California Mandatory Water Reduction And Household Laundry

Reducing laundry by 5% saves 800 gallons of water per household annually.

How can one of the most technological advanced nations in the world suffer from water shortages? In part, that is because the technology that allows us to turn dry lands into suburbs can also put us at odds with growth, especially when it comes to water. According to the US Census Bureau the south and the west are still growing faster than the east and the midwest regions. The demand for water is going up, but the available supply is not. And when there is a drought, things get really bad.

drying river

Conservation and water management can alleviate some of the hardship. But all of this must first pass through the filter of politics and there are many competing interest when it comes to the politics of water. You have the demands of the farmers versus the environmentalist versus big cities. Not surprisingly, whoever controls the politics controls water management and growth.

President Obama speaks on draught

Politics aside, what can the individual do? The consumer has a large part to play in water management. The Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, rates the top three areas of household water consumption as toilets, 26.7%, laundry, 21.7% and showers, 16.8%. Water saving toilets, efficient washing machines, as well as efficient shower heads and taking shorter showers all can make a big difference in reducing household water consumption. And outside, planting more bushes and less lawn is also a big water saver.

Water Police

But there is at least one new area of household water management that has not been addressed until recently, laundry.  When it comes to laundry many families overwash their clothes.  There are many clothing items that can be worn more than once depending on the type of work and the climate.  But most people don’t track clothing wear beyond the obvious visual inspection and the occasional sniffing.   When it is time to do laundry, we tend to throw more clothes into the wash than necessary just to be safe.

Overwashing unnecessarily increases the amount of water needed in laundry.

laundry[1]The EPA estimates that the average family does almost 400 wash loads per year using an average of 41 gallons per load totaling 16,400 gallons of water. If by tracking clothing wear we can reduce our laundry just 5% we save over 800 gallons of water per household.

How can we better track clothing wear to prevent overwashing? The answer comes in the form of a small inexpensive closet tool that counts clothing wear. MyClothingHelper reminds the user of how many times they have worn a particular clothing item. Knowing how many times you have worn an item between cleanings allows you to get the full use of that still fresh item. And that translates to savings on water consumption, energy, and dry cleaning costs, and extends the life of your clothing.

So no matter what the politicians do, you can help yourself and the environment by better managing your laundry.

 

Water, Water, Everywhere…How to save water

Earth_Viewed_From_Space

(This site sells and is sustained by MyClothingHelper. The product that tracks and organizes what you wear.)

Seen from outer space, the refreshing uniqueness of earth is its water. With atmosphere, oceans, lakes, and rivers; we are swimming in life nourishing water.

With all this water how can we ever run out? Remember Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, “Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.” There will always be plenty of water on earth but will we be able to drink it?

The overall amount of water on earth hasn’t changed in 2 billion years. Yet some have estimated that nearly a third of the population does not have a safe supply of water.  (http://www.lenntech.com/water-trivia-facts.htm#ixzz2ZuD4aY8m). The problem isn’t that the earth will run out of water, but that people in different parts of the planet can run out.

Water is an abundant resource but it isn’t equally available in all places. Millions of us live in areas where water is becoming scarce. Tragically, this is especially pronounced in the poorest regions of the world where many people have a hard time accessing either water or clean water.

In the US, until recently, our wealth and technology has made living in near-desert conditions attractive. Now, however, the increased population in these areas has put a serious strain on the available supply of water. So, until we figure out how to economically create clean water on demand, we should all start acquiring the habit of conserving water whenever we can.

There are many simple common sense things that a person can do to reduce water consumption: install a water saving shower head, don’t leave the water running when you  brush your teeth or shave, reduce your lawn size by planting shrubs and flowers that require less water, and many more. For 100 tips on how to conserve water see, http://wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/. And also please try out our new invention, myclothinghelper. Among its many benefits it can help you reduce your household water consumption. (http://myclothinghelper.com/category/earth-friendly-practices/).

Most importantly, to directly help people around the world get access to safe drinking water we suggest donating to well known and well-run charities such as World Vision, Catholic Relief Services, and Americares. And the next time you need to buy a birthday gift for someone who has everything consider donating to a water charity in their name.

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