A new year always brings promise of new opportunities. As you start thinking about your 2021 resolutions, consider factoring in changes around your water usage. Responsible use of water comes in many forms, from staying hydrated to conserving water use in the home and more.
Over the past year, we’ve made it our goal to use the Water Street Blog as a platform to share water-friendly best practices that people can use in their everyday lives, like the tips below.
Stay hydrated all year long.
Whether it’s 90 or 20 degrees outside, and whether you’re sitting on a couch or running a marathon, you need water to stay hydrated. In the new year, make a promise to yourself and your body that you’ll provide it with such an essential element and source of life. Try keeping a reusable bottle filled with water by you at all times. It helps reduce the chance for thirst – a sign that dehydration has already set in. Then, make a point to check in with yourself about your water consumption throughout the day to ensure you’re making it a priority. This includes right before bed – a critical time for hydration that many people miss.
Return to the tap.
Going to the tap provides a convenient, environmentally friendly and inexpensive way for you to get your water. Despite the availability of tap water and reusable bottles, about 6 billion pounds worth of plastic bottles are used and dumped each year. By making the move back to tap water and a reusable container, you can make a big difference in the environment around you as well as your wallet: tap water costs nearly 2,000 times less than bottled.
Make simple modifications to save water.
There are so many simple ways to conserve water in our everyday lives. Turning off the tap while you brush your teeth –potentially saves 8 gallons of water per day. You can also save up to 320 gallons a week by waiting for a full load to run your dishwasher. Cutting one minute off of your shower saves about 5 gallons of water. For many, such small tweaks wouldn’t drastically change daily life, but they can add up to big benefits for our environment in the long term and lower your water bill.
Watch out for household leaks.
Leaks are the hidden water consumer in your home. In fact, in the average home, leaks can account for 10,000 gallons of wasted water every year, making a dent in your environmental footprint and your water bill. So, what can you do? Make a resolution to protect your home, your money and the environment from leaks. Watch for the signs: listen for dripping, monitor your water bill, check for pooling near faucets and appliances, and keep an eye out for water stains. Each one of these steps can result in a far more water-friendly new year.
Stop flushing these common household items.
There’s so much that we put down the drain and toilet that cause serious harm to our water infrastructure and that can be costly to fix within the piping of your own home. By thinking twice before you flush this year, you can prevent slow-build damage to the pipes and system you rely on for hydration, hygiene and all other everyday-life needs. Some things to stop putting down the drain include ‘flushable’ wipes (hint: they’re never flushable), dental floss, any type of cotton (balls, rounds, tips), contact lenses, medications, hair, fats, oils, grease, coffee grounds, egg shells, uncooked rice and flour.
Understanding your water usage is the first step to being a better water consumer, including knowing how much to drink, where to get it from, how to conserve it and how to protect the system that brings it to you. As we approach the new year, take a moment to learn more about the impacts that tiny habitual changes could have and consider committing to a few of these small resolutions.