Reduce Your Waste–Be Water Smart


In early May I will be moving from the university dorms into a small apartment off campus where I will have to manage and pay for my monthly utilities. This is the very first time where my personal consumption of household utilities, like electricity and water, will be reflected by a dollar amount due each month. As a “poor” and eco-conscious college student my initial methods of action were to research a variety of conservation methods that allow me to reduce my waste and increase my savings.

When thinking about the conservation of household amenities I still think most people overlook water use, and just how simple and effective some simple changes can be. According to the online magazine Busted Halo, “One in six people in the world still lack access to safe drinking water, while most of us in the United States have potable water whenever we want.” The process of having safe usable water at the turn of a nob is a luxury. I think our perception of water in the Unites States, specifically its accessibility, is abstracted and therefore detrimental to water conservation. As a country we generally perceive water and its availability as a standard–it is and has been a reliable resource with no apparent end. The clear pristine liquid that we use for just about everything pours from our faucets whenever it is turned on. From the perspective of a home owner the likelihood of water coming through the faucet is primarily based upon the pipes carrying it and whether or not bills have been paid. These reasons alone have been so firmly implemented that they have in effect changed the general understanding that water is and always will be assessable at the turn of a nob.  If we had to walk a few miles for a glass of drinkable water, we probably would think a bit more about how to use less of it. While the world’s population grows, access to clean water will become an increasingly important concern. I do not want to suggest drinking less water, but instead call others to curtail wasteful personal use of water at home.

Although we aren’t always aware of it, the products we buy, use, and throw away take millions of gallons of water to produce. Becoming aware of what we are buying, using and reusing, is an important step towards water conservation. The manufacturing of materials such as paper, plastic, metal, and fabric all depend on water. outlines a variety of water topics that explore the hidden water in everyday products. Cars are just one of the many products that we often don’t associate with using a lot of water. The manufacturing process of steel alone takes 75,000 gallons of water to produce one ton of steel.  The average car contains about 2,150 pounds of steel, which means over 80,000 gallons of water is needed to produce the finished steel for one car. The point I want to make is that cutting back on our consumption, specifically manufactured goods can reduce the number of products being made, thus reducing the amount of water used in factories. By doing little things like recycling we can each make a big difference. Every drop does count. I found a short YouTube video that visually explains some very simple ways to save as much as 1213 gallon of water each day

There are so many different ways, some simple and others more complicated, to reduce our water consumption. I found a very useful and creative list of 100 ways to conserve water. A few of the methods listed really stood out to me, such as using the garbage disposal sparingly and composting vegetable food waste instead, washing fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap, or putting food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.

There are so many ways to conserve water, a little effort goes a long way, and whatever we save will not only have a positive environmental impact, but an economic one as well. Using less saves money and water. Hopefully these simple methods are feasible enough so each and every one of us can start reducing our water usage.

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