Olivia cattabriga / art director

Isabella Pratt

Equinox Staff

The amount of water we consume daily is hidden behind our methods of consumption and in reality is getting to a detrimental point. Water is important for our health, as over half of our body is made up of it, and for the health of the environment. If we continually deplete our water sources, irreversible changes will take place that we cannot even begin to imagine. There are two main ways to reduce water waste that I would like to enlighten you to, one much more common than the other. But hopefully you can find a place for both in your day to day lifestyle.

The first set of ideas are pretty common for reducing water usage, however will still make a decent impact. Taking shorter showers will definitely help as the average American uses about 17.2 gallons of water per 8 minute shower according to The Alliance for Water Efficiency. You can also shut off the water while you are shaving or using shampoo and conditioner. The same basic principles go for shutting off the water while you brush your teeth. Or even purchasing a more efficient toilet that has different settings for different amounts of waste. As for laundry, if you have roommates, combine your loads or simply do not put small loads of laundry through the wash multiple times. Wait until you have a large enough load to fill the washing machine so you aren’t doing multiple loads. Lastly, something I always have done around my house is to take those jars and cups of water that I took a few sips out of and use them to water my plants. This way I know I am not just pouring it down the sink and it is getting used.

Now those small tips will definitely save a couple of gallons of water a day at best. However, what if you could save over 600 gallons of water with one simple choice? Did you know that it takes 660 gallons of water to produce 1 quarter pound hamburger? This is the same as two months of showering! The agriculture sector is where we need to look to reduce our water waste if we truly want to make a change. According to a film titled “Cowspiracy,” The average Californian uses 1,500 gallons of water per person per day. About half of that is directly related to the consumption of meat and dairy products.” If you move to a more plant-based diet or lifestyle you will be cutting down your water consumption immensely! One gallon of milk takes up to 1,000 gallons of water to produce, this is simply an unsustainable product that we cannot continue to be dependent upon. Overall it actually takes less water to produce a vegan’s diet for a year than it does to produce a meat- eater’s diet for a month.

I am not trying to persuade anyone to become vegan, but I am merely stating the facts around the amount of water we use. It will be a dangerous day when we begin to run out of water, and will be coming soon if we do not start to make changes. It is up to you how big of an impact you want to make, whether it be a shorter shower saving a few gallons, or simply passing up that burger, saving a few hundred.

Isabella Pratt can be contacted

at ipratt@kscequinox.com

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