The Top 5 Causes of Water Waste
Water is an ever present part of our daily lives. It’s there when we cook, shower, play, clean, and more–it’s no wonder we use so much of it! While it can feel like there’s a never ending supply, climate change has made clear that humans are quickly depleting the Earth’s supply. In addition to our nonstop need for H2O, climate change has brought serious drought to many parts of the world.
Photo by Helena Lopes
Water’s central role in our day-to-day lives inevitably leads to water waste as well. With worsening drought, it’s more important than ever to be conscious of the ways we waste this precious resource. So, what are some of the top causes for water waste?
Dishwashing is one of the biggest reasons for daily water consumption in the home. Of course, no one is suggesting that dishes go unwashed to prevent water waste. Instead, turn the faucet off while soaping or use a bin full of soapy water to keep the faucet running with unused water. Minimize waste by selecting the appropriate load size and keeping spray holes clean.
Much like dishwasher use, washing machines require a large amount of water. Selecting the appropriate load size is an important step towards reducing water waste. For extra dirty clothes, consider soaking rather than running the washer twice or using a pre-wash spray to eliminate that extra cycle.
It’s entirely understandable to want a green space to call your own. Unfortunately, maintaining a pristine lawn can result in a large amount of water waste. Consider watering at night when water is less likely to evaporate, or reduce watering to every other day. Many have chosen to use concrete in creative ways to minimize the amount of grass while still having a tasteful lawn. If foregoing a lawn isn’t an option, native plants are a sustainable way to keep plants around while also conserving water. Curious about how native plants can help reduce water waste? Read more about them here!
Irrigation is a fact of life when it comes to farming. Flood irrigation is a popular method of supplying crops with a continuous water supply that also causes environmental damage. Run-off can contain harmful chemicals, and this can then lead to polluting waterways and endangering marine life. While it seems like there isn’t much consumers can do, minimizing food waste can lessen the overwhelming demand for crops.
Flushing and Treated Wastewater
Wastewater is one of the main ways that water is wasted in the U.S. While roughly 70% of wastewater is treated, only 4% of it is used. Some have chosen to live by the saying, “If it’s brown, flush it down. If it’s yellow, let it mellow.” This approach may not be for everyone, but it’s nevertheless good to be aware of how much treated water is being used. It’s worth thinking about the next time you’re tempted to flush a piece of debris instead of tossing it in the trash bin.
Bark Potty partners with 1% for the Planet to donate 1% of our sales to One Tree Planted. 1% for the Planet is a network of businesses that have committed to taking responsibility for the environmental impacts of their various industries. 1% for the Planet encourages businesses to practice corporate responsibility by facilitating donations to grassroots environmental organizations such as One Tree Planted. Each Bark Potty purchase you make further supports our collective efforts to reduce the ecological footprint that humans have left on the environment!