$20/20: 20 Ways to Save Water and How $20 Can Last 20 Years

“90% of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are to children under five years old.” ~CharityWater.org

One of the first things I do every morning is pour about 6 cups of cold, fresh, purified water into my coffee maker. Footsteps away, hundreds of crisp ice cubes sit in wait in the refrigerator freezer.

Around the corner, the bathroom sink waits to be commanded: hot water, cold water, slow drip or forceful gush. The shower as well. Don’t forget the the toilet too. And the hose outside, sprinklers in the yard, the water fountain at the dog park, cases upon cases of Poland Spring at your local CVS Pharmacy, the shelves lined with cold bottled drinks at the neighborhood sandwich shop…

We Take Water for Granted

Our everyday lives are so immersed in the accessibility of clean water that it’s no wonder how easy it is to take it all for granted. Every routine from when we wake up in the morning until we go to sleep at night is dependent upon water. Today, on Blog Action Day 2010, bloggers across the world are uniting to spread awareness of water-related issues and causes.

We in developed nations in the West certainly take water for granted. Nevertheless, water-related global issues ranging from the spread of disease to actual wars over accessibility of water are quickly gaining the attention of millions worldwide. Like most social issues, to begin to help alleviating the problem we need to first spread awareness, education, and public knowledge. As such, today I have chosen to share with you a great charity called Charity: Water, who through modest donations of $20 from your pocket can provide clean, safe water to a person for 20 years. Amazing, isn’t it?

The Water Crisis

Astonishingly, almost one billion human beings across the globe lack sufficient access to water every day. Millions die every year from drinking unsafe, bacteria-ridden water. According to Charity: Water, a lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all disease and kill more people than all forms of violence, including war. The global water crisis is certain to only grow worse without our collective action — and considering how far organizations like Charity: Water can stretch a measly $20, it seems like such a trivial amount to hold onto. Will you consider donating? $20 can provide safe drinking water to someone for 20 years. With these numbers in mind, here are 20 additional ways you can conserve water and protect our local water supplies every day.

  1. Refrain from baths, take shorter showers
  2. Wash laundry less often and select a lower water setting (I rarely ever need to use more than a “Medium” water basin fill)
  3. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth, shave, lather your hands with soap, and wash dishes by hand
  4. Use ice trays instead of automated ice makers
  5. Boil less water for cooking (especially pasta, you don’t need as much as you think!)
  6. Place a brick or inflatable bladder into the back of your toilet (fills your toilet with less water every flush)
  7. Invest in a water-saving shower head (check out EcoFlow)
  8. Use a commercial car-wash that recycles water instead of washing your car in the driveway (soap and chemicals pollute the local watershed)
  9. Properly use all of the rack space in your dishwater
  10. Refrain from using pesticides, insecticides, and fertilizer in the yard and garden (which pollute and affect ecosystems)
  11. Schedule sprinkler use in the yard around rain forecasts
  12. Water indoor plants less often (most need much less water than you think)
  13. Install a well on your property and use the collected water for sprinkler/landscaping use
  14. Place gardens in areas that receive water from gutter-runoff (to deeply water vegetables and flowers during rain storms)
  15. Fix leaky and dripping faucets
  16. Put food coloring into the tank of your toilet; if the toilet is leaking it will be revealed to you by seeing if the food coloring will leak into the bottom of the toilet
  17. Recycle fish tank water to water indoor and outdoor plants (waste provides nutrients for plants)
  18. Use a Swiffer Sweeper Wet-Jet indoors instead of mopping up with gallons of water
  19. Reuse ice cubes from drinks to water indoor and potted plants
  20. If you have a septic system, refrain from using bleach (bleach kills beneficial bacteria that decomposes human waste and prevents backups, overflows and other waste from entering ground water)

Today, on Blog Action Day 2010, I hope that you’ll take up the Renegade mantle: in addition to living better now by finding inner balance and growth, we can take physical measures to help conserve water and with just $20 provide 20-years worth of clean water to a person in need. Won’t you consider donating?

Flickr Photo Credit: Tanya Puntti

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