Since the beginning of civilization, humans have gone beyond survival, and have tried to innovate. From creating a machine that can fly, and landing on planets to creating a device that can magnify the tiniest atoms and make them visible- humans truly have the gifts of innovation and inventiveness. What they lack, however, is the ability to use these gifts responsibly.
We are all aware that our natural resources are limited – most of them are nearing dangerously exhaustible levels. The foremost reason for this is the irresponsible consumption of everything from fossil fuel to water.
We must begin educating ourselves on important matters, such as identifying, understanding, and reducing one’s water footprint.
From the mountains to the vast blue ocean, water is present everywhere on Earth and is an important factor in every ecosystem. We consume water in various ways – for our bodies, our laundry, our dishes – as well as in industry and manufacturing. While the essential nature of water cannot be changed, what can amend is our relationship with it, and how judiciously we use it.
Here is where your water footprint plays a major role.
The sum of water consumed by us in our daily lives creates our individual water footprint. It includes the food we eat, the number of times we wash our cars, the water used in our laundry, how long we shower or bathe, the kind of clothes in our wardrobe, or even the way we consume our basic glasses of water.
Before diving into what goes into reducing one’s water footprint, let us take a brief look into how water footprint is measured.
Interestingly, there are tools which provide an approximate level of water consumption based on global and individual data. Here is one you can check out.
So how can we responsibly reduce our water footprints?
Eating right is as important for the body as it is for the environment. Choosing a diet which doesn’t consume too much water in its preparation is essential. Preferring vegetables over meat, eating fruits and dry-fruits balances both the body and the world of water.
Even though taking a shower is a soothing luxury, it wastes a minimum of 15 litres in three minutes, so do opt for that bucket instead. A bucket bath is quicker and just as refreshing, plus you have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve saved water that would otherwise have, well, gone down the drain.
Wear responsible brands
Producing one pair of jeans consumes an average of 900 gallons of water. You can carefully select the labels and brands you support and invest in a water-neutral wardrobe. With the need for a growing awareness of the size of one’s water footprint, there are a few clothing brands giving goals to the water kingdom.
Reformation is a high-end, environmentally progressive brand dedicated to being 100% transparent about the impact of every garment on the environment. Their tagline states, “We make killer clothes that don’t kill the environment.” Their business is eco-friendly, sustainable, with each style made using repurposed vintage clothing, salvaged deadstock fabric, or new sustainable materials. Along with their product information, they give a RefScale to every garment, breaking down the item’s impact on the environment. Some other brands working on a similar motto are Cosmos Studio, Posse, and C/Meo Collective.
Plan your garden time
Gardening is meditative, but over-watering a lush garden is detrimental both to the water balance and to your little green friends. Research water-positive plants and trees that grow well in your climate, and optimize the frequency of watering them so that you ensure they stay hydrated without wasting excessive water.
Install water-saving appliances
Rising awareness of the water crisis has compelled companies to innovate and design home appliances that are built to save water. You can now get water-saving showerheads, toilets, and water systems that are built to preserve water and use as little of it as possible.
Don’t pour water down the drain
This one’s basic – never leave a faucet running or dripping. To place figures on the wastage which results from this, a dripping tap wastes up to 75 litres a day – criminal when you consider how much that adds up to over a week, or a year.
By consciously checking our water footprint, we can make empowered choices and balance the want for a well-functioning environment with our consumption footprints.