5 ways you might be wasting water

header bg

You’re way past leaving the tap on while you brush your teeth – but here are 5 bad water habits you might still need to kick.

If you’re Australian, you’re probably already a bit of a water conservation whiz. There was a time when watering your lawn in the middle of the day was a major social faux pas – not to mention illegal. But according to National Geographic, nearly 95% of your water footprint is hidden in the food we eat, energy we use and products and services we utilise.

From your fridge, to your bathroom, to the back of your wardrobe – here are five ways you might be wasting water – and what you can do to live drier.

fb-button-sm tw-sharebutton-sm

1. The food you eat

If you’re a foodie like me, it’s not fun to hear from the Guardian that:

  • It can take 15,000 litres of water to produce 1 kilogram of beef
  • A cup of coffee could take over 200 litres of water to produce
  • A lovely 200g block of chocolate could clock up to as much as 3,500 litres of water

When a quarter pounder takes 30 showers worth of water to make, it’s pretty clear that cutting down on meat and dairy products can help reduce your overall water consumption. According to National Geographic, by going vegan you could be consuming 2000 litres less water a day.

What you can do to save water:

  • Choose grass-fed beef rather than grain-fed
  • Consider the water and energy costs of food transportation, and buy local
  • If you can’t cut meat and dairy out of your diet – consider adopting Meatless Mondays

space

2. The food you don’t eat

Even scarier than how much water we use to produce food is the amount we waste when we throw it away. The ABC says that every year, $8 billion worth of edible food hits the bin in Australian households. And according to NPR, the 1.3 billion tonnes of  food wasted globally amounts to 170 trillion litres of water each year.

What you can do to save water:

    • Check your fridge and pantry and make a shopping list before you hit the supermarket

 

  • Use your leftovers wisely

 

 

  • If you can – grow your own food!

 

 

space 3. Your energy use Cutting down on your energy use is a good idea for many reasons – and preserving our water resources is one of them. Most of the ways we generate energy require the withdrawal and consumption of substantial amounts of water. But some types of energy (hint: fossil fuels) generally rely on higher ranges of withdrawal and consumption than others.

 

What you can do to save water:

    • Cut down on your hot water use

 

  • Use energy efficient lighting and appliances

 

 

  • If you can, switch to using renewable energy sources

 

 

space 4. Your car Quite simply, cars use a lot of water. Washing a car at home can take over 500 litres of water. When according to National Geographic a litre of petrol can take 18 litres of water to produce – your car can be a big contributor to your water footprint.

 

What you can do to save water:

    • When you cut down on your car use by carpooling and taking public transport, you’re also cutting down your water consumption!

 

  • Try washing your car the natural way – wait until it rains

 

 

 

 

 

  5. Your wardrobe Here’s another reason to rethink your shopping habit – environment magazine Ensia says it can take up to 2500 litres of water to make a t-shirt. That’s the equivalent of flushing a toilet almost 200 times.

What you can do to save water:

    • Buy recycled clothes and goods – and when you’re done with them, recycle again!

 

  • Try to only buy what you really need

 

 

 

 tw-sharebutton-sm   

fb-button-sm

1. The food you eat

If you’re a foodie like me, it’s not fun to hear from the Guardian that:

    • It can take 15,000 litres of water to produce 1 kilogram of beef

 

  • A cup of coffee could take over 200 litres of water to produce

 

 

  • A lovely 200g block of chocolate could clock up to as much as 3,500 litres of water

 

 

When a quarter pounder takes 30 showers worth of water to make, it’s pretty clear that cutting down on meat and dairy products can help reduce your overall water consumption. According to National Geographic, by going vegan you could be consuming 2000 litres less water a day.

What you can do to save water:

    • Choose grass-fed beef rather than grain-fed

 

  • Consider the water and energy costs of food transportation, and buy local

 

 

  • If you can’t cut meat and dairy out of your diet – consider adopting Meatless Mondays

 

 

space 2. The food you don’t eat

Even scarier than how much water we use to produce food is the amount we waste when we throw it away. The ABC says that every year, $8 billion worth of edible food hits the bin in Australian households. And according to NPR, the 1.3 billion tonnes of  food wasted globally amounts to 170 trillion litres of water each year.

What you can do to save water:

  • Check your fridge and pantry and make a shopping list before you hit the supermarket
  • Use your leftovers wisely
  • If you can – grow your own food!

space

3. Your energy use Cutting down on your energy use is a good idea for many reasons – and preserving our water resources is one of them. Most of the ways we generate energy require the withdrawal and consumption of substantial amounts of water. But some types of energy (hint: fossil fuels) generally rely on higher ranges of withdrawal and consumption than others.

What you can do to save water:

  • Cut down on your hot water use
  • Use energy efficient lighting and appliances
  • If you can, switch to using renewable energy sources

space

4. Your car Quite simply, cars use a lot of water. Washing a car at home can take over 500 litres of water. When according to National Geographic a litre of petrol can take 18 litres of water to produce – your car can be a big contributor to your water footprint.

What you can do to save water:

  • When you cut down on your car use by carpooling and taking public transport, you’re also cutting down your water consumption!
  • Try washing your car the natural way – wait until it rains
  • If you have to use a commercial carwash, choose a sustainable one

5. Your wardrobe
Here’s another reason to rethink your shopping habit – environment magazine Ensia says it can take up to 2500 litres of water to make a t-shirt. That’s the equivalent of flushing a toilet almost 200 times.

What you can do to save water:

  • Buy recycled clothes and goods – and when you’re done with them, recycle again!
  • Try to only buy what you really need
fb-button-sm tw-sharebutton-sm

To learn more about your water consumption, visit National Geographic’s Water Footprint Calculator.

9 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *