Sustainability Challenge: Week 2

Aligning with our recent post on the water crisis in Brazil, this week’s sustainability challenge is about reducing water use at home. Why care about water use? Although water covers 71% of the earth’s surface, 96.5% of this water is salt water. Water is also required for almost all activities: daily activities such as drinking and showering as well as to produce the clothes, food, and the electricity we consume.

For those of us who haven’t experienced water scarcity, such as living in drought conditions and/or due to water pollution, it may be hard to imagine that water can be limited in supply and how much we rely on it. The reality is that water scarcity exists all over the world and will only get worse with climate change. Climate change will impact areas differently, but research and tools, such as World Resources Institute’s interactive risk map, are helping companies and governments better understand water risk and use less water for industrial and agricultural activities.

There are also many easy ways that we as individuals can cut down on water use. Did you know that the average American uses 80-100 gallons of water per day? Using less water also means saving money on your water bill.

This week, try to incorporate at least one of these three habits into your routine:

  • Turn off the faucet when you are brushing your teeth and soaping your hands
  • Time your shower and try to keep it under five minutes
  • When doing laundry, make sure the washing machine is full before running it and if you use a dishwasher, make sure it’s full

We also encourage you to continue with last week’s tip to reduce your meat consumption, especially beef which is very water-intensive, and stay tuned for next week’s The Sustainability Co-Op Sustainability Challenge!

Participating in the Sustainability Challenge? Share with us your pictures and stories via comments on this post or through Twitter and Instagram, tagging us (@sustain_cooptve on Twitter and @sustainability_cooperative on Instagram) and including #SustainabilityChallenge or #SustainabilityMadeSimple.

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