Down the Drain

Ways to make your apartment more economical and environmentally friendly.

In the United States the general person consumes on average between 50 and 100 gallons of water a day. (US EPA) What ways can you address waste in your own space?

Living in apartment can be hard. At times it feels even worse because you don’t have total control over the space and what you can do with it. For example I cannot install high efficiency washer and dryer unit but, I can address my own wasteful tendencies, leaving water running, long showers, dishwashing habits, and consumption habits.

Here are a four quick ways I started saving water and reducing my footprint.

1. Installing an aerator: The average screw on aerator costs around five dollars but can reduce water use by 500 gallons a year. Another effective way to minimize water waste in the kitchen is to wash dishes smarter. “Washing the dishes with an open tap can use up to 20 gallons of water, but filling the sink or a bowl and closing the tap saves 10 of those gallons.” (US EPA)

2. Fix a leaky Faucet: One of the easiest issues to solve is a leaky faucet. The idea that a single faucet fixed from dripping saves a substantial amount of water may seem silly but in reality, “A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers” (US EPA) and on average a households leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of wasted water in a year and a much higher water bill. (US EPA)

3. Reuse water: By saving my runoff water from clearing the line in the morning as well as my pasta and veggie water. Both you and I are capable to reducing our waste that much further. I’ve saved about 5 gallon milk containers (well washed) and use them to save excess water that is still usable and beneficial to me. The pasta and veggie water go to my plants, which can actually add nutrients into the soil! The runoff water gets used for cleaning purposes or to supply water to my animals.

4. Reduce Consumption: One we have heard time and time again. Turn off the sink when you are not using it and reduce your showers from an hour long karaoke performance to the necessities.

While my own actions and mostly likely yours will not directly benefit those in water scarce areas it does benefit our individual regions and lighten burden on the environment. My consumer choices and habits that are developed and developing currently will affect how I behave in the future. There is always room for improvement and education when it comes to minimizing one’s individual footprint.

So will you let your money and ecosystem go down the drain or will you make the changes that are necessary?

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