more details
    http://www.indiegogo.com/Eco-Vets-We-Will-Hire-Vets-To-Install-Low-Flush-Toilets

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Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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