As the water crisis develops worldwide, there has been an urge for you to take part in water conservation. Doing your part will help global efforts to reduce water consumption. Turn off the tap. You’ve heard this phrase often – don’t leave water running for too long, take shorter showers. These practices are wonderful and can save several gallons of water per day, but are the most obvious to put into practice. Listed below are some tips to conserve water even when it isn’t obvious!

1. Your Milk: Hopefully not Almond!

Almond milk has been awful for the world of water. Almonds are mainly grown and harvested in California, where land is continuing to be irrigated for the use of almond production. According to a New York Times article, it takes 15 gallons of water to grow just 16 almonds there. The natural lands harvested for almond farms are mostly wetlands, taking away natural water-rich systems from the state. Although almond milk is tasty, consider alternatives such as soy or oat. Soy, a great alternative post-workout, is packed with protein: a new version of it has almost 20g of protein per serving. 

2. Conserve with Mulch

If you have any trees growing around you, make sure they are circled by mulch. Mulch acts as a moisture holder for the soil underneath a tree, nurturing its roots. It also acts as defense against the sun, keeping a tree cool during hot periods of the day. Investing in mulch will allow you to water your trees less and will help them live longer. Mulch can help retain water in other plants such as bushes and flowers, as well. Also: it looks great! Easy landscaping, really! 

3. Take a Bath (If you Take Long Showers) 

If you are someone that takes long showers, consider taking a bath. Specifically, if you normally take twenty-minute showers, a bath would conserve more water, according to an article by Huffpost. One article from Cleveland Clinic adds that baths improve mental and emotional health, soothe muscle and joint pain, and heal wounds. Further research suggests that adding epsom salts to your bath can better soothe muscle aches. Pooling water instead of letting it run is practical in other situations, such as washing the dishes in a half-sink of soapy water. Think about these the next time you shower or wash dishes: you could save money on the water bill and better the planet! 

4. Fast Fashion: Dangerous for Water Consumption 

You may have heard the term ‘fast fashion’ being passed around environmentalist groups or in local buzz. It’s true: the fashion and textiles industry is a major contributor to water consumption and pollution. A study by the World Wildlife Fund shows that cotton (the main commodity used in textiles) is the second most water-intensive crop on Earth, consuming 7,000-29,000 liters of water per kilogram of cotton produced. Furthermore, Forbes suggests that the industry is a polluter at “all stages of the value chain,” from cottonfield runoff choking rivers with harmful algal blooms to releasing ‘cocktails’ of toxic chemicals, as well as the release of microplastics from washing clothes. Here is how you can help this mess: buy less, buy better quality, and donate or sell old clothes. Never throw away clothing you don’t want. If you must, dispose of old clothes in a textile waste bin. Another way to reduce your clothing waste is to rent, which is a growing business. Fashion is fun, but don’t get in the habit of buying cheap, and if you do, make sure to dispose of your clothes correctly. 

Overall, being conscious about your own water usage is important to making real change in the way people live. It could be the difference in someone else’s quality of life. These are just a few of the many water costs that come with living as a human on our planet! To be more mindful about your own water consumption, do research about trade-offs like these to better serve our wonderful rock in the Universe, and the people and animals who inhabit it. 

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