March 21, 2012
Several years ago when I was working at a municipal government publication, I wrote an article about water conservation, and the fact that the United States doesn’t have a specific government body dedicated to it. Fast-forward to today, and that still holds true. While we have the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its WaterSense program, the U.S. Dept. of Energy, and several other organizations dedicated to preserving natural resources, we still don’t have an agency dedicated to the one thing that nearly every living creature needs—water.
This month’s cover story (10 ways to save water in commercial buildings) is dedicated to the topic of water conservation in commercial buildings. While this is one of the top areas where Americans squander water (think of that leaky sink in your workplace bathroom), it’s just a start. There are many, many ways in which we can preserve water, beginning with our own daily habits.
Here’s my own top 10 list of how to save water in your daily life. I myself have put all of these ideas into play in my own home, and many of them can be used both personally and professionally.
1. Install low-flow faucets and dual-flush toilets.
2. Turn off the water when you’re not actively using it, like while you’re brushing your teeth.
3.Invest in xeriscaping your garden, and use less water to irrigate.
4. Purchase approved appliances that use less water than their counterparts.
5. Shorten your shower by a minute or two, and save gallons.
6. Collect rainwater to irrigate the garden or turf.
7. Use the same glass or bottle to drink water out of for the day. This saves water and energy in washing dishes. (Reusable bottles and glasses are even better—don’t use disposable plastic.)
8. Use commercial car washes that recycle water and dispose of wastewater properly.
9. Insulate hot water pipes to save heat energy so you don’t have to run water as long to warm it up.
10. Use a dropped ice cube to irrigate a houseplant; don’t dispose of the ice cube down the drain.
Conservation and the recycling of resources is a simple and effective way to “boost” our supply of resources. Each of us needs water for daily life, and we have a finite supply, so let’s find as many ways as possible to save it.
>> Return to the Engineering Change blog listings.