52 Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint – 16. Water Conservation

Climate change and the natural variability of water’s distribution and occurrence are natural driving forces that, when combined with the pressures from economic growth and major population change, make global water conservation a challenge.

A lot of people believe that the majority of water we use comes out of our tap. What we use at home represents only a small fraction of the water we use every day.

Clean, safe drinking water is scarce

  • 70% of the world’s surface is covered by water, 97.5% of that is saltwater.
  • Of the 2.5% of that is freshwater, almost 68.7% is frozen in ice caps and glaciers.
  • This means that only 1% of the total water resources on earth are available for human use.

As a result, today, there are an estimated 1 billion people worldwide without access to water and 2.7 billion people without adequate sanitation. For those of us living in these affected Countries, this situation is serious but, what about the rest of us? What about if you live in a Country where it rains all the time and you have access to water 24 hours a day?

Does this issue affect you?

The simple answer is YES because now, we live in a connected world. What you buy and the food you eat has a dramatic impact on water conservation around the world. Climate change is also altering patterns of weather and water around the world, causing shortages and droughts in some areas and floods in others. Today, it is not as simple as turning off the tap after you brush your teeth, we need to consider also the impact of our lifestyles.

Every year, our water resources are depleted due to increases in pollution, population, consumption of meats and other foods and an ever-increasing demand for resources.

We need to make more responsible decisions about water conservation.

The Biggest Change We Can Make is The Food We Eat

Consider the following numbers. Perhaps, they can help you understand how large the impact of a high meat diet really is.

  1. Vegan – 1200 litres per day
  2. Vegetarian – 4500 litres per day
  3. Meat eater – 15,000 litres per day

The average shower is 125 litres but saying no to a 200g steak will save 3000 litres.


Water Footprint Infographic, One Brown Planet

For more tips on saving water, check out the One Brown Planet Water Resource toolkit.

There are so many ways in which we can help reduce our environmental footprint but with so much going on it is hard sometimes to remember. Rather than remember, the best way is to form a habit and the best way to form a habit is by utilising the 3 R’s:

  1. Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behaviour)
  2. Routine (the behaviour itself; the action you take)
  3. Reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behaviour)

Each week, for 52 weeks, we will post a new idea to help you reduce your waste and work towards a cleaner less polluted lifestyle. Hopefully, by the end, some of the idea’s will become habitual and stick with you forever. Consider this to be your gift to the world.

#reducewaste #environmentalfootprint #onebrown