If you haven’t heard California is in a severe drought and was declared a state of emergency in January. June 1 marked the official water restrictions in San Diego with the theme Waste No Water. The Waste No Water site gives information mostly about irrigation and outdoor water usage such as vehicle washing, fountains and pools. There is also a Water Smart SD site that provides a household water usage calculation tool.
There have been signs in the YMCA locker room promoting short showers. I have always been a quicky in the shower so I do my part. However, I heard a women had been asking other women to shorten their showers to save water. I kind of wanted her to talk to me as I would be happy to say that I save at least 660 gallons of water each time I eat meatless (last 8 years) verses consuming beef.
I won’t get on a soap box and try to persuade anyone on their eating lifestyle but would recommend the documentary Cowspiracy which I learned a lot from on how animal agriculture affects our water and CO2 emission issues. Here’s nice Facts page if you are interested in some highlights.
I thought this stat might shed some light on how minimal home water savings can impact our situation compared to adding in a meatless menu item each week.
5% of water consumed in the US is by private homes.
55% of water consumed in the US is for animal agriculture. [xv]
Jacobson, Michael F. “More and Cleaner Water.” In Six Arguments for a Greener Diet: How a More Plant-based Diet Could save Your Health and the Environment. Washington, DC: Center for Science in the Public Interest, 2006.
Oppenlander, Richard A. Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. Minneapolis, MN: Langdon Street, 2013. Print.
Maybe some of this might intrigue others to try other methods of water conservation. What do you and your family do to try and be water wise? I think we are pretty typical in our efforts but will list them out as one might be a new one for you! We don’t pay for water at our complex so our efforts are not economical, just trying to do our small part to help the state as a whole.
- Washing machine once a week, 1-2 loads in front load washer
- Bucket wash daily work out clothes, yes you heard that right, good old bucket, environmental friendly detergent and a plunger
- Use gray water from bucket wash to flush toilet (remember we are wanna be dirtbags?)
- Use soaking water from cleaning vegetables to water patio plants
- Turn off water when brushing teeth
- Hand wash dishes (believe decent water savings as our apartment has an old dishwasher that I don’t believe is up to water saving status)
- I’ve only taken our car to get washed once this year since I had to drive my coworkers to Orange County, felt bad about doing this but it was bad enough I was driving them in what we call our “locker room”