According to H2oconserve.org, the average American uses approximately 1,200 gallons of water per day. Thinking I could blow this out of the water (no pun intended), I decided to find out my individual consumption and much to my surprise, it was 1,062 gallons per day (yikes!). Why so high? While our household excels on almost all levels, we do eat like the “average American” – only eating about one meatless meal a week. And, we’re still dependent on our vehicles. Don’t let the calculator discourage you, it was eye opening enough for me to try harder and maybe up our meatless meals to two a week.
Here are some examples and tips:
IF YOU… YOU USE… INSTEAD…
Leave water running while brushing your teeth. About 4 gallons – what one cow needs to produce a gallon of milk. Place a sticky note on the mirror as a reminder to turn the faucet off.
Flush after each toilet use. About 4 gallons You’ve heard the saying “if it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.”
Don’t have a low-flow toilet. About 6 gallons per flush – the daily max for an astronaut in space. Keep a water-and-pebble-filled half-gallon plastic jug inside the tank; it can reduce water use by 2.5 to 10 gallons per day.
Water your lawn for five minutes. About 50 gallons – enough to fill a large tub. Step on the grass; if the earth springs back up, it’s not thirsty. Don’t water on windy days (more evaporates) and don’t water concrete.
Take 15-minute showers. About 60 gallons – daily drink for 95 people. Install a low-flow showerhead to go from about four gallons a minute to just over two.
Eat like an average American (meat and dairy) About 600 gallons By eating meat and dairy less often, you can reduce your water use by hundreds of gallons a day.
To figure your individual and household consumption with an easy-to-use water calculator, go to h2oconserve.org, created by Food and Water Watch.