Here at Baldwin, we use water constantly without realizing how valuable a commodity it is, or recognizing what we can do to help conserve it.
You may ask, “Why do we need to conserve water?” Water is essential to life on Earth. We need water to grow food, keep clean, provide power, control fire, and last but not least, we need it to survive.
You may be thinking about your personal water use, and wonder, “How much water do I use per day?” The average person uses approximately 70 gallons of water per day (that’s more than enough to fill two big bathtubs). Twenty gallons are used to flush the toilet, 15 gallons for laundry, 14 gallons for running faucets, one gallon for dish water and another 10 gallons as a result of leaky faucets. Then you might ask, “Where does the water go once it leaves my home?” It is treated at a wastewater treatment plant or by your septic system, before being released into the environment.
So what are the most effective ways to conserve water? There are millions of simple tasks that can be done on a day-to-day basis to conserve water. Here are a few helpful tips the Baldwin community can use:
1. Wash Hands Efficiently: Turn off the water while you soap your hands, and rinse briefly.
2. Brush Teeth Wisely: Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save four gallons a minute. That’s 200 gallons a week for a family of four.
3. Don’t Waste Drinking Water: Instead of running water to make it cold, keep a pitcher of water in the fridge.
4. Use Less Water for Dishes: Scrape your dishes clean to reduce rinsing. Run the dishwasher only when it’s full.
5. Take Half-Full Baths: Try bathing in a tub that’s only half full to save water and energy used to heat it.
6. Shorten Your Showers: Shorter showers save both energy and water—keeping your shower under five minutes can save up to 1,000 gallons a month!
7. Stop Leaks: Turn off water faucets tightly so they don’t drip. Tell an adult about any leaky faucets you find indoors or outside.
8. Don’t Overwater: Water the lawn only every three to five days in the summer and avoid watering driveways, sidewalks, and gutters.
9. Sweep to Save: Use a broom, rather than a hose, to clean off sidewalks and driveways.
10. Wash Cars Wisely: Use a hose nozzle and turn the water off when soaping up your car. You can save over 100 gallons this way.
To conclude Green Week, check out this short animated film entitled The Story of Bottled Water to get the facts on why this pricey commodity isn’t as tasty or pure as bottled water manufacturers would have us believe. Rather, tap water in a reusable water bottle can save precious resources and reduce the amount of plastic in our landfills. This is an especially simple switch for our community following today’s generous donation made by Pansini & Mezrow and the Pansini family: a Vapur: The Anti-Bottle for each student, faculty and staff member. We’ll be able to put the bottles to good use with the forthcoming installation of a new water bottle refilling station on campus, thanks to the continued efforts of my fellow Earth Matter club members in raising over 1,300 dollars in baked bread sales. Stay tuned for the fountain’s official unveiling!
Click here to see today’s slides how presentation about water conservation.
—Laura Nguyen ‘15, Earth Matters member
Green Week 2012 is a collaboration between Earth Matters (Upper School), Earth Matters Too (Middle School) and the Lower School. This program highlights Baldwin’s commitment to creating a safe and sustainable space for learning.