Whole Living magazine April 2012

Conserving Water May Be Simpler Than You Think

Whole Living magazine April 2012Whole Living magazine says the average American household uses 350 gallons of water per day. But fear not–they’re also offering up 50 simple ways to reduce that number.

My beautiful city, Austin, Texas, is in the middle of a pretty rough drought. Sure, we’ve had a couple of great (and stormy) rain showers this year but not quite enough to make up for the deficit we’re feeling. The City government has implemented a mandatory watering schedule for residents to try to conserve water, and I’ve been trying to do a few things around the house to do my part as well.

I don’t let the water run freely while I brush my teeth, and I make sure the dishwasher is totally full before I run it. And I thought I was doing well! But when my April issue of Whole Living magazine showed up in the mail with the feature “50 Ways to Save Water,” I knew immediately that I could do more. Here are three of my favorite ideas from the list of 50:

Tip No. 7: Use a water-conscious car wash. Washing your car in your own driveway can use 60 gallons of water or more in a mere five minutes. Visit washwithwatersavers.com to find a certified car wash in your area that uses 40 gallons or less per car and then pumps clean water back into the environment.

Tip No. 24: Landscape with native plants. My guess is that the plants native to the Seattle area wouldn’t stand a chance during the hot, dry summer that we’re about to face in Texas. But plants that have survived for generations in the Texas heat can probably handle it–even thrive in it–requiring less watering and maintenance along the way.

Tip No. 41. Shorten your shower. By shortening your shower time by just one minute, you’ll save 2.5 gallons of water. And those minutes add up! If you shower every day–and I hope you do–you’ll save more than 900 gallons of water over the span of a single year.