31 Days: Reducing your Carbon Foot Print – Day 1 :: Turn off the Faucet!

by Tanya on October 1, 2012

I thought I’d start Day 1 off with something simple. Water Conservation. Ok, so there’s more to it than turning off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth, but it does begin there. So if that habit isn’t instilled yet, well… baby steps.

Ways to reduce your water usage:

1) Turn of the faucet! While brushing teeth, while shaving and lathering up, while washing dishes. One thing I’ve adopted the habit of doing is soaking all my dishes then lathering and scrubbing them without the water running, then rinsing. I have to admit I’m a bit obnoxious about it, lol.

2) Flush less! If it’s yellow let it mellow:-). Of course it’s nice to flush it down if you have a guest coming over.  Also, don’t throw anything besides toilet paper into the toilet! Every time you flush 5-7 gallons of water is wasted!

3) Take shorter showers! Or turn off the water after soaking your body, then soaping up with the water off, back on to rinse, you get the picture. A four-minute shower uses between 20-40 gallons of water.

4) Rinse razor in the sink! Yep, instead of shaving while running the water, fill sink up with a couple inches of water instead. Ladies, soak body parts then shave with water turned off. Turn it on as needed or fill a cup to rinse razor off with.

5) Compost instead of Disposal!  Garbage Disposals need lots of water to work properly and can add to the volume of solids in a septic tank which can lead to maintenance problems. Composting is a great alternative method for disposing of food waste.

6) Water Your Yard in the Morning!  This reduces water waste because the air is cooler, so less water is lost to evaporation than during the middle of the day. If you water in the evening, you run the risk of promoting fungi and bacterial diseases. In addition to this, water your lawn only when it needs it! Does it spring back up after you step on it? It’s fine!! If it lies flat, it’s thirsty.

7) Got a leak? A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water/day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds! Don’t forget to check the toilet too! Put a few drops of food coloring into the tank. Without flushing if the color appears in the bowl within 30 minutes their is a leak that should be fixed immediately.

 This is really just a good start. But Why should we conserve?


The Water Resources of Earth

Over 70% of our Earth’s surface is covered by water. Although water is seemingly abundant, the real issue is the amount of fresh water available. 

  • 97.5% of all water on Earth is salt water, leaving only 2.5% as fresh water 
  • Nearly 70% of that fresh water is frozen in the icecaps of Antarctica and Greenland; most of the remainder is present as soil moisture, or lies in deep underground aquifers as groundwater not accessible to human use. 
  • < 1% of the world’s fresh water (~0.007% of all water on earth) is accessible for direct human uses. This is the water found in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and those underground sources that are shallow enough to be tapped at an affordable cost. Only this amount is regularly renewed by rain and snowfall, and is therefore available on a sustainable basis.

Are you a science nut? Need more info?  Here are some sites to read more about water, how it’s a finite, yet renewable resource and why it’s important that we do our part to conserve and protect it!

Global Change –  Very sciency:-)

Water.org – Some interesting facts about water usage around the globe.

UN-Water World Water Day – Get involved!

Water, use it wisely – A great list of 100 ways to conserve water.


 DID YOU KNOW? An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the average person in a developing country slum uses for an entire day.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). (2006). Human Development Report 2006, Beyond Scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie October 3, 2012 at 8:25 am

I’m so glad to find your site through the 31 Day Challenge. These are all great ideas. We also try to be as Earth-friendly as possible. We didn’t install a garbage disposal when we remodeled the kitchen, because we compost for our gardens. We did select dual-flush toilets during our house remodel, and it was funny when the kids’ friends first came over. I think I mortified my daughter, because I have a little lesson on which button to push as needed! ;-) I’ve actually started a fine jar for the kids, where they have to put in a quarter anytime they leave the water running unnecessarily or forget to turn off the lights. Still, I love how much they care about the environment. You have to start them young, I think. Great links, too–thanks so much for sharing, and I look forward to reading more!
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Tanya October 14, 2012 at 10:38 am

Hi Julie, Thanks so much for stopping in. This 31 Days has been a struggle to keep up with, lol. We’re still working on being more green everyday, it’s a process for sure, baby steps:-).


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