’Tis the season of resolutions—to improve health, self and attitude! Can you believe that by February only about 20 percent of people will have stuck with their New Year’s resolutions? When it comes to staying on track with my goals, I find that a little extra motivation and the “buddy system” go a long way. So to help you ring in 2019, I’ve paired a few water conservation tips with some popular lifestyle resolutions in order to give you a way to pursue two channels of improvement at one time—and enjoy double the benefits.
Resolution #1: Eat better.
There are a plethora of ways to do this and advance water conservation and other ecological goals. For instance:
- Get your daily requirement of water straight from the tap, using reusable glasses and bottles.
- Buy local and reduce your carbon footprint.
- Rinse that healthy fresh produce in a bowl of water, never under a running faucet.
- Consider your protein choices carefully; one pound of beef requires 2463 gallons of water versus 660 gallons for chicken! The average “carnivore” will save hundreds of gallons of water in a year and more if you go meatless once a week.
- Start composting! Even if you don’t have a backyard there are numerous options: check your local community to see if they have a collection, or start a worm farm (my two lab mates did this!). Composting instead of putting it down the drain avoids stress on our water systems.
Resolution #2: Exercise more.
There are many ways that water conservation and planet sustainability can play a role in this. Here are a few ideas:
- Stay hydrated using the best source there is: water from the tap.
- Avoid using plastic water bottles to rehydrate while exercising. Stick with reusable glass or metal bottles.
- Skip the gym and enjoy the great outdoors. Just start walking or jogging from your home or office, and reduce your carbon footprint.
- Triple your impact! Take a bag with you on your walks and pick up litter along the way, especially around water drains and runoff areas, as well as sources such as streams and ponds.
Resolution #3: Spend less money.
Any action you take to conserve water can ultimately save you money on water bills and the cost of repairing pipes under stress. For example:
- Run dish and clothes washers only when there is a full load. If you’re in the market for new appliances, look for water and energy efficient products.
- Do what I call the ‘camp-shower challenge’ and shorten the length of your showers.
- Start looking now for a rain barrel to use as part of your lawn and garden irrigation in the spring and summer. During the offseason, you can often find a rain barrel at a great sale price.
Resolution #4: Get more sleep.
- Keep water in a closed, reusable bottle by your bedside. That way if you’re thirsty during the night, you don’t have to fully awaken yourself by getting out of bed and going to the kitchen.
- Check your faucets to eliminate any “drip drip drips” that keep you awake and contribute to significant water waste. (One drip per second equates to 2,082 gallons of water lost in a year!)
- If the worry of bursting pipes keeps you awake, embrace the drips! When the forecast calls for “brrr,” allow faucets in cold areas to drip slowly overnight to prevent pipes from freezing, collect that water and use for indoor plants or washing those veggies.
Resolution #5: Learn something new.
- Go back through our Water Street archives to read or reread topics you may not have given your fullest attention when first published. I guarantee that you will learn something new, pick up more tips for water conservation in the process and quite possibly uncover an interest that can enhance your life on a personal or professional level.