According to Friends of the Earth, 97.5% of the world’s water is locked in seas and oceans, and most of the remaining 2.5% is in the ice caps. Water is essential for life; we need it to survive, to cook, to clean, to wash, to produce crops and even biofuels.
It’s estimated that each person indirectly consumes between 1,500 and 10,000 litres of water per day. This is water used to create clothing, books, food, any material we use in our day-to-day life.
When all the facts add up, it becomes increasingly clear that water needs to be used in a smart and efficient way. Here are some ways how your business, or you as a consumer, can reduce water consumption.
- Save 6 litres of water a minute by turning off your tap while you brush your teeth. Fix leaky taps too – and stop what could be 60 litres of water going straight down the drain every week.
- Eating/producing less meat. The meat industry is one of the most water-intensive industries. Red meat, especially, needs a lot of water. Producing protein from other sources like beans, lentils and peas, can save you water and big bills.
- Switching from coffee to tea. Although both caffeinated beverages seem to have the same amount of liquid, the production of coffee beans requires much more water than growing tea leaves.
- Reduce food waste. By reducing the amount of food and beverages that get thrown away in shops, restaurants, and supermarkets, water subsequently is reduced as well. It’s estimated that more than half of the 7 million tonnes of food and drink that UK households throw out could be safely consumed.
- Invest in drain repairs. The amount of water that the tiny droplet on your office sink could be anywhere from 6 to 60 litres per week, or more, depending on the intensity of the leak, of course.
Of course, the decision to be water efficient doesn’t lie only on the consumer. It’s necessary for businesses to be transparent about their use of resources, governments as well should enforce this idea of transparency when it comes to regulation.
If you’re curious to learn your water footprint, you can calculate it here.