This week’s blog is from Laurie Loftin, Program Specialist with Water Conservation Office and your personal cheerleader. I know you can do at least one of these all year!!!
You tried to lose ten pounds and failed. You wanted to save money but spent it. You have an unused gym membership from last year. Are you really going to make another tired New Year’s Resolution?
Instead of making another overdone promise to change yourself in the new year, chose to be different by going BIG! Declare 2016 the year you decided to doggedly protect yourself, water, and the world.
I offer 10 options for change you can make NOW to turn yourself into a Water Warrior.
1. Quit the Bottle
A common resolution is to save money. You can very easily do this AND use water wisely with one little change. Drink tap water instead of bottled water. A gallon of tap water in Athens-Clarke County costs less than $.01. A gallon of bottled water can go up to $8.00! You protect water by quitting the bottle, too. It takes 3 liters of water to produce 1 liter of bottled water.
2. Hit the Trail
Locate the local source of your drinking water supply. Are there any trails you can walk that follow beside or around the source? Pledge to walk the trail once a week. Take mental snapshots of the water levels and compare these throughout the year. In Athens, we pull water from the Middle and North Oconee Rivers. The UGA State Botanical Gardens and Ben Burton Park both offer walking trails along the Middle Oconee. When the weather warms, consider kayaking down your water source.
Give to a local organization that safeguards the waterways right in your community. Consider a direct contribution or support one of their events. Look on AmazonSmile to see if your chosen organization is eligible to receive a portion of your purchase price whenever you shop on their site. How easy is that?!?
4. Give Yourself a Makeover…
in your bathroom. Replace those old fixtures and faucets with a WaterSense labeled product to become more water efficient this year. Once you knock this out, you are saving water without even trying! See the difference you make by simply switching out your showerhead. Your seven-minute shower in 2015 used about 437 gallons a month (assuming you shower 25x a month). After successfully meeting this 2016 resolution, the high-efficiency showerhead results in just 219 gallons used – a 50% reduction!
5. Be a Good Role Model for Your Kids
Here is where the old adage “actions speak louder than words” proves itself to be true. Your children are watching you. Model how to be water efficient in 2016 so your children will have water for life.
6. Find & Fix Leaks
Pledge to not only look for leaks inside and outside your home but to fix the leaks you find within 48 hours. A leaky toilet wastes the most water and significantly increases your water bill. Ignore that dripping faucet for the whole year and you lose more than 3,000 gallons of water by the next year. Remember, your kids are watching. 7. Buy Less
Everything you purchase requires water to get you the product. This is part of what is called your water footprint. The socks you buy needed water to grow the cotton, water for manufacturing, water for the packaging, water for transporting… Buy less and shrink your water footprint. What to do with that extra money? See #3.
8. Go Meatless
Try the Meatless Monday craze this year. It is simple. Skip meat in all of your meals on Mondays. A pound of beef requires about 1,850 gallons of water to produce. Compare this to only 39 gallons of water to produce a pound of vegetables. The switch has the power to reduce your water footprint and possibly your waist size.
9. Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle
These 3 Rs apply to water, too. Remember that water footprint? Water is used in the production of almost everything. Get more life out of a product by reusing or recycling it to make those gallons go further. A ton of recycled paper uses 50% less water than that to make one ton of paper products from virgin wood pulp.
10. Turn Off the Water While You Brush
If you achieve no other resolutions this year, choosing simply to turn off the water while you brush your teeth is the one to master. You will quickly realize it requires very little effort on your part. Stick a post-it to your mirror with a printed friendly reminder. Doing this one thing can provide a 1,000 gallon a year savings for you. If everyone in the United States did it, we would save 314 billion gallons. Wow!
Pick one or two of these actions and start today. Every little bit you do helps water. You can do it!
Did you make a water-related New Year’s Resolution for 2016? Share it with us!