10 easy ways to reduce your water footprint
There are certainly benefits of the tropical temperatures that the UK, and the rest of the world are experiencing, however it is NOT good for the world’s water resources as demand increases and supply decreases. So it’s now time we stepped up and started changing our actions by thinking about our direct and indirect consumption of water. Here are 10 easy ways you can help save the world and reduce your water footprint.
1. Go plant based
The single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth is to avoid meat and dairy, or at least reduce it according to scientists. Agriculture accounts for over 65% of the water withdrawals across the world, as much of the produce is used to feed animals. By significantly reducing your meat and dairy intake you can have an impact on the earth. This is not to say we should not eat meat again, but to eat quality meat sparingly. I’ve found going vegan 85% of the time allows the flexibility to go to dinners without causing a fuss, cut down my water footprint and feel the health benefits of a meatless diet. Try reducing your meat intake this week by having one meat free day, or a meat free work week. Save money, feel better and make a difference.
2. Buy local products
Buying local evidently reduces the transport length of the food that we consume, which in general means a reduction in our water footprints as water is used to produce the fossil fuels used to transport the food to your plate. So this means buy British, and buy in season. Easy enough when it’s British summer time and you can fill your plate with the colour of the rainbow.
3. Buy organic
Buying organic tends to cut down on your water footprint, as no pesticides were used on the product. That cuts down the virtual footprint of water needed to create the product. The massive use of fertiliser and pesticides has also lead to a severe deterioration of freshwater resources in many overworked farmland areas. Eating organic produce is also beneficial for your health as you lower your toxic load.
4. Switch your coffee for a tea
Coffee and tea may look like they contain the same amount of liquid, but producing coffee beans requires far more water than growing tea leaves – around 140 litres for a cup of coffee and around 34 litres for tea.
5. Shower rather than bath, and shorten your shower
On average it takes 136 litres of water to fill up a bath, and a 10 minute shower uses around 110 litres of water. And even better if you cut down those minutes in the shower you only go cutting that footprint of yours.
6.Say no to fast fashion houses
The movie River Blue (a definite must watch) opened my eyes to the harsh reality of the toxic fashion industry and the polluting effects that it is having on rivers and oceans. Our appetite for seasonal fashion has us buying more clothes than ever, throwing them when they are last season. Yet the effect of this is detrimental on water usage – to make one white T-shirt requires 2,700 litres of water, and a pair of jeans is 7000 litres of water.
7. Buy less, buy quality
Turning your back on fast fashion houses may seem hard (I’m really trying to stick to my guns on this one having been a sucker for Zara), but the upside is to buy quality over quantity. Even better buy second-hand or shop from a sustainable fashion brand.
8. Wait until you have full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine
It may sound obvious but wait until you have full loads before pressing go, and only wash them when necessary.
9. Use re-usable bottles
It takes 3 times the amount of water to create a 1 litre plastic bottle of water, as is in it. You can help reduce plastic pollution and you water footprint by taking a re-fillable water bottle around with you. The Refill app lets you find your nearest filling up point around the city.
10. Get those legs moving
Another easy way to get that invisible water footprint down is to opt for fossil-fuel free means of transport that means get those legs walking or peddling. The oil industry is the biggest consumer industry of water, followed by fashion.
Try and make one small change a day, every action plays your part to help save the world! Together we can ensure that water will be available for future generations to enjoy.