The latest dry spell across the world may be over, but there will be another water shortage somewhere in the country this year and every year leading to Carbon Footprint at Home.
In fact, local authorities in 40 states say that even during normal weather circumstances, they expect water shortages in some parts of their states over the next few years.
We use a lot of water, and that can be seen in our water footprint, which indicates both the direct and indirect water usage of an individual, community, business, city, or country.
Direct water usage refers to the water we have within reach: the freshwater we use each day for cooking, drinking, showering, washing clothes and dishes, and gardening.
Indirect water usage refers to the water that is used to produce the services that we use and the goods that we consume, combined with all of the water that becomes unusable due to pollution or wasted by non-use. That means all the water we use for crops, fabrics and the water needed to produce energy.
While this indirect water usage is often “invisible,” we often use far more than we think. In Europe alone, the average person consumes around 100-150 litres of water per day – as drinking water, bathing, washing clothes and watering plants.
On the flip side, we also indirectly consume around 1,5000 and 10,000 litres of water a day, depending on our consumption habits and where we live.
What can we do? Well, let’s just say there are lots of water-saving practices floating around, but two of the best ways are to replace water-wasting fixtures and appliances and upgrade your lifestyle and habits.
Obviously, neither is easy. Creating new habits requires a long-term commitment, and updating appliances is an up-front expense. But try to do both, and you will manage to reduce your water usage by half or more.
Save Water in the Kitchen and stop Carbon Footprint at Home
When it comes to wasting water in the kitchen, you may be tempted to think that your dishwasher is in fact, the main culprit – but it’s you.
We often rinse our table wares and dishes clean before placing them in a dishwasher meant to do that very job – and do it better than we can. What can we do?
Stop using tap water to pre-rinse dishes – Did you know? An old kitchen faucet uses 7 gallons of water when running full volume.
Replace your old dishwasher – Latest dishwashers are 15% more water-efficient than traditional models, even better, they’re quieter, too.
Store your drinking water in the fridge – Instead of running the tap until the water comes cold. Place a few bottles of water for the day so that you can use less tap water.
Save Water in the Bathroom
As the main water wasters in the home, toiles account for nearly 30% of indoor water consumption, according to the EPA. But water-wasting can quickly turn into monetary and water savings by replacing older, ineffective toilets. What’s more, adding an eco-friendly toilet can help improve the style of your bathroom by providing a more modern feel to the bathroom. To make sure you reach the ultimate savings, try installing an ultra-high-efficiency toilet that can save up to 13,000 gallons of water a year and up to $140 on water usage yearly.
Your water heating system could also use a little efficiency upgrade. If you’re on a budget nor have the time or experience to look for a reliable product, you can upgrade your old boiler for an ultra-efficient temporary boiler. And, fair play, a new condensing boiler could save over 13 million tonnes of CO2 a year.
Save Water in the Laundry Room
Older washing machine models use more than twice as much as Energy Star models that only need 10 to 12 gallons of water for an 8-pound load. However, if you’re out and about to reduce your carbon footprint right from your home laundry room, here are the water-saving steps you can take:
Choose the right water level setting – often called small, medium large -for the load if that’s how your washing machine operates. Most HE-to-loaders and front-loaders have auto-loading sensors that automatically calculate the load size and the amount of water needed.
Upgrade your old washer: Energy-efficient washers use up to 40% less water than traditional washing machines. Even better, high-efficiency models spin faster, which will significantly reduce your clothes ‘drying time.
Fix Leaks Whenever Possible
We’ve already mentioned just how much water you can save by simply upgrading your home fixtures or fixing leaks. As an environmentally responsible individual, you will need to periodically check the installation of indoor and outdoor piping and plumbing in your home to identify and prevent leaks.
We currently lose more than 38% of our clean water through leaks before it even reaches our tap. Some leaks can be very difficult to locate as they happen in the vast and complex network of pipes well below underground. Even so, most of these pipe networks are now old and worn out and need to be repaired or replaced to improve the overall quality of water and supply. But despite these challenges, we’ve made progress by reducing the leaks rate nationally to 38% by the end of 2021.
It seems that we’re on track to achieve a national leakage rate of 32% by the end of 2024 if every homeowner will eventually start to reduce waste usage at home little by little.