We're a nation of water wasters, but our hockey-loving habits can be eco-friendly, too…We think of Canada as a world-class country, but half a million Aboriginal Canadians go without access to safe water.
Now compare that to the rest of the country, which uses an astonishing amount of water (an estimated 343 litres per day on average) all available with the easy turn of a tap. Only Americans use more water.
We use and abuse most of this water in our bathrooms. There is nothing like a hot, relaxing bath on a cold winter morning, and afternoon and evening and … you get the point. We love baths and showers. In fact, over 65 percent of the water used at home is sucked down the bathroom drain.
We've tried to cut our watery ways by speeding up the sudsy soak. But there are better ways to reduce than jumping out with soap still behind our ears. Older toilet models can use as much as 20 litres per ï¬‚ush -- approximately the size of a water cooler jug! Ditch that H20 guzzler for a new and improved edition (some flush close to half a litre of water), which most provinces and municipalities will cover up to $150.
That beloved shower streams 15 to 20 litres a minute straight down the drain. A low-ï¬‚ow showerhead halves that amount with no noticeable difference in water pressure. Some models come with an easy shut-off button for sudsing. Knowing that you're not wasting water in the washroom? Now that's relaxing…
• Plant indigenous plants that need no watering.
• Make sure to water your lawn at dawn or dusk; the yard will evaporate less water and stay moist longer.
• Avoid overwatering: a typical lawn requires only one water every four to five days.
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• As if you needed another reason to load up the ol' washer and call it a day, now studies say we conserve more water with a dishwasher than handwashing.
• Promise to never throw away water; pour leftover water on plants instead.
• Keep your drinking water cold in the fridge, rather than running the faucet until it's cold.
• Thaw frozen food overnight, rather than running under hot water.
• Turn off the tap while brushing teeth.
• Troubleshoot your tank. Put a few drops of food colouring in the tank, wait a minute and see if the colour seeps into the bowl. If so, you've sprung a leak, matey!
• Place a 2-litre bottle in your tank to displace the water, making sure it doesn't interfere with the pulleys and traps of the tank.
Take a look at where we use most of the water in our homes. Where do you think you can cut back?
Excerpted from the book Living Me to We: The Guide for Socially Conscious Canadians © 2012 by Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger, published by Me to We. Reprinted with permission from the publisher. Illustration by TurnStyle Imaging.
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