While we take access to clean water for granted, we should not. While water covers more than 70% of the planet, more than 147 million people across the globe lack access to quality, clean water. Nearly one third of people on the planet do not have access to a decent toilet. Nearly one in five deaths of children under five can be attributed to problems with water. In fact, diarrheal disease kills more children under five than malaria, TB and HIV combined. In January 2015, the World Economic Forum listed the lack of access to clean water as the number one threat to society. We can do more to reduce water pollution and make it available to more people globally.
8 Ways to Reduce Water Pollution
- Do not pour chemicals or prescriptions down your drain. These will end up in the local drinking water supply. Call your local or city government and ask where you can dispose of these items safely. Many places have drop off centers for both. This is one of the most important steps we can take to reduce water pollution.
- Your toilet is not a waste basket. Get out of the habit of flushing whatever you want down your toilet. Certain products, like paper towels do not break up as easily in water. They should never be flushed.
- Start a compost pile for your organic trash. Put your scraps from fruits and vegetables in a bin and then on your compost heap in the yard. This makes great potting soil and be used in the garden.
- Use less water in your toilet. You can install a more efficient toilet or you can add bricks or other large items to your toilet’s tank. This will reduce the amount of water it uses. You may be surprised by how much water you waste by not doing these things.
- Wait until you have a full load to wash clothes or dishes. This is a two for one in terms of savings, you save water and electricity by waiting until you can do a full load to run your dishwasher or clothes washer. Have some hand dish wash soap on hand to do a few items if you need to use them again and save running the full machine until you have filled it up.
- Do not pour any fats or oils down your drain. If you make bacon or other items that produce or use grease, keep that in a jar to reuse or throw away later on. Putting it down the drain invites backups and other problems with your system.
- Do not flush cat litter. Most cat litter today has a lot of clay in it. If you get the self clumping kind, this is especially true. It will turn into cement when it hits the water in your pipes and can be really hard to deal with. If you do find you are in a situation where that has happened, try using warm water and lemon scented hand dish wash soap. Pour both in and plunge. Keep working it until your clog is clear. (This can take all day, do not let that deter you, you will save yourself thousands of dollars if it works.)
- Use water filters rather than buying bottled water. Some estimate that the oceans will have more tons of plastic than tons of fish by 2050. That is a scary thought. Reduce the number of bottles you use by opting for filtered rather than bottled water, it is better for you anyway. Recycle the plastic bottles you do have. Do whatever you can to use fewer plastic bottles.
We all should do what we can to reduce water pollution. You can learn more about the water problems faced by people all over the globe by learning about World Water Day. This is a day every March that is set aside by the United Nations to focus on the water issues that plague the world. At the very least we can take that day to appreciate the abundance of this life sustaining substance that we have in the United States.
If you have your own water saving tips or plans for World Water Day, please leave them in the comments.